It bugs me when people don’t support their local teams. I’m from Barnsley, I played for them all the way up to the Under-16s and I’ll support them until I die.
My second team is Tottenham Hotspur. That’s because my all-time hero is Glenn Hoddle, someone I tried to model my game on. I even went so far as having the same haircut as him — which was a perm, sadly.
For a long time they’ve been two worlds apart — the glamorous London club and the no-nonsense Yorkshire side. They met in the 1996-1997 Premier League, but I don’t have many fond memories as Barnsley went straight back down.
I remember the FA Cup sixth round in 1999 when the sides were drawn together. It was a big day, and I was excited about seeing both sides play each other, despite wanting Barnsley to win.
Although Barnsley had talents such as Craig Hignett, they didn’t have their strongest side out. Tottenham, by contrast, had an ocean of quality: David Ginola [above] and Darren Anderton on the flanks, Les Ferdinand upfront, and believe it or not Sol Campbell in defence. The man just doesn’t age.
Ginola and Anderton got a few thumps in the first half; keeping the pair quiet rather than out-footballing them suited Barnsley’s style of play. But in the second half, Tykes’ midfielder Adie Moses was sent off after a shocking tackle on Ferdinand. It changed the match and gave Tottenham more space, setting the game up for their flair players, particularly Ginola, who went on to score the winner.
It was one of the all-time great FA Cup goals and I was once lucky enough to appear on the BBC’s A Question Of Sport as a mystery guest who got to re-enact the moment with the actual Barnsley defenders from that game. Wearing a wig, I started from the left touchline 40 yards from goal, dribbling at speed, leaving five players behind me as I weaved my way into the box before curling a low shot past the keeper and into the bottom corner of his net.
It was exactly how Ginola had done it, apart from the celebration where he took his shirt off, which I refused to copy as I didn’t have a body anything like he did. I had to watch the video of the goal about 20 times before doing that run, which was no bad thing — it’s a great match to watch.
Gough is backing Save The Children’s ‘The Five Year Old Me Was Born To Be’ day; savethechildren.org.uk