Spurs chairman bids fond farewell as White Hart Lane hosts last match

14 May 2017 04:54

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy bid a personal farewell to White Hart Lane as Spurs faced Manchester United in the final game at their current ground.

The club put on a grand show of celebration for the last match, with the diggers set to move in on Monday and demolish the stadium Tottenham have called home since 1899.

Spurs fans arrived to white commemorative t-shirts and flags hanging from their seats while the team wore special edition matchday shirts, emblazoned with a one-off White Hart Lane crest.

Outside the ground, the High Road's lamp-posts were decorated with 'Finale' banners and supporters gathered outside the front gates to watch a host of the club's former players and managers arrive.

A total of 52 attended including the likes of Ricky Villa, Ossie Ardiles and Harry Redknapp, with a grand closing ceremony narrated by Sir Kenneth Branagh set to take place shortly after the full-time whistle.

Levy has overseen Tottenham's £800million stadium project, which will see Mauricio Pochettino's men move to Wembley next season while their new base next to White Hart Lane is completed.

"This is the day. This is the match," Levy wrote in a message to the supporters.

"This is our last time at the Lane and the day on which we shall bid our grand old home a fond farewell. I have been coming to the Lane for over 50 years and many of you for much longer. It holds memories for us all.

"So we should take a moment to look around and recognise the momentous and poignant occasion of which we are now part. The Lane been home to some of the most amazing moments in the history of not just our club but in the history of football."

Levy added: "Farewell White Hart Lane - you were the home we all loved coming to. Thanks for the memories. Now is the time to look forward."

United were the opposition for the 2,533rd match at White Hart Lane, 118 years after Tottenham first hosted Notts County here and won the game 4-1.

Spurs only confirmed their switch to Wembley at the end of last month and the club have been keen to emphasise they are only taking on a new stadium, rather than moving to a different location.

"We have outgrown our current home and we are building a wonderful new home right here. We are not moving," Levy said.

"The new pitch will overlap the old one. Our new home will slowly embrace and engulf the old one. We are determined that it will be a worthy successor to White Hart Lane and a fitting stage for our current and future great teams."

Tottenham, sitting second in the Premier League and 12 points ahead of United, were bidding to go unbeaten at home for the first time in a league season since 1964-65.

Pochettino added: "Today will be an emotional day. White Hart Lane is a special place for us and it will be sad to say goodbye to this famous old stadium.

"We must carry the spirit of White Hart Lane with us as we move forwards as a club. Our future is bright. On the pitch we have a team to be proud of that has made great progress again this season. On the pitch you can see the future taking shape around.

"Though today is tinged with sadness, we are all excited about the new stadium and the journey ahead of us. The club is building upwards.

"Every time I've walked through the doors of this stadium, I have felt excitement, so let's give the Lane the farewell it deserves."

Source: PA