Tottenham Hotspur new stadium
In May and June this year I spent several days painting Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium during its final months of building from various vantage points in the surrounding streets. I’ve been a Spurs fan ever since my grandad George took me to my first game when I was five years old.
Both my mum and dad were brought up a stone’s throw from the stadium. I used to spend my Saturdays at my grandparents house when my parents were working. My nan would look after us in the garden. I remember the first time I heard a huge roar and didn’t know what it was. My nan told me it was the Tottenham fans and they must have scored.
One Saturday my grandad George put me on his shoulders and didn’t tell me where we were going. He took me to Spurs. I’ll never forget the feeling when we went into the stadium. I’d never seen so many people in one place in my life. Everyone had wooden rattles. I was totally blown away and, of course, became a fan for life.
I really enjoy painting outside and its nice to do this in busy areas. Lots of people stopped to have a look and have a chat about what I was doing. Some of the comments from children were precious. One young girl said my painting was beautiful and that I was making Tottenham beautiful. You don’t get that kind of feedback when you are painting in a studio!
I love painting and I truly believe everyone can and should if they want to. All children draw and paint and I think it is sad that as adults this joy is often lost. I hope that by painting on the busy streets of Tottenham I may have inspired others to have a go.
My roots are in Tottenham. It was nice to see local people feeling pride in their area, that came across a lot from the people who stopped to have a chat with me. It is long overdue regeneration.
As a kid you always think you’re going to be a football player. I wanted to be Jimmy Greaves. He was one of my childhood heroes. At school when we’d play football all the boys would pretend to be their favourite Spurs players, usually Greavsie, Martin Chivers and Pat Jennings.
I felt compelled to paint the new stadium in its final stages. I love the club and I love Tottenham. It is so exciting as a Spurs fan. I literally cannot wait to get into the new stadium.