My interview with former Spurs player Steven Slade:
Steven Slade was a rising star at Spurs during the mid 1990’s making over 20 appearances for the lilywhites after making the step up from the youth team. The promising striker who was capped at under 21 level for England, kindly caught up with me to talk about his time at the club and further career in the game.
What are your earliest memories of your time at Spurs and how did you come about joining the club?
Steven: Earliest memories was getting lifts in by razor and not cleaning balls and bibs in the morning lol. And I joined Spurs because I was at West Ham and all they did was running and I was scouted by Pat to come for a trial.
How tricky was the path from the Academy into the first team during the mid 1990’s?
Steven: Didn’t have academy then I missed that by a year and to be fair I didn’t really want to play football boxing was my favourite sport and to be fair none of the youth or reserve managers wanted to give me a contract but on the day of getting a contract I scored a Hatrick and Ozzie signed me right away, best manager for me at Spurs.
Who were your greatest influences at the club?
Steven: Gazza and Nayim.
Could you describe your senior debut for Spurs?
Steven: Think it was Southampton and was annoyed because Gerry wouldn’t let me wear moulds but it was the best feeling ever walking out onto the pitch at home, Spurs fans were always good to me and I got a standing ovation on my debut but came off with cramp, was the best feeling ever.
Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?
Steven: I didn’t really have one but I guess I always wanted to be Ronaldo or Pele.
Who for you was the most talented player you’ve played with during your career?
Steven: Toss up between Gazza or Nayim, they would do things that were just amazing to watch in training but also take them on a pitch on match days they were the days when you could do tricks and express yourself but that died quickly after certain managers came about and wanted you to hold it up, pass it and get in the box which was not my game.
You played over 20 games for the lilywhites could you explain what it was like to represent the club and play in front of the home fans?
Steven: Representing the lilies is the best feeling I’ve ever had it’s really hard to explain but from when you turn up on match day they are amazing then when your getting ready to come out the tunnel you can hear them warming up. There voice from the stands and when they see you all come out they literally take the roof off and to me they are the best fans I’ve ever had at any club.
Are you still in contact with any of your former Spurs team mates
Steven: I speak to Chris Armstrong Dozzy and good friends with foxy. But Sol went a bit funny on everyone and I was doing Spurs legends for a bit but stopped that as certain people still wanna treat you like it’s 20 years ago and I wouldn’t have that then and certainly won’t now.
After leaving Spurs in 1996, you went on to play for a whole range of clubs including QPR, Cambridge United and Icelandic side Vikingur. What were some memorable moments from that time in your career?
Steven: My best time was at QPR not when Gerry came though but playing under Ray Harford and Connie Jones they were the only managers that let me play and express myself in games. Them and Ozzie were always the best managers ever got me to play under.
What was the pinnacle of your footballing career?
Steven: I guess most would say playing for the u21’s with Beckham and them but I didn’t even want to play and was forced to go. And then had a massive falling out with the England camp over asking for McDonalds because Beckham wouldn’t and then having a little fight with one of the managers. Looking back now I would of handled things differently but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Do you still support/follow Spurs’ progress?
Steven: Of course I follow them but hardly know any of them anymore and even though we are doing great things in recent years they don’t give me that feeling of watching them when we had the likes of Gazza, Nayim, Armstrong, Teddy, Barmby and Wilson. But will always be a Spurs yid.