MY EARLY MEMORIES OF THE SPURS SUPPORTERS CLUB  WARMINGTON HOUSE  TOTTENHAM

By Janice McKeirnan

 

 

My Name was Janice McKiernan. I was born in 1949 and raised in Haringey North London. I lived on the junction of White Hart Lane and the Cambridge Road. I left home aged 13! I lived rough on the streets of Tottenham and often had to spend the night on Tottenham marshes. (It would take too long to explain everything). I was 16 years of age when I decided that enough was enough and I had to sort my life out.

My mother, who was a friend of the Mayor of Tottenham at the time, arranged for me to go and see him in the hope that he could find me some work. I was not welcome back at home. My 'father' hated me. The Mayor had always been known to me as Uncle Vick, I never met his wife. I have no idea what his connection was to me. He was not my real Uncle! nor my real Dad.


WARMINGTON HOUSE  - FORMERLY THE SPURS SUPPORTERS CLUB
I went to his office at the Municipal hall one day in late 1965. He knew of my situation and said that he knew someone who would only be too willing to help me, His name was Bill and he had a high position in Spurs. He would ask him for a job for me. I never met this man but was told the following Monday that I should report to the offices at the Hotspurs ground and they would sort me out with some work! (Very long story short here).

I knew that Bill Nicholson was the manager then, but my 'Uncle' Vick only mentioned a 'Bill' so I do not know for certain if that was the manager he was referring to or that there may have been another Bill on the board,
I am not too sure. But I was guessing it was him

I was taken round the corner to Warmington House that was apparently the Spurs Supporters Club and shop.
I had been interviewed and was nowhere near qualified for any job, but they took me on anyway on instructions from someone on the board! I was told that Bill had said that if I kept myself scarce that I could sleep over at the club house until I could find somewhere to stay, I slept on the floor behind the counter in the room to the left that was used as a shop.

My job was to keep the place clean and make teas. I was not allowed to sell any of the items in the shop. I was not allowed to go upstairs. I was paid £5 a week in a brown envelope. I would go to the wash house at the Municipal Baths every other day and had just two changes of clothes, so I always kept myself clean.

I think someone just felt sorry for me, while someone felt obligated to help me in some way! Not sure about
that either, but I do know that I would not have been given that job under normal circumstances I am sure

I would not have thought of myself as a manager back then, I was far too young and inexperienced. More just a key keeper and hired help. As previously mentioned, I would make tea and keep the place clean and tidy. I guess it was not just a job, it was my home also for a short time, albeit a bit rough.

Opposite that room was a larger room that went from the front to the back. That was where I spent most of my time. This had tables and a counter at the back where I would make tea and serve those who came in. I can still picture it now. On match days it was very busy as you can imagine. So I guess it functioned as a mini shop and cafe. The rest of the week it was pretty quiet.

 



THE BELL & HARE P.H -  HIGH ROAD
I met several of the players as they would come into the club sometimes and Dave Mackay would come in to bring ties into the shop. He said that he made them! I suppose I must have become a bit of a supporters
club mascot as time moved on, as I was often invited to lunch with the players and some other woman at the Bell & Hare pub which was not far from the house. I was told to say that I was older than my years or I may not be allowed in. I was later given lifetime membership to go to any game that I wanted at home or away. But most times I was not able to go but did go to some.


THE CORNER PIN  P.H -  HIGH ROAD

 

All I know is that the shop part was to the left as you went through the front door and there were ties and badges for sale. There was a glass counter. I do not remember that it was overly stocked with very much on offer there and I think that it was only open to the public on match days. Someone would sell behind the counter but I cannot remember who they were.

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I had the keys to Warmington house for about two years. Someone at Tottenham arranged for me to get a place to stay (sorry it is all a bit vague), but it was in Stamford Hill where I was also offered another job, so I did not return to Tottenham after that. I had also been given an envelope with £50 in it for my service to the club.

 

I met most of the players and they knew about my presence at the house, Terry Venables, and Dave Mackay were the two that stand out to me the most, One of them was always with a lady called Ann who was much taller than him. I do not know if she was his wife or girlfriend but wherever he was she was with him. I am sure that one of them must remember me.

I was asked to join the first supporters club ladies team as goal keeper, We had our first match on Tottenham marshes, I am not sure whatever came of that because it was the last time that I played. I think that I would have made a better manager than a player. I would certainly even do a better job as a manager even today than the Arsenal manager

So because I was part of the supporters club history I would love to be remembered. It is on my bucket list to set everything straight. But if you cannot find anyone who remembers me back then, I will understand it if you are not able to include me. But thank you for reading. I cannot remember if there was another person over me, but if there was, I hardly ever saw any other person there during the week. I was pretty much on my own all the time. I could come and go with keys to let myself in.

I remember silly things like the day we had our first match, we ended up back at the house and while I was removing my boot a spider went skidding across the floor and I was in such a state about it and everyone thought it was funny. Silly things like that I also remember.

I guess there must have been people back then that may remember me but may remember things that I don't, we all keep different memories according to how we are wired up I guess. How the world has changed since then!

Janice McKeirnan -
March 2018

 

Entrance to Warmington House �€“Pictured Right

Article prepared - April 2018