TRUE CONFESSIONS - THE GOAL THAT NEVER WAS !
|Now let's tell you about this hilarious Spurs linked story. In actual fact
it concerns Len Duquemin who appears in that 1950's Spurs famous 'Push and
Run' team photo I sent you. It took place in the late 1970's.This is what
(For the purposes of the story I have changed the names to Tom Brown, Dick Barton and Harry Hall to protect the guilty and the tormented.)
Every so often Tom Brown, who was by now living up in Hertfordshire, used to meet up with Dick Barton at the Dagmar Arms ( now sadly long gone ) there in Cornwall Road for an evening pint or two. On this particular occasion the Tottenham Herald had been running a competition for a couple of weeks asking fans to write in and tell them about the best goal they had ever seen. The Herald was giving away three season tickets as its top prizes. It was either Dick or Tom who had remarked that some of the goals printed were so old how could anyone ever possibly remember them? That made them wonder what if they were to make up a fictitious goal and send it in, would the Herald print it? So they did just that. While there in the pub they came up with this cracking goal, scored by Len Duquemin, back in nineteen hundred and frozen to death!!! They needed a name that could suggest it had been sent in by someone old and at first they came up with the name of Lampwick ( a Dick Emery character ). But they played it down a bit and changed it to Hardwick. They used the initials A.R. as off the top of Toms head they were the initials of my name. They sent it from a fictitious address in Enfield ( again, that was where I happened to be living at the time ).
They sent it in to the Herald and then a week later while walking back through Bruce Castle Park with Dick Barton after stewarding at a Saturday afternoon Spurs match near the end of the season, he had this worried look on his face and I asked him what was up? He told me that the Herald had only gone and printed the goal!!!! At first I thought this hilarious but he then went on to say that something they had only done for a laugh could get quite serious as he realised that the goal was now in line to possibly win a season ticket!!! And as it was such a cracking goal, I could see why he was so concerned it might win.
The weeks of the close season ticked by and I suddenly got a frantic phone call from Dick saying that the Herald had printed the names of the three people that had won season tickets....and A.R.Hardwick was one of them.
It was thus many weeks later that, after a pre-season friendly match, again while walking back through Bruce Castle Park that Dick & I talked about that winning goal. He said they could not claim it as A.R.Hardwick did not exist as neither did his home address. Much to my disgrace I then came up with a pretty good solution to this quandary if they wanted to claim the ticket. I said why didn't Tom Brown write to the Herald from his home address in Herts and say he had only just found out about the goal that his wife's father had sent in to the Herald while he had still been living in Enfield a while ago, and that Mr Hardwick was now living permanently with him and his wife.
LETTER TO MR A.R. HARDWICK FROM THE WEEKLY HERALD
that he was that old he could not in any way accept the kind offer of a free season ticket
as he was now housebound, and in the light of this was there any possibility that he
himself could accept and use the ticket on his wife's father's behalf, but no worries if
that was not possible?
The Herald wrote back saying something like, " Thank God you have written in to us as we had almost given up hope of ever finding this winner. We had written to the address given twice but it came back twice undelivered. Yes, it's perfectly OK for you to use the season ticket, thanks, we'll drop it in the post to you right away".
|I have attached a photo of the 'goal that never was' article as it appeared in the Tottenham Weekly Herald. Also I have attached a photo of the presentation of the season tickets...needless to say A.R.Hardwick was not able to get along to this!!!!|
NEWSPAPER FEATURE - THE GOAL THAT NEVER WAS
NEWSPAPER FEATURE - COMPETITION WINNERS
|There is an even funnier ending to this story. Firstly I found out
from Steve Perryman ( I'd got quite pally with him as I'd occasionally use Spurs players
to appear at special TSB functions and always did my approaches through Steve) that the
three winning goals had been chosen by the first team players!
And secondly, Len Duquemin occasionally came to matches and would sit on my block there dead centre of the old west stand. On the first Saturday home game of the new season I went up to him in his seat and said. " 'Ere Len, that goal you scored that won that competition, what a cracker!". He replied scratching his chin......" Yeah, but do you know, for the life of me I can't remember scoring it?"
On the next block along the three season ticket holder winners took their seats. Tom was one of them and sat in front with the other two winners immediately behind him. He told us that both guys were crowing to all about how it was them who had won the competition... while Tom sat there, all season, and never said a word.
Dick of course had his job as a steward and didn't need to use the ticket, that's why he let Tom use it exclusively.
Dick Barton or Tom Brown were never dishonest people and had they known the whole thing they did for a joke would have gone that far I know they would never have put pen to paper. Having said that when it all went wrong they made the most of it, and it gave me a great laugh that I still chuckle about even after all these years. Poor old Dick, after that he was forever worried the truth would come out one day. Sadly now it matters not since poor old Dick has recently passed away.
Article prepared and slightly modified from original story contributed by website contact
Alan Swain - April 2011