At least Freya, Leo and Bertie the Dog stayed loyal to the Lewes Ladies!
A number of Lewes fans found themselves with divided loyalties on Sunday when the Lewes Rookettes entertained the Ladies of Tottenham Hotspur in a League clash.
Spurs are the Premier League side of choice for a number of our prominent supporters. Newly-elected Lewes Director Clive Burgess is one. Club Shop volunteer manager Barry Haffenden is another. Indeed, Barry went so far as to cheer whenever Spurs scored one their four goals that earned them victory over the Lewes Ladies. Such temerity earned him more than a few scowls of admonishment from the Lewes bench.
Afterwards he commented: “I’m sorry if I upset anyone. Of course, I love all of Lewes FC including the Rookettes. But I’ve followed Spurs all of my life; it’s a case of ‘you can take the fan out of White Hart Lane but you can’t take the Lane out of the fan’.”
In mitigation for Barry I will point out that his young niece, Freya, was in fact a Lewes match mascot for the game, along with Leo, son of our ace photographer James Boyes. In what is possibly a club first there was a third mascot – Bertie the dog.
Two other Lewes fans who showed their true colours – literally – were Jaime and Lynn Vosper of High Hurstwood who brought along a large banner featuring the Tottenham cockerel that they then displayed prominently on the Dripping Pan grass bank.
The sight of it mortified Patrick Marber. The well-known playwright who has scripted such shows as Knowing Me, Knowing You … with Alan Partridge and the 2001 play Closer (later a film of the same name) was one of the driving forces behind Lewes FC’s transition to a Community Club – but counts Spurs’ arch-rivals Arsenal as his second footballing love!
Jaime only discovered the joys of non-league at Lewes last season. At first he thought he was a jinx as the Rooks failed to win each time he made an appearance. However, his three most recent visits before Sunday’s had resulted in wins for the Rooks.
Jaime told me: “Sunday was our first-ever Ladies game. Our THFC flag hadn’t seen the light of day for quite a while so we really had no choice in the matter. Lynn’s sister Sue and her husband Terry also came along to swell the impressive crowd.
“Of course, the Spurs girls quickly spotted us. One of them called out to say how we had ‘made their day’. I was chuffed that they appreciated our presence.”
Jaime added: “I thought the 4-1 scoreline was harsh on Lewes. The Rookettes were a match for Spurs in terms of technical ability but they could not cope with the Tottenham No 10 who was tall and very good in the air.”
Another ‘first-timer’ at a Lewes Ladies game was Pat Rigg. You may recall from last week’s Yarns how she brought Dr David McGowan, her friend from San Jose, California, down to the Dripping Pan to stock up on Rooks regalia. It turned out that Pat, too, had once been a regular at White Hart Lane and couldn’t resist this game.
Incidentally, Dr McGowan is currently collecting football ‘stuff’ that he will kindly donate for display in the Rook Inn. He recently wrote to me saying: “I have the San Jose Earthquakes Major League Soccer pennant and badge and am awaiting arrival of the new team scarf before I send them over to you.”
I sent a note of thanks to which he responded: “I have just received this while I am out of California travelling in Nevada playing blackjack and doing some hand gun shooting…”
Sounds like the Wild West just got a whole lot wilder!
Caption: Lewes mascots three (left to right): Freya Haffenden, Bertie the Dog and Leo Boyes. Note the Spurs banner in the background! Photo: James Boyes.