A Tribute to Andy Porter
Story reproduced courtesy of Tottenham Hotspur FC
Andy Porter's love affair with Spurs began with the FA Cup Final in 1967. He didn't look back.
"I was seven at the time and winning that game sparked it all off," he told the Tottenham Hotspur Opus, published in 2007. "I went to my first match on September 1, 1973, at home to Leeds United, but we lost 3-0."
At the time, Andy had just completed 25 years without missing a competitive match, home or away, from Arsenal to Zimbru Chisinau. He'd also missed just one home match - Everton in April, 1980 - in 30 years.
It's a safe bet that record continued until his sad and sudden passing at his home aged 54 on October 21, 2014.
But the games only tell half the story.
Andy served the club with outstanding commitment and enthusiasm since the 1980s in his role as Club Historian. His knowledge was exceptional.
Again writing in the Opus, Andy explained how he became involved at the club. "I first did some work for the club when I helped out Ray Spiller, a Spurs fan who ran the Association of Football Statisticians, with the statistics for the 1982 Centenary book 'And The Spurs Go Marching On'.
"In 1983 we started to produce a monthly booklet about the club’s history, called The Spurs Historette. For a while in 1984-1985 we merged with the Supporters’ Club magazine, The Spur. Then in 1985 Irving Scholar, the chairman, asked if we wanted to transfer our efforts to the matchday programme, so we did. Ray dropped out in 1986, so it was left to me. I’ve been doing bits ever since.
"One of the most enjoyable aspects is helping people who contact the club wanting details of an ancestor’s playing career. Our information comes from lots of different places, but what we know now, compared with when I started, is incredible.”
It wasn't all about the first team though. Andy was also a regular at Development Squad, Academy and Spurs Legends matches. He would travel into Europe to follow the Academy squad in tournaments and kept records on every game.
He'd like nothing more than to watch the Under-18s in a morning kick-off at the Training Centre and then make the short trip to the Lane for a first-team matchday.
His friendly face was well-known to fans and players alike.
Chairman, Daniel Levy, said: "Andy’s great passion in life was our Club. We have been unbelievably fortunate to have had Andy with us over the years - he was not only much respected for his amazing encyclopaedic knowledge of the Club and his many contributions, he was also a wonderful man. So quiet and unassuming, he would have been embarrassed by the reaction to his passing and tributes being paid. We have lost one of our Spurs family."
Tony Galvin, winger of our successful team of the early 1980s, gave this tribute. "This is incredibly sad news, particularly at such a young age. He was a very genuine and kind man. I used to enjoy bumping into him at ex-Spurs games and having a chat. He loved Spurs and put his heart and soul into the club. He was always so polite and showed genuine interest in others. Andy will be greatly missed and he is in our thoughts."
Legendary defender Paul Miller added: "Andy was a lovely, peaceful man with an unbelievable knowledge of our club and will be sorely missed."
UEFA Cup winner Micky Hazard said: "It's such sad news. Andy was a top guy and I'm certain he will be remembered with fondness by all."
Andy was an important member of our team and we have lost a dear colleague and friend.
John Fennelly, Head of Publications, added: “With each hour that passes since I heard this tragic news, the realisation grows of just how much we will miss Andy.
"I was already here when he joined the team and since then he has been a rock, in his knowledge, his commitment and his friendship. It is an irony, but he always felt that we were doing him a favour; yet in truth it was totally the other way around.
"Andy’s continual willingness to work on into the night to project Tottenham Hotspur in the right light was unsurpassed in my experience. His contribution to the Club for more than 30 years has been little short of immense and will never be forgotten because he has no equal and never will.
"He was all about history and sadly is now very much part of the history of the club he loved.”
We extend our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.