andy porter - the history man
|It was with great shock that I read
on the Tottenham Hotspur official website today that Club Historian
Andy Porter had died suddenly at home this morning. My
condolences go to his family and friends at this terribly sad time.
Andy was a well-known figure around the club and had followed them across continents over the years he had supported the club, but despite his encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Spurs, he always found something new to learn about this great club of ours.
I had been aware of Andy for many years, through as shared interest in Spurs programmes. We often talked about them and games we had been to, as we met before matches at the Lane, with later meetings at away games and youth and reserves matches. Living in roughly the same direction as Andy, I regularly offered him a lift, but only on the odd occasion would he accept, more often preferring to make his own way home independently.
Over the years, we met on many occasions and when we started MEHSTG, Andy was a keen supporter of what we were doing, offering information without hesitation. One thing about Andy was his generosity. Not just in material terms - helping me get hard to obtain programmes, with me supplying him with books he did not possess in exchange (which he didn't expect and was genuinely pleased to receive), but also in generosity of spirit. MEHSTG often gets descendants of players contacting the website to ask about the achievements of their great grandfathers from eras before either Andy or I were alive. He responded to every one with all the information he had on the ex-Spur in question. His pleasure in doing so was derived from the delight in the person finding out that their forebear was a player with the club and wore the lilywhite shirt. Nothing was too much trouble for him.
There was little that Andy didn't know about the club. Whenever I discovered a player had moved clubs many years after leaving the Lane, I always let him know, but invariably he was one jump ahead of me already. When I did get one before him (rarely, I might mention), he was always grateful and politely replied. His research was expansive and I may have been responsible for suggesting the "Ask Andy" feature which ran in the match-day programme, which probably heaped more work on him, but it was something he enjoyed ... answering tricky questions from fellow Spurs fans. Andy deserved a platform to demonstrate all he knew and the role he fulfilled with great pride allowed him to do that. He was a marvellous ambassador for the club and typified what Spurs fans are all about. not only that, but as much as any player, Andy was apart of the club and part of it's history as his contribution is incalculable.
Having seen Andy at games here and abroad, it is always nice to find a familiar face and in his case, it was one who always made time to chat. I am proud to consider Andy a friend and his loss will be hard to bear. The next time I saw him, I was going to ask him about some Spurs books I have come into possession of recently ... and I know that he would have known all about them, even though one was new to me. His help and guidance was something I valued, as not only was he imparting information, but more importantly, he was giving his time ... something he never thought twice about doing.
I will miss his keen enthusiasm and his easy manner, but most of all I will miss his love for the club. It was a privilege to have known Mr. Porter.
Andy ... Rest in Peace. We will give the boys a cheer for you.
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