An Interview With: Paxton

Posted on Jan 13, 2011

By Tommy Silver

OzSpurs Committee and Brisbane Member Mark Lawson recently did an interview for Spurs Sweden. Here it is!

Name/age? Mark Lawson, 34

Lives? Brisbane, Australia

What do you do for a living? Accountant

When and why did you start to support Tottenham? As long as I can remember - my father and grandfather supported them. My first game was a 1 - 0 victory over Charlton Athletic in 1987. Clive Allen scored the only goal. I have a cat called Clive in homage to the great man.

Any favourite player? Favorite of all time is Gazza - on his day he was the best player I've ever seen with my own eyes. Of the current crop I'm fond of Robbie Keane - mainly because along with King he is one of only two players still at the club from the days when I has a season ticket before I moved to Australia in 2003.

Any particular match that you remember? Not a great game, but I was proud to watch Spurs win the League Cup at the "old Wembley" in 1999. We only had 10 men at the end but still beat Leicester City in extra time, with Allen Nielsen the goal scoring hero of the moment.

Is there many Spurs-supporters in your area/city/country? Loads. We are well organised, with our website the focal point. We have over 1600 registered on the website and normally about 300 - 400 paid up members each season. We are easily the biggest Premier League supporters club in the country. Every year we have a national gathering where we pick a city and the Spurs fans from all over the country meet up for a weekend, play 5 a side, watch Spurs (usually lose), have a few drinks and a good time - I've been to every one since 2005 and it is definitely a highlight on the calendar for me.

Is it possible for you to watch most of the games on TV or how do you do to follow the team? In all major Australian cities there is a "Chapter" of OzSpurs - we regularly get together to watch games live. The kick off times tend to be around 1am on a Sunday morning, but despite that we have had over 300 people in one pub before. Across the country on the same night for the really big games you can get nearly 1,000 Spurs fans staying up late at the pub together. It also helps that every single one of the 380 Premier League games per season are shown on TV over here.

How is it otherwise in Australia, is there a big interest for the Premier League and what teams are the most popular? The interest is ok - and the interest in football in general has grown in the seven years I have lived here - some of that is down to Australia's "Socceroos" qualifying for the last two world cups - their only previous appearance was in 1972. Australia is big on sport in general, and football is still behind cricket, rugby league, rugby union and Aussie Rules - but the game is growing. As for the premier league the interest is good - most people with some interest in sport over here have a fair idea of what is going on in the premier league, the other leagues such as Italy and Spain are not really followed down here.

Have you ever been able to visit White Hart Lane or seen Tottenham "live"? I had a season ticket for four years - giving it up to come to Australia was one of the hardest parts about moving to the other side of the world.

What is your expectations for this season? My expectations are normally pessimistic (Spurs normally disappoint) - I think probably 6th in the league, and last 16 of the Champion's League. My hopes however are quite different: to finish above Arsenal and somehow sneak into the semis of the Champions League, oh and win the FA Cup of course (don't forget 2011 ends in a "1").

Any other teams in football or other sports that you support? I go and watch the Brisbane Roar who play in Australia's A-League (standard is roughly that of the English fourth tier) - and I always look out for the results of Exeter City which is the town where I went to University - also Steve Perryman is the Director of Football for them, so there is a nice Spurs link in.

Do you meet up with other Spurs-fans and watch some matches? Yes, see above.

Are you satisfied with our current squad or do you want any futher signings in January? I really don't like seeing Gallas wearing a Spurs shirt, we may have needed a central defender, but considering the team shirts he has worn before ours, I think we should have found someone else. I hope Sandro works out, because Palacious is poor - but we may need a defensive midfielder. Plus I think we are lacking at right back - Corluka is just too slow, Kaboul or Hutton could make the position their own, but Harry seems reluctant. Other than that I am enjoying seeing some stability to the team - we went through a period of far to many players in and out - continuity is one of the keys to the successes of last year.

Finally...If some of us Swedish Spurs ever visit your country, what do we have to drink, eat and see? Australia is a big place - drink beer, have a bbq and get to the beaches - we have about 40,000kms of coast line, so they don't tend to get too crowded. Of course anyone coming to Oz should get straight onto and let us know you are coming, a warm welcome awaits.

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