I have been going to Spurs with my dad for nearly 30 years but on Sunday something quite special happened.

For the first time in about seven years, my dad bought a match programme. He did this for two reasons. One, he was early, waiting for me and was bored. Two, he wanted to see if Gareth Bale’s name was on the squad list on the back. If so, it would in all likelihood be the last time he would be listed as a Spurs player.

I saw he had the programme and wanted to take a look at it. I spent my whole childhood growing up reading football programmes and still have hundreds at home (I also went on to edit the Official FA Cup Final Programme when I got older, but that’s a different story).

Dan in Spurs programme
Dan in Spurs programme

Anyway, we got chatting at half time about football and Jamie Johnson stories (he helps me come up with ideas) and I never got round to looking at the programme itself. However, my dad did while he was on the train home and, to his surprise, there was a whole page in the programme all about the Jamie Johnson books and an event I recently did at White Hart Lane, talking to schoolkids about football and reading.

It was lovely to hear and I’ve just ordered a couple of copies of the programme online. And I keep thinking: ‘What were the chances of my dad buying his first programme in seven years on the same day that I happen to feature in it?’



Oh, and good luck to Bale in Madrid. Great player. Real-life Jamie Johnson?…

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