West Hampstead braced for Spurs fans
West End Lane is traditional stopping off point before and after matches at Wembley
17 August, 2017 — By Tom Foot
NEVER mind White Hart Lane, Spurs fans are about to treat West End Lane like a second home as the club kicks off a whole season at Wembley this weekend.
West Hampstead has long been known as a traditional stopping off point for football supporters heading to and from the famous stadium. The area – as well as its notoriously overcrowded tube station – is bracing itself for a fortnightly influx of the club’s followers.
Tottenham will play more than 20 matches at Wembley while the club rebuilds its stadium. Chelsea are the first “visitors”, with the teams due for a showdown on Sunday afternoon. West Hampstead Amenity Transport chairman John Saynor said: “Whether the Spurs fans will make the Railway [pub] their home, that will be seen. That might unsettle the Arsenal fans there. “We’re used to having all sorts of fans in West Hampstead. It’s very funny. You can be coming home on the tube and it can be full of ladies, of a certain sort of age, from a Take That concert. Or a boxing match with quite big guys in suits and ties. But this is all part of living in West Hampstead.”
Mr Saynor, whose wife is an Arsenal supporter, added: “West Hampstead, sadly, is rather bereft of pubs. If the fans had any sense they’d go to Kilburn – that’s where the best pubs are.” But West Hampstead pubs said they would welcome extra footfall.
Roy Drysdale, bar supervisor at The Gallery in Broadhurst Gardens, said: “Obviously, it will be a good thing for bars if there are more people wanting a drink. “They’ve played at Wembley before, and we didn’t notice too much then.”