#1882THFC - We're The Last Of A Dying Breed

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWmyETiPdyw]

The Fighting Cock are a non-profit supporters' group, podcast, forum, fanzine and blog, created by Tottenham Hotspur fans, for Tottenham Hotspur fans. Over the past two seasons, their '1882 Movement' has seeked to remedy the pitfalls of supporting a modern day football club. With success such a pressing matter on everyone's agenda as far as the first team are concerned; atmosphere has directly suffered inside White Hart Lane. Whereas in times gone by, the expectancy of Tottenham fans was merely fulfilled avoiding relegation and playing attacking football; the current outfit regularly challenge for honours, push high in the league and have the weight of the Tottenham world on their shoulders.

As such, emotions of worry, panic, anxiety and disappointment have come to accompany each and every match day experience. Apparently, the breed of fans willing to love the shirt no matter the on-field success has become a minority; but by joining as a collective lead by the organisation of The Fighting Cock, the 1882 are starting to get their point across. Attracting not only the attention of the powers that be at the club, there has been focus on the movement from The Daily Mail, When Saturday Comes, Against Modern Football and most importantly, Tottenham fans of a similar mindset world-wide. 

The 1882 Movement is something the entire SpursStatMan team are behind and support unequivocally, and members of the team are often in attendance at the pre-arranged games. At the most recent event, in one of the last ever matches to be played at Barnet's Underhill stadium, Ben Alfrey went along, just as he has for the majority of the 1882 events. Below are collection of his thoughts on not only that particular event, but the movement as a whole and the importance it is beginning to play in fans enjoyment and love of supporting Tottenham Hotspur. We've also included some further photos and videos from the events that have been and gone, to give a flavour of the movement to those of you who may not have come across it before.

Be Tottenham, love the shirt unconditionally, sing your hearts out for the badge and make supporting the club the joy is should be, regardless of the results - that's the essence of the 1882 Movement, and it's something well worth giving your time and voice to support.

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs86k2-_cjw]

Very rarely do I miss a game. I pull out every possible stop there is to make sure I'm standing there on the terrace and facing the game with everyone else. But this isn't the Premier League I'm talking about, these are the 1882 games I’m referring to. Games that are inherently free from the stress-fuelled and anxiety ridden commercial football we are brainwashed with every week. Given the game means little to us on a competitive level, it's easy to find ourselves emotionally detached from youth football - rather, those involved prioritise entertaining themselves with song instead of concentrating solely on the game. I'd personally push the boat out even further to argue that every single Spurs game should be treated the same way 1882 fixtures are. Over time, I’ve come to the realisation that self-inflicting pressure alongside top flight football can have nothing positive born out of it.

I do get it, it's only natural - and it’s still a work in progress.  Everyone has their own 1882 stories and I've yet to see anything negative published in the aftermath. I’ve definitely experienced far more excitement in the anticipation to these games than I have for any other. Knowing I'll be there with close mates of mine and enjoying the freedom to sing my heart out for the one club I love, without objection from others in attendance is entirely freeing.

Ironically it's because of the over-inflated ticketing prices and extortionate travel costs that would see this be the final game for my mate (@ParkLaneJames) before he escapes to work in America seemingly indefinitely. However, these events seek to ensure that we are still in touch with our club,  and I do question at times whether or not the spark between players and fans has been lost throughout the years. We planned to make this a big one, and after a short drive from Denham to the Red Lion pub in Barnet we bumped into a few more guys who were also going along. It was evident from the faces of both the young and old that the same passion was shared regardless. We were all there to sing, to give our voices to the club we love, and a 5.30pm meet at a pub felt like the most natural place to start.

It was all in good spirits. We were all there to sing, dance, chant, celebrate and repeat for 90mins non-stop. There was to be no disgruntled fans, no negativity post, pre or even during the game. We were there to have a good time and give the youth players a taste of what playing in the first team is like - or perhaps what used to be like, at least. These games feel like an escape from the commercial world we’re currently forced to follow Spurs in. An escape from the dictatorship that is Sky TV and the corporate bodies that fight to ensure that football is now just another form of entertainment. I love the eagerness there is to throw out new inventive and creative songs without the fear of being shut out or shot down. But most of all, I love that there are other fans in existence just like me.

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We sung down the high street and into a fairly empty ground at around 6pm, roughly an hour before kick off. We plastered the advertising hoardings in front of our stand with flags, and then started chanting. More and more soon entered the ground and joined in with us. We found ourselves in full voice with a huge crowd at around 6.30pm, and it had a fantastic community spirit about it. We were playing Arsenal away, standing on traditional terracing and together as one embarked on relentlessly singing without silence for the duration of the game. We sat down on bare ground to show our support, we removed footwear to showcase our love; we gave everything our voices had and collectively experienced pure ecstasy when we eventually scored. I even had a chat with a copper about the 1882 movement and the good nature surrounding it. He let me know that his brother was in the stand with us and he too was behind everything we were literally standing  for.

The unity of these games can’t be underplayed or undervalued. Soon enough it'll be the same faces returning to the same games; with lasting relationships built, friends made, and Tottenham on the whole will continue to, hopefully, grow to become a more and more close-knit fan community.

I can't honestly thank The Fighting Cock enough for organising such an inspiring, yet entirely necessary movement to anecdote modern football. I was there away at Charlton away at the very first 1882 event, and have yet to look back since. And I've yet to meet another person that has done either.

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Name - Ben Alfrey 

Twitter - @InsideN17

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