Frédéric La Roche - Spurs Fan

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Frédéric La Roche

Tottenham Hotspur Fan

It’s something magical to me about this sport, how it can unite people from all walks of life in a special way.
— Frédéric La Roche

FATC: What made you first fall in love with football? 
FLR: Watching the Belgian national team play. It was seemingly the one thing that could bring people together in a fairly divided country. When the Belgian Red Devils played, it didn’t matter anymore who spoke French, Dutch and/or German. At that moment everyone felt Belgian and proud. It’s something magical to me about this sport, how it can unite people from all walks of life in a special way.

FATC: How did you come to support Tottenham Hotspur? 
FLR: In 2012 Belgium didn’t qualify for the UEFA European Championship for a 3rd time in a row. I started becoming interested in why our players weren’t maybe “good enough” to get us through and so I started looking up where they all played at club level and follow their development. My favourite player in our national team at that time (and still is) was Jan Vertonghen. It was also that summer that he moved to Tottenham Hotspur. I watched multiple clubs where Belgian players were active, but one club kept exciting me the most and that was Spurs. There was that sparkle that Gareth Bale gave to the team and the love I had for watching Jan Vertonghen play, but it was definitely more than that which got me to become a Spurs supporter. The incredible support from the fans, the passion on the pitch and the love for football itself all sums up what I consider a special club. If I had to point out one moment where I became a supporter and didn’t look back, it’s the game at Old Trafford that year. 2 – 3 on the board. Yes Ferguson, it's Tottenham.

FATC: What are your earliest football memories? 
FLR: I’d probably say joining the academy of my local football club at 7 years old. Learned to play for about 2 years, but racial problems arose during that time involving the coach. My parents noticed and it ended there. 

FATC: What is the hardest thing about being a Tottenham Hotspur fan? 
FLR: Especially in recent years, feeling like we’re nearly there to achieve something special after years of building. Waiting for this incredible group of players and the staff to have something shiny to bookmark their success. As a fan, I want them to succeed and be rewarded for their efforts on and off the pitch. 

FATC: What is the best thing about being a Tottenham Hotspur fan? 
FLR: The privilege of watching a team play with the desire not just to get a result, but also to play some beautiful football. (Bragging rights after winning a NLD are also amazing.)

FATC: What is your favourite football memory? 
FLR: Belgium beating Brazil this year at the 2018 World Cup.

FATC: What is your worst football memory? 
FLR: Newcastle vs. Tottenham Hotspur 15/05/2016

FATC: Who is your favourite Tottenham Hotspur player of all time? 
FLR: I’m going again with Jan Vertonghen. He played a big role in getting me to know Spurs and I love watching him play. Technically gifted defender with an immense work rate. 

FATC: Who is your favourite non-Tottenham Hotspur player of all time? 
FLR: Franz Beckenbauer. Inventor of the modern sweeper role and by far one of the greatest central defenders of all time. I’m a fan of the defensive side of the game and he exemplifies everything there is to love about observing the genius of a central defender. 

FATC: Preud’homme or Pfaff? 
FLR: Preud’homme, always. Reliable, level headed, consistent and humble. 

J.S. Leatherbarrow