It was at White Hart Lane in the early days of the Premier League revolution when I was struck by my first bolt from football’s future.
Sheffield Wednesday were at Tottenham and the good folk of South Yorkshire had been plunged into a state of confusion having discovered there were pizza slices and hot dogs for sale but no pies. Imagine the shock.
Twenty-five years on and I’m back at the same venue, this time in the swish Spurs offices inside Lilywhite House with massive goggles strapped to my head and the unfamiliar feel of a games console in my hand, preparing to tour a stadium yet to be built via the concept of ‘augmented reality’
When Tottenham’s players had a go at this, Moussa Sissoko had to cut it short because he felt seasick. For once, it’s possible to understand where Sissoko is coming from.
There’s plenty to make your stomach turn as you sweep through the north London sky while bombarded with information about the ‘world’s most technologically advanced stadium’, set to open next year.
It is going to be ‘London’s biggest’ (apart from Wembley, of course, and Twickenham). There will be a retractable pitch and the UK’s biggest single-tier home end, with a capacity of 17,000, inspired by Borussia Dortmund’s Yellow Wall.
And the Tunnel Club will offer some very wealthy people an ‘exciting glimpse’ of the players through one-way glass as they prepare to take the field.
Manchester City are creating something similar at the Etihad Stadium — but it will not be ‘purpose built’ like this one.
Spurs will have windows built into the tunnel area at the end of a trendy bar and members will have tickets to watch the game from heated seats in the rows immediately behind the home dug-out.
‘Dangerous,’ said Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino with a smile when this was put to him. Pochettino, it is fair to assume, has been involved in plenty of tasty skirmishes in the tunnel.
Last season, he went on to the pitch at Stamford Bridge to separate players who wanted to fight. Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink was knocked to the floor when it all kicked off again near the tunnel at the end of the game.
‘There have been a lot of things,’ said Pochettino. ‘I can’t tell you what I’ve seen. You need to buy a ticket.’ Two tickets — they are only available as a pair — for the Spurs Tunnel Club will cost £19,000 per season, with 104 packages on offer and a one-off membership fee of £30,000.
These are not the most expensive seats in the stadium. Two tickets in the H Club will cost £30,000 per season, plus a £30,000 membership fee. Cheaper than Arsenal’s most exclusive package, it was stressed.
Inside the H Club — for which there are 176 packages available — there will be a Michelin star dining experience, with cheese waiter and sommelier on hand to select for you the perfect wine to accompany a disappointing draw against Stoke.
And there will be pies.