I remember as the 70’s turned into the 80’s, and development of WHITE HART LANE was beginning.
In November 1980, work started to demolish the OLD WEST STAND (to be replaced with the current structure), and as a result of this
capacity was reduced, making it extremely difficult to obtain tickets (for all ticket games – as it was pay at the turnstiles in those days).
1980/81 was the season that Spurs reached the FA CUP FINAL (against MAN CITY), and during this amazing cup run, Spurs never left London until the SEMI FINAL at HILLSBOROUGH.
Drawn away to QPR in the 3rd round, Spurs were then drawn at home in the 4th (HULL CITY), 5th (COVENTRY CITY), and 6th (EXETER CITY) rounds, on route to the SEMI FINAL (even the SEMI FINAL REPLAY was in London at Highbury).
As the months went by, and the demolition phase started, it was sad to see the OLD WEST STAND being ripped apart. First it was gutted of all seats and stonework, leaving just a sad looking shell (see picture above). It was bizaar to see how quickly this was happening, and sad to see the once proud OLD WEST STAND reduced to rubble.
As I reflect on time’s gone by, I remember the games I saw while this work was taking place. Even though Spurs were moving on, and updating their “OUTDATED STADIUM”, I still remember the feeling of sadness, at seeing WHITE HART LANE like this. If you look at the two pictures above, you can see the “OLD SHELF-SIDE” through the shell of the OLD WEST STAND.
Once completely demolished, TOTTENHAM HIGH ROAD could be seen from the SHELF, as a huge gaping hole appeared where the OLD WEST STAND once stood proud, creating a 3 stand stadium at the LANE (see picture below).
It was eerie, and disjointed to see this huge space at the ground that I love, and have grown up with, still, the team kept winning, and I was lucky enough to still be getting tickets for the FA CUP games.
15 months later (FEB 1982), the NEW WEST STAND (the current structure) was officially opened for the visit of WOLVES. I remember standing in the SHELF as Spurs “DEMOLISHED” that WOLVES team 6-1. I remember staring in AWE at our modern NEW WEST STAND. These were times when Spurs were really “MARCHING ON”