Spurs Tom writing the Budleigh story
- Credit: Archant
It is often the quiet heroes behind the scenes that make local football clubs so special.
One of those unsung stars at Budleigh Salterton is 74 year-old Conrad Thomas, known as Spurs Tom, who writes match reports for the Budleigh reserves, ladies and youth teams.
It is definitely a labour of love for Tom, a lifelong Tottenham fan (hence the Spurs moniker), who moved down to the Westcountry with his wife Julia in 2005.
“I came to Budleigh from London but I’m originally from a little island called Dominica in the West Indies,” said Tom. “I’ve lived in England for 65 years, in Budleigh since 2005, and I will be 75 in July.
“My passion for football started at as a youngster, where the great Rodney Marsh was in the year above me at our school in Stoke Newington.
“When I came to England in 1956, I knew nothing about football and Rodney Marsh was such an incredible footballer.
“We arrived in Budleigh after originally visiting on holiday and I started watching the youth-team on a Sunday. I would also watch the local cricket team.
“I began to notice that there were rarely any reports on the Budleigh reserves, so I decided to start writing up the matches and they were printed in the paper.
“I must say that none of it would be possible without the help of my wife Julia, who takes me to games and helps with the reports and pictures.
“When I gave up my old season-ticket at Tottenham, Budleigh Football Club became my second home for the weekend.
“I went all over Devon with the reserves and then started following the women’s team. I remember our first game against Tavistock and I joined them on the coach.
“We won the game and the ladies officially adopted me as their team mascot, eventually calling me Grandpa Tom.
“I have loved following the Budleigh teams around and writing reports. My only complaint with football is the lack of respect that has crept into the game, and that is toward officials and opposition players. It is something clubs at all levels need to improve.”