Over the course of his 17, almost 18-year career – so far – Darren ‘Shaggy’ Anderton has been most recognisable – when people think of him on the whole – for his time with Spurs.
The former England man maybe is better remembered for his days with Spurs but he will always have a special place in the hearts of Pompey fans.
He only played 70 odd games for us but the Southampton born midfielder was part of an exciting and attacking young side in the early 90s and the skinny, yet lanky youngster soon left an imprint on Pompey’s past that will see him forever remembered as.
He put in a series of impressive displays for the club – sadly my own personal memories are limited to what I saw on TV – most famously his goal against Liverpool in the 92 FA cup semi final that put us within minutes of the cup final, then up cropped Ronnie Whelan – who if memory serves me had already ‘taken’ Mark Chamberlain out of the game early on – with the late equaliser. We all know what happened after that…
Then ‘the bigger’ clubs started to make their moves and Spurs got their man, but at least we got Paul Walsh!
Terry Venables, the man that took Anderton to Spurs handed him his England debut in 94 as he was by then the England manager and he remained a regular in the national side from then on in, including a fantastic Euro 96, when he again suffered semi final heartache.
Throughout his Spurs career he was plagued by injuries, which earned him his ‘sick note’ tag but his quality always shone through and his willingness to play in an England B game saw him go to the 98 world cup – again he had an impact in an otherwise highly disappointing England showing.
Injuries limited his performances for England after that world cup but when looking over his career to help where needed in this article I found out an incredible fact about his last caps – does anyone happen to know what this is?
Anderton could have left Spurs several times but his loyalty to them always kept him at White Hart Lane, with moves to United – in 95 – and Leeds – in 2002 – when he would have linked up with Venables once again, rejected.
In 2003 it looked as though he would finally leave Spurs though, with it almost nailed on that he would return to Pompey after troubles at Spurs with then Spurs boss Glenn Hoddle, but these were sorted and he stayed.
Eventually a year later he did move on to Birmingham – with Pompey again linked – and after an injury plagued year re re-joined Hoddle again, then at Wolves before signing for Bournemouth in 2006, he is still with them now and captains them.
Harry Redknapp reckoned – after we played Bournemouth in a pre season friendly last summer – that Anderton could still play in the top flight in the right side, clearly this has not happened and probably never will but maybe one day Anderton might return to Pompey in some kind of role?
PLAY UP POMPEY!
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