Over the last week or two we have been conducting interviews with overseas Spurs fans from around the world. We want to understand the level of support outside of England , and what it’s like to be a Tottenham fan living abroad.
Today we meet with Sverker, a Tottenham supporter from Stockholm.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Sverker Otterström, I’m 47 years and I live in Stockholm Sweden.
Are you part of any supporters club, and if so, tell us a bit about it?
I’m a member of Spurs Sweden that was formed in 2004. We currently have approximately 1750 members. The last 4-5 years we have grown with 100-150 members per year. As Sweden is a very long country and we have members all over the place it’s hard to keep personal contact with everybody. But since a couple of years ago we have a very lively chat forum on Facebook with more than 2200 members where we can interact on a daily basis.
Where do you watch games?
I often watch the games at home when I’m not over in England watching live of course. As a result of our chat forum people often meet up in different places all over Sweden to watch together. In Stockholm there’s always someone down at a pub called Retro Sportsbar. So if you’re in Stockholm for a visit contact us on Facebook (@tottenhamsweden) or Twitter (@TottenhamSweden)
Why Tottenham? How and why did you end up following Spurs?
The main reason for me was because of a sports show on TV in the late 70s and beginning of the 80s, which showed one match from England every Saturday. In these days the games from the Swedish League were not on TV so it was natural that everyone had an English team. The founder of the show was a Spurs fan so maybe he showed Tottenham more than other clubs. But it was the style of football, the white shirts, the name Tottenham Hotspur and, of course, Glenn Hoddle that caught my eye and the rest is, as they say, history.
Would you say that Spurs were a big club in terms of support/fan base in your part of the world?
When I started to support Spurs I think I was the only one in my class and school that did so. In Sweden at that time most people supported Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester United.
Is Tottenham’s profile growing in your part of the world?
Thanks to the team’s performance the last few years, and the rise of stars like Kane, Eriksen and Dele I would say that the support for Tottenham is growing in Sweden. Today you can see young children with Spurs kits which was not common just a couple of years ago. This season is the first that I’ve seen Spurs kits on sale in stores in Sweden.
Do you get to attend many live games? And If so, how often?
I try to go to 4-6 games every season. My next planned game is Leicester and I hope that we will make it to the FA cup final and I can get hold of a ticket.
Do you have any sort of relationship with the club, and/or other supporters groups?
As I’m our Supporters Clubs Chairman, and responsible for tickets, I have a weekly contact with the club regarding tickets for our members. At the yearly Supporter Clubs Awards (where we present a prize to the best player and goal of the season) I’ve meet people from lots of other Supporter Clubs that I keep in contact with via Twitter. We have had official events together with Chicago and Norway Spurs at some of our members trips to London during the last years.
Do you get many English Spurs fans visit your area? And if so, what is their response/reaction on seeing the local support?
There’s often questions from travelling fans were to go for matches when they visit Sweden and often they are surprised of the level of support we have for Tottenham.
How would you describe Tottenham’s season so far? Are you happy with performances?
Before the season I was nervous about Wembley and how the team would perform there but now they have proved that there was no reason for that. The progress from our group in the Champions League was pure class and we should have won against Juventus as we played the best football over the two games. Over all I’m really happy with the season so far and now I would like us to finish second in the league again and to win the FA cup!
Which players have stood out for you the most this year?
It will be a long list! Kane, Eriksen, Dembele, Dele, Super-Jan, Son, and of course Lamela that I’ve had a soft spot for since he joined Spurs!
Are there any specific Tottenham players that are particularly popular in Sweden?
I would think all of the ones that I mentioned above, but Eriksen, as he’s the closest to a Swedish player in Spurs we have, is probably the most popular.
How do you feel about the management of Tottenham since Mauricio Pochettino took over?
He’s magic you know! I would not change Pochettino for any other coach in the world. When he was appointed I can confess that I didn’t know that much about him and there were other more high profile names that sounded more suited for the job. I must hand it to Levy that he did good on this one. Poch must be the best transfer that Tottenham have done!
How do you think that the new stadium will affect the club?
I think that the move back to Tottenham and the new stadium will have a great positive effect on the club. It’s not the same on match day to walk up to Wembley as it is to walk up High Road. The stadium looks great but it’s not WHL. I know that WHL was old and rough around the edges, and it was impossible to get a beer at half time, but what a place for football and for Spurs! On the negative side we have the season ticket pricing.
What would you like to see from Tottenham going forward, for the rest of this season and beyond?
As mentioned earlier I would like Spurs to finish second in the league and to lift the FA cup trophy in May. For the future I hope that Pochettino will stay on and will get the time and funds to keep up his magic. I would love to see Kane at Spurs for the rest of his career.
And finally, is there anything you would like to add?
I just want to say that I’m proud to be a member of the growing Spurs family and that we should keep up supporting our team and every player that has the opportunity to wear the Tottenham shirt! COYS!