Former Tottenham Hotspur player, coach and interim manager Clive Allen is a fantastic character – and one whose drive for sport really has to be appreciated.
Clive could have bowed out of playing sport when he finished his career as a footballer in 1995.
However, he instead took the opportunity to try his hand – or rather, his foot – at another sport; American Football.
I had the pleasure of spending my afternoon with Clive, as well as fellow Spurs legend Darren Anderton (below), last weekend, courtesy of Grosvenor Casinos.
Clive was more than happy to discuss his time as an American football kicker with me.
He played for the London Monarchs back in 1997, following a call from NFL Europe asking if he’d be interested in giving it a try:
I got a call from NFL Europe and they asked if American football was something i’d be interested in.
I thought it was a wind-up at first, but once I was convinced that it wasn’t someone trying to have a laugh with me, I said i’d give it a go.
Allen went over to America for a training camp before the 1997 season and explained to me that he was impressed with how committed the younger players are to the sport and how much playing American football means to them.
We were provided quite a humorous moment in the conversation when Clive told me that he was previously unaware of just how much a kicker is a target for a big tackle:
I didn’t think a kicker would get hit… I thought it was a case of me coming onto the field, giving the ball a good thump then going off!
He was soon told otherwise by his fellow special teams players – of course, the kicker is probably only second to the quarterback in a list of positions you want to leave a big hit on!
Having spoken to Clive about the sport and how it both varies and parallels English football, such as the Premier League, I do wonder whether or not any current players might consider kicking in NFL Europe, like Allen himself.
Could we see another Spurs man switching sports? Harry Kane doesn’t seem too bad from field goal range…
YouTube: NFL Superbowl Field Goal Challenge ft. Harry Kane
Thanks to Grosvenor for hosting the event. You can visit their website here: GrosvenorCasinos.com