Dave Barry is an associate German professor at Wittenberg who loves Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premiere League more than almost anything.
“Dave’s love of Spurs (as the team is known) is deep and abiding,” friend Doug Andrews said. “It’s even greater than his love of Guinness and Heineken and his antipathy towards Spurs’ rivals Arsenal and Chelsea.”
Barry’s love for Tottenham, however, has not always been as prominent as it is today. Barry grew up in Ireland and became part of the vast number of Irish people who immigrated through the Liverpool area of England in the process.
“Irish fans tended to go with one of the two big Liverpool sides [Liverpool and Everton],” Barry recalled. “There is a great history of Irish immigration through Liverpool. It is just across the water from Dublin.”
This made Barry into an Everton fan as a child, but along the way, something changed.
“One of my cousins became so addicted (to Tottenham) that it rubbed off on the rest of the family,” Barry said. “I am kind of a Spurs fan more or less in his honor the past 15 or 20 years.”
Barry also mentioned that his cousin goes to more than 80 percent of games home or away, something he himself would not mind doing.
Barry’s love for Tottenham is not a form of love that comes with obliviousness. When talking about how he thought Spurs would do in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League, Barry was very practical.
“I do fancy our chances to get onto the next stage past the group,” Barry said. “It would be great to see them in the final stages. I don’t know how they’d fare against one or two of the giants, but given the way they’re playing if not consistently, certainly on occasion, you have to give them a chance.”
It was a spot on reflection of what has been a fantastic Champions League performance that saw the Hotspurs advance through the group stage beating Borussia Dortmund and Apoel.
He also predicted the most anticipated matches of the stage, the away and home games against Real Madrid.
“I think a draw is the most we could expect,” at Real Madrid’s home stadium, Santiago Bernabeu, Barry said.
The result was 1-1.
“I fancy us pulling off a result when we play at home against Madrid,” he added, a prediction that came true when the Spurs pulled off at 3-1 win at Wembley Stadium.
The last thing Barry talked about was his favorite Tottenham player, which was neither Harry Kane or Dele Alli, two favorites among many Hotspur fans.
“I like Moussa Dembele,” the box-to-box midfielder, Barry said. “There is something majestic about the way he moves the ball around. It is brilliant to watch.”
Tony Hancock, a famous London comedian of the ’60s, once vented about why he felt there was a national decline in conversational standards.
“When do you get to converse intelligently anymore?” he’d ask his friends at the bar. He then insisted, “Nobody seems interested any longer in the vital issues of the day: international political tensions, the Cold War, famine in Africa and Tottenham Hotspur.”
This is a quote that essentially sums up the life of Barry. Barry may be passionate about a variety of other things including teaching and learning the German language, politics, poetry and Margaret Thatcher, as well as movies of the ’40s and ‘50s. But there is no questioning his passion for Tottenham Hotspur. It is a sense of passion that will stick with him forever.