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Why sports-loving Bruce Forsyth was fan of both Arsenal AND Tottenham

Date Posted,August 18, 2017

Sports-loving Sir Bruce Forsyth, who has died aged 89, loved a good game, good game, and unusually supported BOTH North London football rivals.

The king of catchphrases and Saturday night telly started out as a boyhood Arsenal fan growing up in Edmonton.

He once explained: “I’m mad about football, I support Spurs and Arsenal.

“I know this isn’t supposed to happen but as a kid during the war Arsenal’s ground was a searchlight base for German bombers so they used the Spurs ground and I grew up watching both teams.”

Bruce Forsyth on the ball on Brighton beach the day before the 1974 cup final (Image: Mirrorpix)

Speaking to TalkSPORT in recent years, he explained further.

Asked which team he really supported, he replied: “I’m both. I know that’s a great rarity. How can you be both a Spurs and an Arsenal supporter? But I am.

During the war, the Arsenal was a searchlight base during the air raids so they didn’t have their own [ground].

So they did a reciprocal thing with the Spurs so they played every other week at the Spurs.

So I’d see the first teams on both weeks at White Hart Lane. And I got to love the Arsenal players just as much as I’d love the Spurs.”

Classic clip of Brucie entertaining the Cup Final crowd in 1974 (Image: YouTube)
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At the 1974 FA Cup final, he was the pre-match entertainment, running on the pitch showing his dribbling skills, and rousing the Liverpool and Newcastle fans.

Football wasn’t the only sport he was keen on, however, and he played golf off an eight handicao at his best.

He said in 2013: “I would like to be better at golf though. I was an eight handicap but now I’m 14. I say to my wife, ‘we’ve been married 30 years and you’ve cost me a shot every five!’”

At charity events he played with many famous names and none more so than Bing Crosby.

Golfing pals Terry Wogan, Henry Cooper, Bruce Forsyth and Jimmy Tarbuck (left to right) in 1985 (Image: Phil Sheldon/Popperfoto/Getty)

He explained: “I love golf too. But I’ve never played it in front of so many people as the time when Burt Lancaster was on Bing Crosby’s team of Americans at a Gleneagles tournament.

“The crowd was 10 deep on each side of the fairway. I think everyone was a bit in awe of Burt, who was tremendous.”

In 2012, he had the honour of carrying the Olympic torch from BBC White City on day 69 of its journey to the London Games.

Sir Bruce Forsyth sets off with the Olympic Torch from BBC White City in 2012 (Image: AFP)
Bruce Forsyth and his wife Wilnelia at Royal Ascot 2015 (Image: Getty)

In recent years, his third wife Wilnelia said he loved to watch football on TV.

One of his last sporting events was when the couple went to Ascot in June 2015.

The last public picture of Brucie was just four months later outside the ITV studios in October 2015

After suffering with ill health, Sir Bruce had spent the last 18 months recovering.

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