Spurs must avoid repeat of Perryman's darkest nights

Own goal then red card for legend who still seethes over injustice in Madrid which left 'nasty taste'

If Harry Redknapp's Tottenham Hotspur players are hoping Tuesday brings one of the nights of their lives under the Bernabeu lights, for Steve Perryman the club's one previous encounter with Real Madrid was more the stuff of nightmares.

Perryman was captain of the Tottenham side whose Uefa Cup defence ended at the hands of Madrid, the eventual winners, in the 1984-85 quarter-finals and, for the then 33-year-old, things could scarcely have turned out worse. Not only did he score the own goal that separated the teams at White Hart Lane – Spurs' first home defeat in Europe – but he was then sent off in a second-leg stalemate that even today stirs a sense of injustice.

A contemporary match report at the conclusion of the 1-0 aggregate defeat suggested Perryman would "never forget his two nights of darkness" and he has not forgotten Swiss referee Bruno Galler's decision to disallow Mark Falco's headed goal for a push, shortly before his 78th-minute dismissal. "We came out of it thinking Real needed a slice of luck, which was an own goal, unfortunately by me, and an incredibly bad decision by the referee," says Perryman, now director of football at League One Exeter City.

"He got up between two defenders and headed in – there was a metre's daylight between each defender," he adds of Falco's Bernabeu strike. "It was great to play against a fantastic club but we came away with a nasty taste. There was a bit of doubt as to the validity of the result." According to The Times, the referee had "hesitated suspiciously" before penalising Falco.

Perryman's personal horror show began 12 minutes into the first leg when Spurs keeper Ray Clemence got his hand to an Emilio Butragueño cross but "touched it on to my chest and the momentum of me running back knocked the ball into an empty net". His red card in Madrid followed a crude body-check on Jorge Valdano – retribution for a nasty challenge by the Argentinian, who is now Real's director general.

"I was a little bit selfish, which was unusual for me," Perryman says. "I got a bit of revenge on Valdano, who really did me badly from behind down the Achilles. Ossie [Ardiles] told me later he'd thought I was [Graham] Roberts, because Roberts had apparently kicked him. It was my last ever game in Europe so a shame it ended that way."

For Perryman, Spurs' record appearance-maker with 64 in Europe and 866 overall, it was a sad close to a long European career. A 20-year-old in Bill Nicholson's team that beat Wolves to win the all-English Uefa Cup final in 1972, he was captain 12 years later as Keith Burkinshaw's side reclaimed the trophy – although he was suspended for the second leg of the final against Anderlecht.

According to the 59-year-old, "Bill Nick", his old boss, "would be purring" at the manner in which Tottenham have lit up Europe this term. "I said to someone the other day that Bill Nicholson, bless him, would be really proud of Harry and his style and his team. It has progressed since he took over. They can go a goal down and get back. They can hit people with pace, go aerial, or a combination. They have some terrific match-winning players like [Luka] Modric, who I love, and [Rafael] Van der Vaart.

"What I like about Harry is he is coping with so many flair players as a unit, and if you get the combination of that you've got a real chance," adds Perryman, who considers this to be Spurs' finest crop since they last visited the Bernabeu. Tottenham's starting XI then featured six homegrown players who "had a true feeling about the club" and no lack of talent, as Perryman underlines. "When you have Glenn Hoddle and Ossie Ardiles in a team you can compete with the best."

Perryman was Ardiles's assistant manager during the Argentinian's 17 months in charge in 1993-94 and he maintains his good friend was "in the right job at the wrong time". Experiences such as working under Alan Sugar at Tottenham made him wary of those with "money and power telling me what I should and should not be thinking about football" so he found success instead managing in Japan, and now with an Exeter side promoted twice in four seasons.

Yet if he does not miss the "spin and image and ego" prevalent in top-level football today, he will still be glued to his TV down in Devon on Tuesday, hoping his Spurs successors can avoid the unhappy fate his own team suffered at the Bernabeu all those years ago.

Real Madrid v Tottenham is on Sky Sports 2 on Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm

Arts & Entertainment
tvGrace Dent on TV
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Life & Style
The exterior of a central London Angus Steakhouse
food + drink
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Sport
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives in the rain during the qualifying session of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai
sport
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Arts & Entertainment
filmLife for Leslie Mann's can be challenging sometimes
Voices
For music lovers: John Cusack with his vinyl collection in 'High Fidelity'
voices...but don't forget rest of the year
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit