Saturday, 26 February 2011

AT THE DOUBLE by Rob White

AT THE DOUBLE by Rob White

Rob is the son of the late, great John White of Tottenham Hotspur FC and Scotland and this is how we met.

When I go to bed, I always shake to begin with but then gradually, I fall into a semi sleep and then go into adeep sleep when I don't shake at all; in fact, I hardly move. However, I wake up in the night, go to the loo and then go to sleep in the spare room to avoid disturbing Jane. Stick with me on this. Sometimes, I find it hard to go to sleep immediately so, instead of counting sheep, I go through each member of the Spurs' team that won the "Double" (ie the League Championship and FA Cup) in 1961. I start with the goalkeeper, Bill Brown, but by the time I get to the centre half, Maurice Norman, I am asleep. There is a point to all this, I promise. Anyway, one morning I woke up and thought how good it would be to interview the surviving members of that team or their widows so I wrote to each of them care of Spurs and started to receive telephone calls and letters from my footballing heroes. One such call was from Rob who was calling on behalf of his mother and we had a great chat during which he told me that he had just written a book about his father called "Ghost" and that during the writing of the book, he had interviewed his former team mates and that he would ssend me their contact numbers.When subsequently, I received his email, I noticed that he signed it "Rob White - Photographer".........

So, now you see the point of this slightly long-winded story.

I met Rob at his studio in Clerkenwell (his speciality is food photography, incidentally) and I was struck immediately at how much he looked like his father. I had already talked to him about my own father and that we had something in common in that our respective fathers had both died when we were very young. I showed him my project on his computer and then he took this brilliant photograph of me using an incredibly bright circular light that was fitted to the lens of the camera which produced a very clear defined image which he felt was very much "me". I think he is right but, strangely, it does also have a sort of ghostly feel to it but maybe I am reading too much into it. Either way, I love it and I am very proud of its associations and very honoured to have met Rob who is very much liked by the old Spurs' players I have since met.
Rob White

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