What does it mean to you to be a Devotion Scarf recipient?
“It’s a really big honor for me. I’ve been a fan of this club since day one and I love it. I’m one of the old fashion kind of guys. It’s my club. I’ve been lucky that I’ve literally been part of the club since the beginning.”
You’ve been apart of this club since 1974. Talk about how it all started.
“Well, in 1974 I met a guy named Paul Child in my store in Santa Clara with his wife. We got talking and we had met each other many, many years before when he was playing for Aston Villa and I was playing in England. He said he was joining the San Jose Earthquakes and I asked, ‘What’s that?’ He said, ‘It’s a new team. You should come out to a game.’ He got me a ticket, I came out to the game at Spartan Stadium and I watched it. It was one of the few times that I actually watched a game in the stands. After the game, he took me into the locker room and introduced me to the players including Johnny Moore. He introduced me to Milan Mandaric and he asked me what I thought of the match. I told him I loved it and that it was great that they won, but I thought the halftime entertainment wasn’t very good. He gave me this really dirty look and asked what I meant. I told him that with American sports, you have to provide a better game experience. A few days later, he called me and I went in and he hired me right there to work with the club.”
What would you say is your favorite moment in Quakes history?
"I have a lot. The one that jumps out to me the most was the comeback playoff win against the Galaxy. I hate that team. They know I hate them. We lost 2-0 down there in the first leg. We came back and they jumped out in the first 20 minutes to 2-0. I’m standing in between the benches and the LA Galaxy are celebrating as if they won the game. I seem to remember Cobi Jones coming over to the bench celebrating. And then the turnaround started. Goose [Jeff Agoos] started the comeback with the free kick. At Spartan, you had the metal seats where if you stomped your feet, it would make these rumbling noises. In the second half, the fans never stopped cheering. The hair on the back of your neck is standing up so you know it’s something special. Then finally they get the winning goal in overtime and everyone piled on top of each other to celebrate. It was magical.
"The first star we earned, the first championship, was special. We scored with DeRo [Dwayne De Rosario] at the end and I remember just getting soaked in champagne in the locker room. The second cup was really good, too.
"The other was the magical goal from George Best. It was my birthday. It was one of those few games that I didn’t work. I had a dozen or so friends in the gold section and sitting next to me was George Best’s wife. When he scored that goal, we were all celebrating together. It was such a special moment.”
Your journey to the club started across the pond. How did you end up in San Jose?**
"I was born in London, England at a place called Park Royal. My career was cut short after eight professional games. Back in the 60s, they tell you go get a job and your playing career is over. So I got a job driving an 18 wheeler around London delivering Harvey’s Bristol Cream. On weekends, I got into drag racing and there was an American team that came over. They invited me over to America, I loved it and I ended up getting a job in the U.S. I came to California and got into the t-shirt business, opened up a store in Santa Clara and I’m still here.
What would your message be to Quakes fans?*
“There’s good days and there’s always going to be bad days. You’re going to need to remember the good days and try your best to forget the bad ones because every team goals through cycles. We have a fantastic stadium and a good team.”