Celtic signing Hooper: Tottenham rejection hurt, I want revenge

Celtic signing Gary Hooper admits he's a Tottenham reject - and would love to knock them out of the Champions League.

Celtic signing Gary Hooper admits he's a Tottenham reject - and would love to knock them out of the Champions League.

Tottenham rewarded his devotion by giving him brutal rejection - judging his seven years as a schoolboy player on the strength of a 20-minute trial.

Heartbroken and crushed, Hooper could easily have turned his back on football and given up on his ambition to make it big as a striker.

Now he'd love to help KO Braga in the Champions League third round qualifier - to set up a possible date with Spurs in a play-off for the group stages.

Hooper told the Scottish Sun: "I was released by Spurs when I was 14, I had been with them for seven years.

"I went on a 20-minute trial - just 20 minutes of one game and they said no.

"How they can judge you on 20 minutes I'll never know. After that I went to play for Malden Town in Essex, then went to Grays Athletic when I was 15.

"I spent a few years there before Southend took a chance and gave me a contract and it went from there.

"The rejection from Tottenham has motivated me a lot. I want to prove to them I can play at the highest level.

"I felt sad, but when you are younger you just want to play football.

"Even though it was Sunday League after Spurs let me go I was happy."

The former Scunthorpe United star added: "Hopefully I can play against Spurs and score. Going to White Hart Lane in the Champions League would be nice, scoring against them would be even better.

"The disappointment of being released by Spurs has never left me - and ever since I've been trying my hardest to show what I can do.

"Spurs didn't believe in me and I think I've proved them wrong by joining Celtic."

 
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