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Townsend: I was Spurs reject (before McDermott stepped in)

Andros Townsend has revealed his Tottenham career almost ended before it kicked off.

The England winger was axed by the club's academy when a teenager.

"I'd grown up a Spurs fan and always wanted to play for them, so to be told you're not good enough is obviously heartbreaking," he recalls. Amazingly, he was granted a stay of execution, with academy head John McDermott overruling the decision.

"John McDermott and Chris Ramsey took over and gave me a second chance, so I've been grateful for that. I'm not too sure of the details but I remember getting told one day that I was being released and then the next day being told I was back in.' Then there was the loan spell with Yeovil at 17, where he lived at a basic Dorset hotel for three months with fellow Spurs man Jonathan Obika, smuggling a portable oven and hob into their room to cook tea.

"We took an electric stove in the hotel - we just snuck it in, we were hiding it in the cupboard - and used to take turns to cook and clean for each other. We went there so young and naive but also professional, wanting to do everything right and make our first loan successful. It was a humble beginning really."

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