Girlz and Spurs goalie Spencer boasts of one-in-a-million father
Rebecca Spencer’s professional football career has been extremely exciting and prosperous in every aspect, but the amazing Reggae Girl claims that her father’s devoted love and support have been the driving force behind it all.
With the exception of their birthdays, children only get to spoil the most important man in their lives on Father’s Day. According to Spencer, this is the one day she truly wants to express her gratitude to her father, Walter Spencer, for everything he has done for her throughout her life.
Although it can be challenging to express all of those feelings in the right words, Spencer, a goalkeeper for Tottenham Hotspur of the FA Women’s Super League and the Jamaica women’s national team, would not be where she is in her career if it weren’t for her father’s support and direction.
“He’s always been a great supporter of me through football. He always supported me; he always gave me a way to go; he always gave me great advice with everything,” the English-born Spencer told the Jamaica Observer.
“When I’m playing bad, he tells me, and when I’m playing good, he also tells me, and so it’s sort of a love-hate kind of thing with him. But he’s very honest. Yeah, and I love him for it. So, you know, if it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be here,” the 32-year-old further stated.
Spencer, who came through the ranks at Arsenal and has had brief stints with both Birmingham City and French club ASJ Soyaux, said that she didn’t need to tell her father she wanted to play football since it was in her DNA, and he was on her side from the start.
“I was about eight when I started playing football. I was at Arsenal from a really, really young age, and all my siblings play football, so I kind of followed in their footsteps. I’m one of five. So I’m the youngest of five. So I’ve kind of followed in their footsteps. And, yeah, here I am.
“I didn’t have to tell him [Walter]. I think he knew because I was kicking the ball anyway, and at such a young age, he already knew. But obviously, he was proud of me. And he’s always encouraged me to be my best and, yeah, to just do it and enjoy it really,” said Spencer, who had represented England at Under-19 and Under-20 levels.
Spencer claimed that her father watches most, if not all, of her matches and she can guarantee that he will give her his opinion of the game; whether it be positive or negative, she’ll be given the speech.
“Yeah, obviously, I’m much older now. So I make my own way, you know, through things and make my own decisions and stuff. But, you know, back in England, my parents come to my games. My dad comes to most of my games back home when he can. So he’s still there.
“He watches it on TV and kind of tells me what I’ve done well and what I’ve done badly. So he still supports me in every way he can. And, yeah, we still have a lot of phone calls. Yeah, we do. We speak on the phone a lot. Obviously, we don’t live together anymore. And, yeah, we do a little FaceTime after my game every Sunday, and I just asked him how he thought I’d played.
“But, yeah, he always encourages me still, and you know, he always just says football is a big part of your life. But, you know, after a game, if you’ve lost the game or you haven’t had a good performance, he always says, “Football is a big part of your life, but it’s not everything. Remember, you’ve got a good family, you’ve got a roof over your head, and you’ve got food on your table,” Spencer explained.
“I wouldn’t say he criticises me, but he’s very honest. And he does tell me if I’m not, if I haven’t had a decent game, if there was a shot that I should have saved, or if I should have done better.
“But, yeah, he wouldn’t criticise me to the point where it would upset me or anything like that. He’s always been very honest. And, you know, it just keeps me grounded and very humble,” she added.
Spencer, who initially took the field as a striker, explained her decision to switch to goalkeeping.
“I think it’s, you know, a tough position to play in, but I kind of enjoy the risk element of playing. There’s only one goalkeeper on a team. And we’re the last line of defence.
“And I think I like the fact that I’m there for the team when I can be, and I can, you know, win or lose a game for a team, so it’s not always great. But, you know, as a goalkeeper, I really thrive off it. I love it.” She said.