The West Ham games you wished you never missed

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radoslav-kovac-west-ham+croppedThrough a mix of actually attending games, watching them on TV and erm, sneakily watching them online, I rarely miss games. This season so far, I’ve had a perfect record of game watching— until Tuesday night.

I missed the Capital One Cup game against Burnley.

I had a work event and couldn’t watch the game. I couldn’t even pull out my phone and casually check results as said event was in an underground tunnel. It’s been a long time since a West Ham game has gone on that I’ve known nothing about until the end result, and now I feel like a bad supporter.

It’s tough to get a perfect attendance record for going to and watching games— especially given costs, work schedules, and illness— but that doesn’t stop me genuinely regretting missing games.

With that in mind, here’s a list of the games I wish I hadn’t missed over the past few years.

Millwall at Home 25 Aug 2009 and 04 Feb 2012

I missed one game through having surgery, and one game through a wedding, but it’s meant that I’ve never seen a West Ham v Millwall game. I feel like that is the one thing missing from my West Ham education (I only moved here 9ish years ago so I’ve got some catching up to do.) I missed out on the atmosphere of two clubs that truly hate each other, and— in the case of the 2009 game – the violence afterwards. I’m okay with missing the violence, but not with having never experienced a game against Millwall – especially given that we won both of the games. Get in.

Portsmouth at Home 26 Dec 2009

I’m probably the only West Ham fan who has a sinking feeling in their stomach when we’re at home on Boxing Day. Going to the USA every Christmas means I always miss the holiday home games. But in 2009, I thought my luck was finally going to change! I went to Luxembourg for Xmas, and flew back to London at 7 am on Boxing Day thinking I’d head to the West Ham game in the afternoon.

It was a great plan, a plan that could only have been made better if I had noticed the game kicked off at 13:00 and not 15:00. I went to leave for the ground around 2, and noticed a ridiculous amount of ‘where are you’ texts from my season ticket buddies. We went on to win the game 2-0 courtesy of a Alessandro Diamanti penalty and a goal from Radoslav Kovac, and the result moved us out of the relegation zone. I saw absolutely none of it, but have never heard the end of it. Gutted.

Wigan Athletic at Home, 24 April 2010

If April 2010 isn’t ringing any bells for anyone let me try a key word – ‘volcano.’ I was meant to be at that home game, but after a volcano erupted and shut down flights worldwide, I got stuck in Tunisia with no Internet, no TV coverage and horrific food poisoning. I’d have given anything to be at Upton Park that day instead.

If you read West Ham’s match report from the game (in which we won 3-2) the first sentence talks about Scott Parker’s “unforgettable” goal. There were a lot of unforgettable things about that holiday for me, but Scott Parker’s goal was not one of them, as I still haven’t seen it. I didn’t even know the score of the game till we arrived back in the UK days later. Awful.

At least with Burnley, we won, and I kind of get the idea from the match report that I didn’t miss too much—and no matter what, I will not miss the quarterfinals of the Capital One Cup. Well I say that now, but let’s see what weddings, volcanoes, and my inability to read a watch throw at me in the next few months.

What games have you missed and really regretted afterwards? What are your worst misses – or, alternately, games you thought you’d regret missing but didn’t? And what about the worst reason you’ve ever missed a game?

Let me know below or tweet me @makingthemarrow

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  • Hammerco says:

    I missed the 2001 cup win at Old Trafford while I was on holiday in Barcelona. The patrons of local bars picked up the words to “I’m forever blowing bubbles” pretty quickly once I took to the table tops.

  • Paul says:

    Going back to the days before every match was televised or recorded some fantastic games remain only in the fading memory of those who were there…. I missed these two and have always regretted it:

    West Ham 4 Everton 3 16th Feb 1974 0-2 down came back to win! Have searched online for archived newspaper match reports but can’t find anything. Any ideas?

    West Ham 3 Eintracht Frankfurt 1 ECWC SF 14th April 1976 – great game! But I did get to the final in Belgium vs Anderlecht.

    The game I’d wished I’d missd was loosing 3-4 to WBA after being 3-0 up in less than
    20 mins! What a shocker!

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