On the plus side for West Ham fans


Upton ParkMy fellow long suffering Hammers. After the briefest hints of warmth and sunlight, on the opening day of the Premier League season, when we eased past a rather sedate and bemused looking Cardiff City, and of course a few weeks back when we managed to empty White Hart Lane of its home support in record time. It would seem that the wind driven snow and ice of a long hard season has arrived all too sharpish for everyone’s liking. I personally start to panic and hyper-ventilate about results/performances/substitutions around February / March so its hit especially early this year and I’m fully unprepared!

We are already scuffling around to batten down the hatches, turn up the fire, and stare gloomily out of the window as we wait for the next bizarre instalment of The West Ham Story, and asking ourselves such deep and meaningful questions, such as: If we changed to 0-6-4 would we find the net a bit more often? Does Jussi Jaaskelainen really thinks it’s illegal for goalkeepers to attempt to move and save direct free kicks? Is big James Collins actually aware that fouling in deep areas can lead to goals against, and that doing it regularly can lead to …err……..more goals against? Are Matt Jarvis & Stewart Downing TRULY happy and content spending matches firing crosses into an empty, cavernous, and lonely looking 18 yard box? Does Sam Allardyce realise that by uttering the words: “not really your best game today Kev” he will not go to hell or be eternally damned? and next time one of our corner kicks actually clears the first defender, shouldn’t the team go into a huddle to celebrate, or perhaps  instigate a low-level firework display in the surrounding streets??

So lets look at three of the great plusses of supporting the mighty Hammers in times of trepidation. Where can we find just a hint of solace when all seems so bleak…

1. It’s a bloody great colour combination claret & blue and surely one of the best looking kits in the footballing world. We may be sitting in The Boleyn watching another direct free kick go….err…directly in but we all look quite smart. Remember that.

2. Pie & mash is an excellent pre-match nerves soother and being a native food can be found within very close proximity to Upton Park. For novices and newcomers to the pie; beware the chilli infused vinegar lulls you in and then…. BOOM!

3. The club shop. An absolute must-do to fill in that awkward twilight period that lies between pie & msh gluttony and kick-off time. If you haven’t been fortunate enough to experience at first hand the Pamplona Bull Run, then a 20 minute visit to the Hammers shop is probably the next best thing.

You can experience goring, snarling charging, tripping, body-checking and overall mayhem as excited and unruly punters stock up with all manner of Irons related items from mouse traps and Alan Devonshire approved leg-warmers to knitted tea-pot covers (based on the excellent 1988/89 season away kit) and oxy-acetylene welding gear.

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Plaistow born Spencer is a lifelong Hammer and having spent half-a century plus, enduring this lifelong obsession, along with every other West Ham supporter, knows exactly what it takes and what it means to wrap that Claret & Blue scarf round your neck every other Saturday and head off for the Boleyn !

A Chartered Surveyor by profession, Spencer, now 58, has played, coached and managed at semi-pro level within Essex for a number of clubs, and, simply unable to give up playing, currently turns out for the Iron Maiden Over 35’s side when he is not watching the Hammers, playing guitar in his Classic Rock covers band Gunrunner, or more probably, injured yet again!

  • John Barry says:

    This is the trouble with West Ham. They seem to treat the game as a bit of a joke, as in they don’t take it seriously. If you asked any Liverpool fan if they compared football to life & death, they’d say no, it’s much more important than that. Don’t you think there was a reason why Brendan Rogers couldn’t do enough to get rid of Andy. Liverpool even had to pay him 1 million to make him leave. Liverpool haven’t looked back since and could very well win the title this season, but no, Sam takes Carroll in hook line & sinker, building a team around a man who isn’t there & with 4 injuries in 1 year, it doesn’t look like he’ll ever be there. West Ham waste too much money, they don’t take the game seriously and are headed for the scrap heap if they don’t sharpen their ideas up. Really I’m a bit surprised, what with Allardyce being a northerner & all that (well midlands anyway), as well as having connections with tough northerners of where the professional game was born & bred from, and been amongst people who take the game very seriously indeed. I don’t think West Ham respect their own fans feelings, and fans who do treat this game as more important than life and death. I always thought that Sam did. You can see from my name that I am a tough Celt & I ain’t impressed with West Ham’s form one bit and I reckon that if the next game is lost, then Sam’s gone. The rumours are building and the players don’t need the pressure.

  • Stefjuan says:

    I thought you had a good article here until I read about colours, food and merchandise… instead of actual football content

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