How a Liverpool fan became a West Ham supporter


It was the 8th September 1958 when my father got his first taste of West Ham United; he had heard all the stories from the Cockneys on his bus route.

West Ham were still on flying form from the win of the Division Two title the previous season when they welcomed Manchester United to their ground, on this day. They were 7th in the division two table after five matches and had achieved three wins and a draw so far. They went straight to the top of the table that evening with a thrilling 3-2 win over the Red Devils that day. However, the score was not the real excitement as much as the player making his debut in the No. 6 shirt.

Bobby Moore was just over 17-years-old when he was handed his debut in place of Bill Lansdowne. Goals were scored by John Smith, John Dick and Malcolm Musgrove. These goals and the arrival of Bobby Moore onto the team made sure that the majority of the 35,672 crowd went home very happy with their West Ham. Possibly no one realised how significant this debut would be both to my father and the young Bobby Moore but it set them both on a path that they would stay on forever more. My father had never experienced anything quite like this before and the atmosphere and thrill of the game of West Ham football would stay in his blood from that day to this.

That season West Ham’s season remained good, in particular at home, and they won 15 of 21 games and finished 6th in the table.

Next Part

It’s a Saturday afternoon as I sit in my car, the cold wild Atlantic breeze rubs hard against my ageing skin. I ignite the engine and once again my thoughts flutter back to West Ham United. Over the last few weeks I have lived in a bubble of West Ham stories and tales. I think, sorry I know I have only scratched the surface of all those wonderful enchanting stories of West Ham and east London, but more important of the people who embraced my Father.

The hailstones hit the car hard and startles me back from my daydream. The time is moving and I have to bring my father down to the pub for the match. I pull the car up at his house and smile as I see the two garden gnomes in the West Ham shirts siting in the window. The reason he has two is that I got him one as a Christmas present. It arrived with a broken leg (We had a few players over the years with funny legs in the West Ham shirt haha) so the good people at the West Ham store sent us a replacement. The reason the gnomes are in the window instead of the garden is my father would never put something so special out in the Irish weather.

We get to the pub and one of the local lads who was sitting in Dad’s “chair” moves out and lets him sit down. Today West Ham are at Anfield, so I scroll down through Twitter and I see West Ham haven’t won there in 52-years. This is where my little confession comes out. As a young lad I had supported Liverpool. At the time all my mates were supporting Liverpool. When I became older I realised there was a big void and the truth was that I had made a mistake. I had always looked out for West Ham’s results even as a young lad. West Ham was the void that I was missing for so much of my younger years. Today I am West Ham through and through. The thing researching this story has shown me that West Ham has been in my blood for years and years. The other little twist is as my father and I are sitting watching this game from Anfield he still thinks I am a Liverpool supporter. The truth is I have been a West Ham fan all my life and Liverpool had disappeared from my soul a long time ago. West Ham United has and will always be more than a football club.

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