How often do you walk away from a game of football after watching your beloved team lose 3-1 after leading 1-0 at home with the prospect of a nightmare 100-mile journey home and feel good about it?
I felt nothing but pride as I walked away from the Boleyn Ground after the Arsenal game. There has always been something special about games under the lights at Upton Park, one of the reasons why I don’t want to move to the Olympic Stadium (that’s a debate for another day). Feeling the buzz of the crowd in the air, the stands full of excited children ranging from seven to 70 years old and the smell of the grass and expectation is like a drug. Meeting up with the regulars either in the Duke over a pint or as we take our seats adds to the experience.
The feeling in the pit of my stomach is the same today as A team we can be proud of Words: Kerry Warren it was the first time I stood on a milk crate in the North bank in 1974. The difference these days is the added pride and emotion of having my eldest son Ben, 15 years old already standing next to me in our regular season ticket places in the Bobby Moore lower. We have been home and away (including Toronto & Palermo) together for the last 10 years and having him there with me just adds to the day.
I had never been a fan of Big Sam, but I am now. He has given a shape, backbone, pride and togetherness I haven’t seen since the day of Billy Bonds. We have always gone into games with hope and expectation but now we have a team who can back it up. We are no longer a team who will roll over and when we get a lead we now have a chance of seeing it out.
We have a tricky next few games and we must keep up the work rate and hope we get a few slices of luck. The commitment was evident in the QPR game last Monday and we need to maintain it to have a healthy points return by Christmas. I would like to pay a personal tribute to a true West Ham legend John Bond. During the late 70’s when JB was living in Norwich my Dad and I bumped into him in the day room on Deophen ward in the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital.
His wife was on the same ward as my mum. He was in the day room smoking a cigar the size of a French stick. From that day on we saw a lot of him and visited his home on a number of occasions. He was a great support to me and my family during a very sad time. JB’s wife happily came out of hospital – my mum sadly did not. He kept in touch right up to my Dad passing away in 1987. JB was a top man and a great support. Sadly missed.