‘We must always believe in Carlton Cole – he is West Ham’

Grid girl and Irons fanatic Hannah Clegg on an unusual taste in men

During the working week, she works as a mortgage advisor but at weekends Hannah Clegg has been lighting up the British Touring Car Championship as a grid girl for up-andcoming driver Aidan Moffat.

As well as being a huge motorsport fan, Swindon-based Hannah is also a football-mad Hammer and recently donned the claret and blue for a shoot with talented photographer Steve Antrobus outside the Olympic Stadium. Blowing Bubbles was invited to speak to Hannah during the shoot on a beautiful day in Stratford earlier this month, and editor David Blackmore couldn’t resist popping down for a not so quick chat.

Our first question is answered by Hannah without a moment’s pause. “My favourite player of all time? That’s easy — Paolo Di Canio,’ she said. ‘He’s an absolute legend. I was very lucky to meet him once and I still have his autograph somewhere at home.’

As for her current favourite Hammer, she gives a somewhat unorthodox answer: ‘Carlton Cole. I know it’s an unusual one but we must always believe in his soul. He may not be the best player we have but to me he is West Ham through and through.

And it was the big man who opened the scoring on the day of Hannah’s most memorable game — our famous 3-1 demolition of Cole’s old club Chelsea in December 2012. ‘I was invited last minute and was so glad I was,’ she said. ‘What a game! The atmosphere that day was immense and there was just such a fantastic buzz at the Boleyn.

Of course, as West Ham fans, games like the one against Chelsea come all too seldom. What would an interview with an ardent Hammer be without a question about their most miserable experience? ‘Relegation under Avram Grant was really tough.’ she replied quickly and sternly. ‘After what happened with Portsmouth, I still to this day have no idea why he was appointed in the first place.’

I’m sure you’ll agree Hannah looks fantastic in this picture and while the move to the Olympic Stadium might still be dividing West Ham fans, it’ll be made all the more painless if Hannah is sat next to you in the stands.

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