West Ham’s fanbase has always been a pretty broad church. Indeed, we like to think that anyone, whatever their gender, creed, race or sexuality is welcome to be a foot soldier in Sam Allardyce’s claret and blue army. But this month we’ve been shocked to learn, thanks to hours of painstaking research by the boffins at Blowing Bubbles Towers, that there are actually only seven distinct species of Hammers supporters…
1 The Old Gits
Constantly harping on about ‘the good old days’ these fine fellows qualify if they have actually seen the club win a trophy that isn’t the Intertoto Cup. They know that for every modern hero there was a better one in the past — ‘Paolo di Canio you say? Not a patch on Ronnie Boyce I’m afraid’ — and are often found in the Black Lion. Drinking bitter.
2 The Power Trolls
An expanding group, these fans don’t actually attend live matches but stream the games over the internet and watch them in their bedrooms with the curtains drawn. Aggressive and easily provoked, the keyboard warriors are hardly ever seen in the flesh but can be recognised from their poor skin and weedy build.
3 The Basildon Mafia
Often found wearing Ben Sherman shirts (with the top button done up naturally) and an improbable amount of hair gel, these gang like to ‘have it large’ at every opportunity before heading home and being turned away from Sugar Hut.
4 The Face Painters
This passionate bunch are happy to buy flags, take a selfie with Hammerhead and send their wedding snaps in to the official match day magazine. Karen Brady’s second favourite type of fan, this lot will buy their Christmas presents in the club shop and never complain about the prices. Kerching!
5 The Hooligans
Fortunately this dangerous breed’s numbers are now on the decline and are most often found in London’s smaller publishing houses attempting to sell their memoirs. Approach with caution.
6 The Football Manager Generation
This group know everything about every player in the world. West Ham sign unheralded right-back from Heerenveen? Fear not! This boy knows all his stats and will quite happily declare him ‘quality’ or ‘rubbish’ before he even kicks a ball.
7 The Bankers
Karen Brady’s first favourite type of fan this lot spend big and represent Europe’s biggest hedge funds, or at least the ones that can’t afford a box at Arsenal. These Hooray Henry’s know their claret from their Beaujolais and have even been known to watch some of the football.