West Ham United have a plethora of famous supporters from Ray Winstone to the very outspoken Russell Brand, and even reportedly the Queen, but now it appears that we can count US chat show host Seth Meyers as one of the West Ham massive from across the Atlantic Ocean.
Hollywood actress and life-long West Ham fan Keira Knightley appeared on his show to promote her new film, The Imitation Game, and Meyers took the opportunity to discuss their mutual love for West Ham United. It led to a really rather sweet, if not slightly self-depreciating, chat about the pros and cons of supporting West Ham in which Knightley proves herself as a very likeable, very genuine, Hammer. Meyers opened the conversation by telling Knightley that they shared a love for West Ham – a bold statement, which Knightley immediately questioned.
It turns out that Meyers, on a previous trip to London, had a chance to see a football match, and when presented with the option of seeing Arsenal, Charlton, or West Ham, wisely chose the latter. At this point, Knightley interjected with a tidbit of helpful advice for the American audience, who may not have been overly familiar with the Hammers’ track record: ‘I just have to say, because not a lot of people will know West Ham… they’re not a team that win very often.’ Keira followed on to tell the audience all about Blowing Bubbles – not the mighty magazine per se, but the famous West Ham song.
She described it by saying ‘the song is great. So at the beginning of the game… there’s this song. You sing the song, but you also blow bubbles, because the song is called I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles, and so you have all these bubbles that go across the pitch, but the problem with the song is that the song is really sad. The song is about not winning. The song is about your dreams fading and dying…so it’s sort of not really a surprise that we lose all the time.
Brilliant. She’s a multi-millionaire with a Chanel contract and she gets it. She gets the turmoil and anguish that comes along with being one of the faithful claret and blue supporters. It’s not the same as supporting an Arsenal or a Manchester United; they don’t ride a rollercoaster of emotions in each season in the same way that we do.
Having said that, Knightley was of course quick to point out that it’s not all doom and gloom at Upton Park, admitting that West Ham ‘are having an amazing time this season’. She did also admit that she’s watching most of the games from behind her hands ‘because it’s not going to last…but maybe it will last’ (the girl truly does understand the West Ham way of always having that tiny bit of hope).
The subject matter made for an entertaining interview, and should West Ham now expect a stronger contingent of Americans tuning into their TVs for our Premier League matches? It’s certainly a possibility. Americans without attachment to regions in England tend to support the teams they hear of the most – the Manchester Uniteds, Arsenals, and Liverpools of the world. It’s rare you meet an American with an interest in Hull, West Brom, or, god forbid, Queen’s Park Rangers.
Keira Knightley showing such an enjoyable interest in West Ham United is great news for our global appeal. Given that we are going from strength to strength in the league, this is the time to make the most of our shoutouts and mentions, and show the world just how rich and fulfilling (and terrifying and nerve-wracking) and wonderful a West Ham life can be.