BBM: When and why was the group founded?
Matt: I moved to Chicago from East London about two years ago. I couldn’t find anything on social media and the club didn’t know of any supporters groups over here, so I started at twitter account @ chicagohammers and a Facebook page.
I got in contact with a few people in Chicago and got some advice from the New York supporters club on how to reach out to people in my area. It’s gone from there really. Officially, we’ve been around since 2013, but there’s been active support in Chicago for a few years. We’re just a bit more organised now.
How many members in your group today?
I’d say there’s probably around 30 or so people that have turned up to our local pub, The Globe, at some point or other, but we probably get around 8-10 people on a regular basis. It’s always busier for the big games, and the early kick offs back home (the Spurs game was on at 6am here) reduce numbers. Considering we started out with 3 lads and we’re now up to 30 plus, I think we’re doing ok.
Where do you watch games?
We watch matches at The Globe Pub, which is on the north side of the city not too far from where the Chicago Cubs play. The pub serves good European beer and a full English breakfast, which is a rarity here.
How many times do members travel to games?
This season, we’ve had several people go to games both home and away. People often plan their trips to England around the football fixtures, so they can be sure to watch a game in person. It’s funny how people travel to the other side of the planet with their wife, telling her about a dream trip to London, but then they end up going to Burnley away
What are the benefits of being part of your group?
Being able to meet up with friends and talk about West Ham is a big bonus. Since we’re a smaller group than some of the other Chicago based supporters’ clubs, we actually know one another. Some of us play football together during the week. We’ve got a good group of people together who are all of the same mindset; come down for a chat, a few beers, a bacon sandwich and a laugh and you’re always welcome.
What is your website address? What’s your Twitter handle?
Are you on Facebook? Twitter – @chicagohammers – Facebook – https:// www.facebook.com/ pages/Chicago-Hammers/460919043976173