When, how and why was group founded?
West Ham Fans Sweden, or Sverige as it is in Swedish, was formed in 2004. The idea came from a group of Hammers fans that regularly met at St George Pub in Gothenburg who thought there was an urgent need to have a fan club ‘closer to home’ in Sweden. Together with people writing at the Svenskafans.com forum they contacted interesting people to form the first board for the fan club.
Many had been members of the Scandinavian Hammers before but found them to be more of a Norwegian fan club, corresponding in Norwegian and arranging things mainly in Norway. For many of us there was a need to start organizing things in the bigger Swedish city’s, for example in Stockholm and Gothenburg so people who shared the same interest could easier team up to watch games together at local pubs.
Last summer we celebrated 10 years as the official Swedish Fan Club with a big party in Stockholm.
How many members in your group today? How quickly has that membership risen since you founded?
We have around 750 members on our books. The numbers go up and down a little but we also know there are many more Hammers fans out there that we communicate with through our Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as through a forum on a big sports site called Svenskafans.com.
Where do you watch games?
We arrange pub meetings a few times every year, mainly in Stockholm and Gothenburg but sometimes smaller groups also get together in smaller cities such as Umeå and Örebro. In Stockholm we often get together at The Liffey and in Gothenburg they go to the Glenn Sportsbar. Info where we meet is announced on our social media websites. People regularly ask for pub meetings but at the moment we have a hard time arranging as only one or two games are allowed to be shown on Saturdays at 3pm.
How many times do members travel to games? Do you travel just to Upton Park or do you travel to away games too?
There are people from the fan club at most games, especially as we today have two season tickets that our members can book through us. I don’t think that many go to away games as it is usually hard to get tickets for that. In the future we hope to have a few more season tickets if the interest in West Ham and number of members increase.
What have been your most memorable days as a supporters’ club?
It is always memorable when we once a year present our Swedish Hammer of the Year award to the player voted for by our fans. We have this exclusive wooden hammer that we know the players really like. It is made by an artist called Bengt Erik Nilsson from Umeå and made in super light and hard wood. We know for example that Mark Noble has it on the wall at his house. There were also very special times when West Ham gained promotion to the Premier League and we celebrated in numbers at pubs in Stockholm and Gothenburg! As Hammers we really need those few moments of total joy! Our 10-year anniversary celebrated in Stockholm last year was very special for us. We even specially ordered a number of cakes with golden hammers on top!
What are the benefits of being part of your group?
You can enjoy coming to London with us on our membership trips twice a year or watch games together. We usually have competitions where you can win nice West Ham prizes. We also have two season tickets that can be booked at a good price, by members. But the biggest benefit is to meet all these cool people that have tons of Hammers stories to tell!
What is your website address? What’s your Twitter handle? Are you on Facebook?