This month we caught up with Matteo Martino to discover more about the Italian Irons.
When was group founded?
Our group is not that old, but we all have many years that we follow the team home and away around England. We just decided to give it a name: “Italian Irons”
How many members in your group today?
Today we can count on between 50 and 60 members. But the group, is slowly growing. We are very proud of what we do, especially letting people know the history of the team and spread our love for these colors in our country. We carry out various initiatives related to West Ham during the year in Italy, between Milan and Rome, and every time there are more and more who participate. When we can’t go to London, we watch the games at pubs.
We have a special place in Milan, that is all about West Ham, and we invite any West Ham fans that come to Milan to visit it: ‘The Football English pub’. But there are many of our members that watch the games in Rome, and in other parts of Italy too.
How many times do members travel to games?
We try to always be present at home games, and often we succeed. We also do a lot of games away during the year, last season we went to Anfield, Goodison Park, Stoke, Old Trafford. We’ve had two memorable days as a group. Firstly, Wembley for the final of the Championship Play Off, and Tottenham away when we won 0-3. But we also remember the derby against Millwall where we won 2-1 at home. We were there in that game.
What are the benefits of being part of your group?
We are a group of friends, who decided to get together and follow the team. We have many English friends, who cannot wait every weekend to see us. We meet up in a East London pub before and after the game, and this makes us very happy. For those in Italy who are fans of West Ham, we always try to advise and help with travel or at least we try to integrate people in our group to share everything about West Ham.
We are happy with the work done so far, because it is never easy to know and appreciate a foreign team in the country in which you live and you were born. * To discover more about the Italian Irons, find their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @ItalianIrons