Daniel Schweimler is the BBC’s South America correspondent, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
How did you become a Hammer?
The first game I ever went to was West Ham v Burnley in the old First Division sometime in the mid-sixties. My dad, a chef, had a rare Saturday off and took me on the back of his scooter. We lost. We then moved out of London and I grew up supporting Aldershot in the old Third Division. But in my early twenties moved to Forest Gate and a job as a reporter on the Ilford Recorder – back in Hammers territory!
Your first game?
How many games do you get to?
Now, none. I’ve lived the past two years in Buenos Aires where I’m the BBC South America correspondent. I see a fair few on tele – less now that Tevez has gone. When I was living in London I worked shifts so usually get to seven or eight home games and one or two away games a season.
Most memorable moment?
I was in Cardiff for the play-off final against Preston…but the following day walking up Green Street with my kids and seeing the open-topped bus was probably my happiest and most memorable moment.
Have you met any Hammers players?
My wife finished third in a charity running race in Victoria Park and Steve Lomas presented the trophies and signed our football for us.
Favourite current player?
Describe last season. How did it affect you?
Traumatic! The good side was that living in Argentina, the drama and Carlos Tevez’s involvement in it put West Ham on the map here. Walking the streets of Buenos Aires with my West Ham shirt on, people would shout ‘Wist Jam’ and put their thumbs up to me. It was big news on the sports pages and nearly every painful, frustrating minute was shown on cable TV. I travel a fair bit and got to see us letting in goals in Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. I was observing penguins on Martillo Island near Ushuaia the day we beat Man U at Upton Park. Martillo means hammer in Spanish!! And my boys (Ben 10 and Lucas 8) and I provoked complaints from the neighbours with the noise we made when Carlitos put the winner in at Old Trafford. We were in London last February and went to that West Ham v Watford (league) couldn’t, mustn’t lose game. As the final whistle blew I looked over and saw my youngest son in tears.
What are your hopes for this season?
I guess we have to be comfortable with mid-table mediocrity. Not sure the nerves could stand another season like the last one and hopefully an improvement next year.
Choose your all time Hammers Eleven:
Ludo in goal. Billy Bonds, Bobby Moore, Lampard (senior), Julian Dicks at the back, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and Yossi Benayoun in midfield, Paolo Di Canio, Carlos Tevez and Geoff Hurst up front.
What do your colleagues make of your support for West Ham?
Football is the main talking point in Argentina so there’s always interest. Back in London we are a small but elite few.
When you’re reporting on West Ham games how difficult is it to be objective?
I don’t report on them so football is one of the few aspects of life I don’t have to be objective about.
Complete this sentence: The thing I hate about West Ham is…
The lack, often, of any kind of killer, will to win instinct. How many times have we played well and lost? Or been two up with half an hour to go and lost or drawn? It forces you to be philosophical about football and about life.
Complete this sentence: The thing I love about West Ham is…
The apparent lack of any kind of killer, will to win instinct. It’s the game that counts, not just the winning. How many times have we played well and lost? Or been two up with half an hour to go and lost or drawn? It forces you to be philosophical about football and about life.