My West Ham: Rt Hon Tony McNulty MP

Tony McNulty is Labour MP for Harrow East and Minister of State in the Home Office in charge of Police. He is a season ticket holder, but is often spied in the Director’s Box, just above where I sit. We have a ritual of waving to each other (usually using more than two fingers) just before the game.

How did you become a Hammer?
I grew up in West London, around Ladbroke Grove and Notting Hill, in the 60s when everyone but everyone supported the real ‘sexy, swinging sixties’ teams of the day – Chelsea and QPR. I got really fed up with this and could not see the attraction so when West Ham won the World Cup in 1966 – my search for a team was over and I have supported WHUFC ever since.

Your first game?
I can’t remember my first game – memory fading clearly – but it would have been when I was eleven or twelve – around about 1970-71. I remember the 5-5 draw with Chelsea, but not if I went. I certainly remember being at games with Bobby Moore still playing, I think, and Clyde Best and Ade Coker. I was at the 1975 Cup Final against Fulham and the 1976 Cup-Winners Cup final in Brussels against Anderlecht at the Heysel Stadium. At the Anderlecht Final I remember, much to my subsequent embarassment given my current career, carrying around a huge banner that read “Bonds eats Sprouts”!

How many games do you get to?
I try to get to as many Home games as possible, and the occassional away game – mostly elsewhere in London. This season I think I have only missed the Man.City game at the start of the season. In terms of away games this season, I got to Chelsea’s jammy 1-0 at Stamford Bridge recently where we were very unlucky after playing so well and went to Coventry for our 2-1 victory at the last minute.

Most memorable moment?
The 1975 Cup Final was a highlight, as was 1980. I thought the atmosphere at the Ipswich play-off semi, before the horror of the play-off with Crystal Palace, was just awesome – the Boleyn as a very loud No.12. The 3-3 final against Liverpool was memorable – except for the last 90 seconds! Tevez goal at Old Trafford last game of last season. A special favourite is sitting the North Bank at Arsenal, surrrounded by Arsenal fans, for West Ham’s last game there ever – and the rest is history!!

Have you met any Hammers players?
I have met Trevor Brooking, and I had the great pleasure last season of meeting Billy Bonds – a real hero of mine and all-round favourite Hammer. Also, Bobby Barnes – who I know through his PFA work.

Favourite current player?
Robert Green and Dean Ashton

What’s the football banter like in the bars of the House of Commons?
Banter in the Commons is a bit limited as it seemes to be full of Man. United and Liverpool fans – with a smattering of Arsenal. This season it is easier to let West Ham’s football do the talking. Last season was worse – they all had an opinion on West Ham – mostly stone cold wrong of course, as were their predictions about our fate.

Complete the sentence: West Ham fans should vote Labour because…
….Frank Lampard is a Tory.

Describe last season. How did it affect you?
It is easy to say now, but I always thought that we would survive last season and we really should give Carlos a huge welcome when he comes back on the 29th December. I had so much faith – I went up to Old Trafford for the last game of the season – hoping, praying and knowing we would be alright. It was a very very good day. Throughout the emotional roller-coaster of a season, just like everyone else , I rode the ups and downs week in and week out. It was horrible and I don’t want it ro be repeated anytime soon. It was like being in a Groundhog Day film – with the day we were all condemned to repeat over and over being the Play-Off final against Crystal Palace – especially the journey home from Cardiff.

What are your hopes for this season?
I still think that we have a very real chance on a top six finish – we have got good results whilst carrying significant injuries and, hopefully, the worst of them are behind us. Less than top ten would be a disappointment – then consolidate and Europe next season but not the two-bob cup.

Choose your all time Hammers Eleven
From :
Robert Green (maybe Ludo)
Billy Bonds
Ray Stewart
Rio Ferdinand
Bobby Moore
Alvin Martin
Joe Cole
Alan Devonshire
Yossi Benayoun
Trevor Brooking
Carlos Tevez
Pop Robson
Liam Brady
and probably Mascherano if he had got a chance.

What do your colleagues make of your support for West Ham?
They had great fun last season but don’t have much to say this year. It is still the case that many of them would put West Ham as their second team – a source of pride.
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16 Responses to My West Ham: Rt Hon Tony McNulty MP

  1. old skool pete says:

    Great interview, highlight: Frank Lampard is a Tory!!! Classy

  2. WHU Kim says:

    What a magical night 1st Feb 2006 was, pity you couldn’t celebrate with the rest of us down the Clock End Rt Hon Tony but at least you saw the gooners suffering close hand!

    I’d vote labour with that slogan too!

  3. new york says:

    nice one

    “hve got good results whilst carrying significant injuries”- sums it up perfectly

  4. Ashton the Queer says:

    Funny how all MPs support their constituency team isn’t it…

    His early knowledge is very sketchy.

  5. hammermolder says:

    Fat boy is a tory CLASSIC,great read

  6. Dave King says:

    Well Well. No room for DiCanio

  7. Megalosaurus says:

    Ashton. Do you have ANY knowledge… since when has the Boleyn been in Harrow….

  8. Plaistow54 says:

    Tony, ah,yes, West Ham won the world cup. Great days & sometimes forgotten by the youth of today. It is surprising how many people say that the Hammers are their second favourite team especially northerners. Liam Brady was a very talented player & i would always find a place for DiCanio. Did you know he had polio as a child. His parents did not know if he would even walk properly as an adult. He played football to help with his legs. I hope too that we give Carlitos a warm reception. He always gave 110% even knowing that he would probably move on. He is a player who can spark life into a side on a bad day & i am sure he would have a soft spot for the West Ham faithful. I just hope he doesn’t play so good the day he plays us. Good Luck.

  9. how many times do i have to say it? if you want to be abusive ,and trade insults go somewhere else, megalosaurus .

    you don t need an OBE

  10. megalosaurus,either conduct yourself with manners, or stay off this platform.

    i ve got no time for people who come on with nothing better to do than trade insults.

    is that perfectly clear

  11. Steve says:

    Somewhat coincidentally last Saturday myself and Mr McNulty got on the same tube carriage at Mile End going to the Everton game!

    After commending him on his article, he asked me whether I particularly enjoyed the bit about our old mukka ‘Fat Frank’! Also had a bit of a chat with him whilst walking with the crowd along the platform at Upton Park.

    I like these type of articles – keep up the good work.

  12. Megalosaurus says:

    Soul salvation (or whatever you call yourself today).

    Get a life or understand my point.

    I will go on any platform the moderator allows.

    Is that perfectly clear?

  13. Megalosaurus says:

    Yes Steve. He had probably just come in on a train from Harrow……. 😉

  14. soul salvation says:

    about as clear as mud, reptile.

    either treat other contributors with respect. or shut the funk up

  15. lock up teh arrogant pratts says:

    just because an obnoxious comment passes moderation doeswn t make it suitable.

    rude pinprick

  16. paul says:

    funny that ,EGOSAURUS, “get a life ” are words generally used by people who don t have one ,and never will.

    keep pouring warm beer on your soggy greasy chips . see how far it gets you.

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