My West Ham: Peter Oborne

Peter Oborne is Chief Political Columnist for the Daily Mail
How did you become a Hammer?
It often surprises people that I support West Ham, since I do not come from the east End. The reason is as follows. My father was in the British Army and almost always abroad, mainly in Germany. When I was eight I was sent back to prep school in England and this was where I first came across soccer. Most of the boys at this school supported Spurs, Chelsea or Leeds, who were then dominant. Out of perversity I chose to become a West Ham supporter. It was then the great days of Moore, Hurst and Peters. I have remained loyal ever since.

Your first game?
This must have been Cambridge United versus West Ham in the late seventies. I think West Ham won. I have a memory of Cross being furious with co-striker Goddard for failing to pass the ball when he had a great chance in front of goal.

How many games do you get to?
I haven’t been to a West Ham game for ten years. We live in Highbury and my children support the Arsenal. I apologise for this.

Most memorable moment?
West Ham are always memorable. Any number of Houdini like relegation escapes. I still feel furious about the way we exchanged Peters at the height of his skills for Jimmy Greaves who was at the end of his career and retired almost at once. And beating Sunderland 8-0 (G Hurst scoring 6 of them)

Have you met any Hammers players?
I once met the late Bobby Moore for a few moments at the Cheltenham Festival of horse-racing. It was wonderful to be in the presence of greatness, and he seemed such a nice and modest man.

Favourite current player?
I’m afraid I don’t have one.

What’s the football banter like in the bars of the House of Commons?
There’s something bogus about it. Politicians pretend to be interested in football in order to engage with voters.

Describe last season. How did it affect you?
It was just fantastic. Even by West Ham’s standards it was an awesome escape. A journey from despair to elation. I think Curbishley is wonderful.

What are your hopes for this season?
To avoid relegation. Anything else is a bonus.

Choose your all time Hammers Eleven
Standen, Martin, Dicks, Ferdinand, Moore, Bonds, Devonshire, Brooking, Peters, Hurst, Di Canio. (manager: Greenwood)

What do your colleagues make of your support for West Ham?
Baffled.

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6 Responses to My West Ham: Peter Oborne

  1. stu says:

    Peter, don’t be embarrassed by your kids supporting Arsenal. They’re a great team and living in Highbury at least they support their local club! Most locals around West ham these days (who happen to be mostly asian of course) support Man U or Liverpool.

  2. DaDon says:

    Hmm – what I see Stu is increasing numbers of the local community supporting West Ham. I’m also afraid that I would be embarrassed by my kids supporting Arsenal, in fact any team other than WHU. It’s just not right, these things should be passed on through the generations, it’s got nothing to do with how good a team is. If that was the case we’d have run out of fans eons ago.

  3. hammermolder says:

    has’nt been for ten years,i live in LA and manage to get there more than that.

  4. Wavid says:

    This series is very interesting and highlights how we all come to support the same team from different experiences. For me, I was born in Stratford and eventually went to Uni in Plaistow and remember getting let into games via the security once the game had started for a fiver through the huge gates on William Morely Close – those were the days. Now my son and me have season tickets and I am sure he supports the hammers because I do, but apart from my brother and mother – who sadly passed away this year, the rest of the family support Arsenal! One thing I have noticed more and more at Upton Park is how many families come to the games and how racially mixed the support is – this is why I live in East London with my family – a fantastic mix of cultures. I wait with interest to see who else you get to say why they support the Irons.

  5. mac says:

    Strange how easy it is to judge someone before you know who they support. Not sure Oborne ever mentioned his allegiance in his Standard column, but I always used to think he was a bit of a right wing toff. Knowing he supports us gives him a different dimension altogether.

    Still looks like the sort of bloke to shout ‘SOCCER!’ at a game and pass the Pringles around though…

    And what’s stopping him going on his own to a game if his boys don’t fancy it at our wee ground?

  6. WHU Kim says:

    I think it’s great to have Hammers like Peter on board, unlike a lot of us who support WH because our family did or we happened to live locally he chose to be one of us and stuck with us through thin and thin.

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