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?