Matthew Lorenzo is a presenter on Sky Sports.
How did you become a Hammer?
Inherited. My father was born around the corner from the ground and he passed it on. I’ve done the same to my son but he struggles a bit seeing as we live in Putney and everyone else supports Chelsea or Fulham.
Your first game?
Can’t remember a specific match but I was taken to Upton Park regularly from a very early age. It would have been in the mid sixties. My dad was a reporter for the Sketch or the Herald. He didn’t bother with passes. He made a point of knowing the commissionaire’s names. AND their wife’s names. Doesn’t work any more. Sadly.
How many games do you get to?
Only in midweek unfortunately. Sky takes up my weekends. I’ve never hidden my favouritism on air though. How can you be interested in football and claim not to have a team like a few commentators I know try and get away with? Despite remaining ardently neutral about West Ham in everything I do, I got reported as a bloody QPR supporter last week.
Most memorable moment?
The FA Cup semi final replay against Everton at Elland Road in 1980. Probably a wee bit biased but I can’t remember ever being as excited by a game of football in my life. Ed “Stewpot” Stewart, an Evertonian by birth, was sitting behind us. After the game I turned and asked him for an autograph for my sister. I could see he’d rather give me a head butt but he did the deed.
Have you met any Hammers players?
One of the first I met was a new signing from Charlton. We were at the training ground and he signed my book. He went on to become one our greatest ever signings, although for the first two years of his reign I thought he was called Billy Bones because his signature was next to illegible. I worked on the Walthamstow Guardian for five years so I got to meet a lot of the team from the early eighties. Alvin Martin was the easiest to talk to then and remains the same today. My father was great mates with Bobby Moore and hero worshipped him. I still look forward to seeing Geoff and Martin today.
Favourite current player?
I like Mark Noble because he ‘s a local lad and was always a Hammers fan. Not many of them nowadays and not many who combine his talent and appetite for the game.
Describe last season. How did it affect you?
The worst part was being accused of cheating. Neil Warnock described Tevez as the football equivalent of a murderer out on parole or something like that. You can understand it but at the same time it was unfair. Our form at the end of the season was fantastic. I went to Old Trafford with Eamonn Holmes, a Man Utd fanatic and my fitness trainer. We deserved to win that one and we deserved to stay up. I don’t know why it had to be such a last gasp experience, but like all fans, we are only ever kept in the dark while the money men move in their mysterious ways.
What are your hopes for this season?
Mid table. Well all right not relegated. Be nice to win the Cup after Gerard stole it from us in Cardiff.
Choose your all time Hammers Eleven
What do your colleagues make of your support for West Ham?
No one feels threatened by West Ham. We still play attractive football, we still don’t win enough games. We still have the best support in London. And fortune’s will always be bleedin hiding.