Matthew George is Political Editor of the Western Daily Press.
How did you become a Hammer?
I was brought up in a London overspill town where tens thousands of people were relocated, including many Hammers fans from the East End, and I supported them as most of the people around me did. The other main team was Millwall, so I had a lucky escape there.
How many games do you get to?
Season ticket holder in East Upper, so almost all home games and then I usually go to the London away games, and a few longer trips as well, such as Everton and Bolton this season.
Most memorable moment?
So many to choose from. Just from the last 5 years, I’ll never forget being at Birmingham when we got relegated for the wrong reasons, along with losing the play-off final to Palace. The win over Preston was probably the best moment, and then the Cup semi-final win over Middlesbrough and most of the final, and also being at Old Trafford for the last part of the Great Escape last season.
Have you met any Hammers players?
I did spend a day at training at Chadwell Heath when Alan Pardew was the manager, and met some of the players, but I spent most of the time with the staff, including Roger Cross, Kevin Keen and the legendary Ludo, who claims not to be from that near Moscow after all. Christian Dailly was the friendliest of the players, and Repka had the most impressive car, a gullwing DeLorean-style monster. No wonder he got upset when people scratched it.
Favourite current player?
Mark Noble, as he is a fan who really wants to the play for the team, and has that mix of skill and commitment that Hammers fans always want.
Describe last season. How did it affect you?
I went to the Bolton 4-0 defeat that cost Pardew his job, and thought we were certain to go down because we seemed completely demoralised. But after playing better against Spurs, despite losing, then the lucky win at Blackburn, and the 1-0 win at the New Library when Arsenal had about 30 chances, I started to think we might escape, and we did have a world-class striker in Tevez. I am still annoyed that the most extraordinary escape for relegation in decades was overshadowed by the nonsense Wigan and Sheffield were talking over the Tevez situation. It’s all gone quiet over there now.
What are your hopes for this season?
In the last few games I would like to see Curbs give starts to Sears, and more chances for Collison and Tomkins; as long as we stay in 10th, and above Spurs, we might as well plan for the future.
Choose your all time Hammers Eleven
In an attacking 3-5-2 formation and not including the World Cup winners as I did not see them play live
Dicks, Martin, Rio,
Bonds, Brooking, Devonshire, Cole (Joe, not Carlton or Mitchell), Noble
Di Canio, Cottee
Subs: Green, Potts, Carrick, Cross, Tevez.
What do your colleagues make of your support for West Ham>
The ones who don’t support West Ham are all glory-hunters and part-timers – who cares what they think?
When you’re reporting on West Ham games how difficult is it to be objective?
I’ve never had to, fortunately – I don’t think I could.
Complete this sentence: The thing I hate about West Ham is…
That racist song about Spurs
Complete this sentence: The thing I love about West Ham is…