The Day I Met … The 1993 Team

By James Metcalf
The Year was 1993 September 1st. Myself (aged 19 at the time) and 2 girls or a similar age, that I was friends with at the time decided to go to Old Trafford on a Wednesday night. We took the Official supporters coaches, which happens to be the only time I’ve done that. The traffic around Manchester was terrible and by the time we got into the ground the game was 5 minutes old and we were already 1-0 down. Ludo had been beaten by Lee Sharpe I think. The game was fairly predictable and we lost 3-0. Cantona and Bruce bagged the other goals.

Anyway, we walked out of the ground after and followed a large group of West Ham fans to where we thought the coaches were parked. We walked for ages before realizing that the fans we were following were heading to their cars. So, we turned around and walked back only to be told that the coaches were moved on by the police and couldn’t wait any longer for us. Short of cash and any other ideas, we headed to where the Team coach was parked.

By this time the players were just about all on and Billy Bonds was standing by the doors of the coach.
I believe my exact words were ‘Billy, Mate, we’ve been left behind by the coaches and have no way to get home’. Billy told the 3 of us to hold on and went on to the coach to speak to someone else.
A few minutes later, Harry Redknapp comes down and says ‘You sure there’s no other way home for you?’ After a short discussion he tells us to get on the coach!! I couldn’t believe this was happening!
As we got on, the board members were at the front, the senior players like Alvin Martin and Tony Gale were to the other side.

Just past the kitchen (and the waiters) were a set of seats with small screens built in above. We were lucky enough to sit around a table with Mark Robson who was a total star, a West Ham man through and through. I remeber him tucking into a bowl of Chilli Con Carne and telling us he lived in Beckton!
Ludo was playing cards with Keith Rowland and Matty Holmes. Down the back was the roudy lot, Martin Allen, Colin Foster, Ian Bishop, Morley and so on. One of them chucked their dirty pants at the girls, who barely spoke the whole way home. I think they were just so shocked by what was happening.
The only player not on the coach was Julian Dicks. Robson told us he was driving back to Bristol that night. Certainly one of the greatest nights of my life…..

Have you got a tale of meeting a West Ham player? If so, email it to me and I’ll publish it on the site at some point.

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7 Responses to The Day I Met … The 1993 Team

  1. Derek Pringle broke my thumb. says:

    Who were the girls, Iain? Ashdon girls?

    Spill the beans, we need to know!

  2. Iain Dale says:

    This wasn’t written by me – it was James Metcalf!

  3. Berkshire Hammer says:

    Iain, Where was the West Ham tie this morning??

  4. Painter says:

    Frank Lampard snr nearly run me over as i came out of the ground once, near the gates onto green street. after my initial suprise and amusement at the fact it was lampard i realised he was being a bit of a prick about it – during the ensuing full and blunt exchange of views i let him know what he could do with his giant black mercedes.

    a couple of weeks later the same thing happened at anfield just before the youth cup final, only this time an icy stare at each other was the result of an obvious recognition and shock at the coincidence.

    after telling anyone who would listen what a dickhead lampard really was, i found myself cheering madly as his son scored a belter to make it 1-1 (we lost eventually tho).

  5. Andy says:

    I met Frank Lampard Snr’s niece when I was a sea scout aged 14 in Morecambe on an outing to Brienz in Switzerland- on a train through France in 1967. She was a girl guide. I fell in love with her as I was already a smitten West Ham fan from the early exposure to Johnny Byrne and the rest of the Hammers in their fantastic claret and blue on bubblegum cards in 1962! I just had to be different and be the only kid in Wigan to support someone other than Man Utd, Liverpool or Everton. Never saw her again after that trip!

    Not an actual player but almost as good to a teenage boy from the North.

  6. Graybo says:

    Don’t forget that new stories needed to be emailed to Iain – I think – not posted as a reply ;o) otherwise they’ll miss out on the audience they deserve (is that right?).

    I was enjoying this story until the dirty pants bit. You just despair, really, don’t you.

  7. Upton Spark says:

    Over the years i have been fortunate to meet and speak to many West Ham players;
    Bobby Moore
    Geoff Hurst
    Trevor Brooking
    Tony Cottee
    Tony Gale
    Frank Lampard Senior
    Harry Redknapp
    Two were met while my lad was a mascot one day last year and the others when I worked for a local radio station.
    All great memories and all great men.

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