A Message From Jeremy Nicholas

Jeremy Nicholas has asked if I would post this message on here, which I am delighted to do. There had been rumours that he had been sacked by the club as matchday announcer. He wishes to put the record straight.

Hi everyone,

I thought I better post on here just to put a few things right. I haven’t been sacked, the club just wanted to try out a few different things at the Wigan game. I was given seats in the stand.
A lot has changed in my ten years as the announcer. My debut was the hostile reception for David Beckham in the opening game of the season after his sending off at France 98. In those days my announcer’s box was a shed in the corner of the West Stand and Bobby Moore. I played in the CDs myself and it was all a very small operation.

Now we have big screens and the announcer’s control room is the glass box by the scoreboard three tiers up in the corner of the Dr Martens and Bobby Moore stand. There’s about eight people based in that room now. They play in the CDs, run the big screens, work the plasmas in the concourse, operate the scoreboard and the digiboards around the pitch. There’s even a final cut pro editing station in there, to cut the highlights packages.

I work from the dug out area on a radio mike which is controlled by my assistant Russell who sits up in
the control box. He’s been playing in the CDs for the last five years. Being down at pitchside gives me a better view of the substitutions and allows me to get a better feel for the noise in the stadium. The control room is double glazed and for safety reasons doesn’t have a window that opens. So it can be hard to gauge stadium levels from in there.

The club have been working hard to improve the whole match day experience, with more use being made of visual images. One innovation this season is the reading of the team sheets using players images on the big screens. You may have seen the sticker book format of West Ham players, with the screen zooming in and out on the players as their names were read out. I thought it looked great on Saturday. To ensure this worked smoothly, ADI, the firm who run the screens asked to bring in their own announcer and sound engineer and have them sit in the box with them. The previous week against Villareal there had been communication problems and I was down on the pitch waiting for images that never happened.

I was happy to give way and the club gave me great seats in the stand. Russell was also offered seats. Watching the game, there were obviously a few teething problems, but that happens when you try new things.

It was very strange when Dean scored those two goals early on. I was delighted when we started the game so well, but felt sad that they were the first West Ham Premiership goals in ten years at Upton Park, that I hadn’t announced. I recognised the voice of Martin Godleman as the announcer on the day. He is a true West Ham fan. You’ll know him from the end of season DVDs and the commentaries on the beam back games. He’s also a friend of mine.

The matchday format is moving towards more screen information and less from the announcer. I’m sure this is a good thing as the last thing most fans want is to be bellowed at.

I’ve had a lot of people email me saying ‘where are you?’ and ‘have you been sacked?’. I’ve kept quiet until now, but I thought I better say something, as I saw a petition had started to reinstate me and all sorts of inaccurate comments were flying about.

I haven’t been sacked. I’m very much part of the announcing team, but it is a team and not an individual any more. I look forward to working alongside ADI this season.

I went on a fact finding mission a couple of years ago for the club to see how ADI operate at Aston Villa. It really is a very impressive set up, with the screens, the music and the announcers all coming under one central control. Curiously, when I went they had three announcers, all called Dave! It was very confusing on talkback- ‘Dave, it’s Dave, can you tell Dave…..’ But the end product was excellent.

The club is always keen to hear your views on the matchday experience. You can email matchday@westhamunited.co.uk. Greg Demetriou, our head of media, canvassed opinions on the club website in the summer and further thoughts are always welcome.

One thing I will say is this: You can’t please all the people all the time. Some people like loud music, some want to be able to chat before a game. Some like the atmosphere to be whipped up, some prefer it to develop naturally. Please bear with the club as we try out some new ideas.

I’m very flexible to changing times. I think we should always be looking to improve. The only two things I would never accept are: getting rid of Bubbles (the song not the bear) and playing music after goals. No, no, no, that’s not what we are about.

I hope to die in this job. Some of you may have wished for that to happen at many games in the past. I know I sometimes let my enthusiasm get the better of me, but that’s just the fan in me coming out. For the many who’ve sent me concerned messages over the last few days, I just want you to know I’m still part of the team on a matchday.

Let’s all get behind the team on the pitch. We’ve got a great squad now. Curbs has turned the club around and when they’re all back to fitness, we’ll have a great squad. And best of all we’re unbeaten this season!

Up the Irons

Jeremy

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21 Responses to A Message From Jeremy Nicholas

  1. Richard WHUFC says:

    Personally I always enjoy your announcements and wasn’t happy to have someone else on Saturday, hopefully it will be back to you again soon!

  2. SD says:

    Great post thanks Jeremy! Irons!!

  3. Rapidhammer says:

    Glad to hear that at the Boleyn Ground there won’t be music after goals. I think that also music before the game should not be too loud (except immediately before kick-off!). I really hated the very very loud disco music at the Euro games as it had been played by the UEFA hours before kick-off (I watched three games at Vienna’s Ernst Happel Stadium). It was impossible to talk to your neighbour, that was no fun anymore!

  4. Jason Rose says:

    Great article. Nice to know you are still around. I thought it was a bit of a mess on Saturday and had wondered what had happened. I understand wanting to try new things but think (and hope) after a couple more trials we will be back to where we were last season.

    One big problem was everyone just expecting to hear what they normally hear and then an errie silence when they didn’t!

    Bubbles played before kick-off(s) to start the crowd off (and then turned off so just the crowd sing from ‘Fortune’s always hiding’ until the end) is spot on. The announcer/music should never drown out the atmosphere but it doesn’t hurt to kick start the crowd now and then either.

    Up the Irons!!

  5. Ironssss says:

    Well done Jezza. Glad you arre still about as i love seeing what woman you are walking around the ground with each week. every week another woman boy you are a real stud keep it up Jezza up the hammers and your willy.

  6. jon.london colney says:

    great post,love the fan coming out and whooping it up.need more of the fanzone from sky perhaps at half time play clips? that would be funny and great to hear.coyi

  7. Jaime says:

    I miss going to games now, priced out!

    apart from a few earaches from the screeching speakers from time to time (probably Jeremy standing too close to the speakers) I’ve always thought you did an ok job.

    Didn’t like you at first because you took over from ????????? He was the one I grew up with then you came along!

    Who was the match day announcer before you and how long was he doing the job?

  8. chris says:

    LEGEND

  9. Thucydides says:

    Whatever they decide to do it still won’t ever match the legend that was Bill Remfry.

  10. Biffo the bear says:

    Glad to hear you’re still around. I do like the way the players are announced with the pictures. One thing I’ve always thought would be a good addition is that when the 45 minutes are up it would be nice to have a second timer showing how long has been played after that. I’ve seen it at other grounds so there can’t be a ‘rules’ issue.

    I understand that some people like music played before the game but I reckon there’d be more singing from the crowd if there wasn’t any music.

    Thanks for the matchday e-mail address i’ll be sure to use it.

  11. Biffo the bear says:

    Oh yes, and keep Bubbles the bear, he got my vote for Hammer of the year when we got relegated! Anyway, bears have to stick together!

  12. Sam H says:

    the couple of things that I missed at the game on saturday was the playing of bubbles as the players came out for the second half, and the playing o bubbles at the end of the game once we had won…..it helps to rouse the crowd!

    (even before the game, he didn’t play it when the players came out from what I can remember, he left it till after that)

    just so pleased that we don’t play star wars anymore

  13. Upton Spark says:

    I didn’t like the other chap last week as much as Jeremie who I think is great.
    I am writing to the club re the Hammerettes who I would like back at the club at half time.
    Thanks to Jeremie for the info and please keep up the good work.
    Cheers
    The Spark

  14. Mr Moon says:

    First the Hammerettes go, then Jeramey. Is no-one safe?

  15. Scalyback says:

    Glad to hear you are still around. Saturday was a shambles and whilst sometimes change is a good thing, it should be gradual and with the consent of the fans. It shouldn’t be an excuse to play sound adverts as well as show visual ones.

    Bring back the Post horn entrance of the team, keep Bubbles played at the times & in the way it has been in recent years and how about bringing back the Hammerettes?

    Up the Irons!

  16. devo says:

    PAULO DE CANIOOOO PAULO DE CANIOOOO,the music added to the great atmosphere

  17. Jimbo says:

    Thanks for the reassurance Jeremey.

    But please do your best to keep things as they are. Hopefully we will never resort to the likes of Bolton and Reading by playing music after goals. Upton Park still has an atmosphere, we don’t need to create it with music.

  18. Paul B says:

    I was wondering what had happened to Jeremy. I always used to listen to him on GLR and he always played great music and was passionate about West ham Utd. To me, it’s part of the day. Jeremy is like another one of your mates watching the game with you. I don’t think change is always for the better but I understand these things have to be tried out. Jeremy has a great sense of humour and I enjoy his presentation. Very much part of the Upton Park atmosphere in my mind. I missed him saturday.

  19. Darren says:

    No, no, no. Without Jeremy it’s all wrong – the atmosphere has dropped a notch or three. If I want to watch a screen I’ll save thousands and watch it on the box. I want noise, a bit of pizazz and a rousing bubbles entry, which was all off on Saturday. It doesn’t need to be changed, just left alone. For crying out loud, the club doesn’t really want a list of things that DO need changing from us, do they? This is fiddling while Rome burns. Fix what’s wrong, by all means, but a match day announcer with a bit of razzle wasn’t one of them. Typical.

  20. Tom Burford says:

    Having attended games since i was seven i have only hear two dj before the game jeremy and the guy previous. There was something lacking in the atmosphere before the game started and that was the abscence of of the fatboy slim song, right here, right now before the kick off and most importantly bubbles, i recall, not being played. The bubbles song was worked beautifully cutting it off at the ‘fortunes always hiding’ part, it really whipped up the atmosphere and it is when i am at my happiest. Both songs were absent and had it not been for deanos two early goals this would have had a major effect on the always spot on atmosphere. i was sat in the centenary lower front row and the boys in the stand did a great job in trying to get bubbles going at the start

    hopefully you shall be reinstated at the forefront of this operation sooner rather than later. any petition this can be signed i will sign!

    hopefully hear your dulsic tones again very soon jezza!!!!

    Tom Burford

  21. mark t says:

    sorry jerome, please dont take over the mike again, your way too loud and over excited and it can be very chringing at times, the music is far too loud and sometimes you shout the most obscure things, i’ll never forget your shout of ”I CAN SEE STEVIE, LOMAS IS IN THE TUNNEL!!!” before the game.

    the new format was brilliant on saturday , i could actually have a conversation with the bloke next to me and the starting 11 on the screen was impressive.

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