A Nice Email

I just received this email from a reader in the Far East. I thought I would share it with you.

A few years ago I started a blog of sorts. Like you, I chose not to post just for the sake of it but only when I had something to say that I thought might be of interest to others.  Last month I stopped for various reasons.

Firstly, (like me with regard to your blog!), there were the people who visited but never wrote or gave any feedback.  And then there were the bored people who seemed to expect me to spend 100% of my time creating free material purely for their entertainment.  In the end it seemed to be a thankless task and I couldn’t understand why I bothered.  So I didn’t.

As a result of ending the blog, a few people wrote to wish me well and to thank me.  I wish they had done this before as it may have had a bearing on my decision.  That’s the first message: that there are people who appreciate what you write even if they don’t leave comments or write to tell you!

Secondly – as in all aspects of life – it’s always a few idiots who spoil things for everyone else.  I know it’s not always easy to do so, but we should just try to ignore them.

I grew up in Hall Road, East Ham just off the Barking Road near East Ham town hall. Naturally, there was only ever one team in that area and I went to school (played cricket, and even football occasionally) with Steve Whitton who later had a (not very successful) spell at WHU before going into management.

As a youngster in the early 70’s I used to go to games but a family move to Brentwood – combined with the football hooligan era – resulted in a lack of interest for many years.  However, I started visiting Upton Park again in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

In the final game of the 1992/3 season when we beat Cambridge to gain promotion I left the ground by ambulance as a result of breaking my wrist as I tried to clamber over the wall on to the pitch to avoid being crushed in the North Bank!  That’s a game I will never forget – the four inch scar on my right wrist from the resultant surgery being a permanent reminder!

My brother and me had three highly enjoyable seasons as season-ticket holders in the Lower East in the mid-90’s (along with attending half-a-dozen or so away games each year) but called it a day because of the ridiculous price increases that came about every year.

Of course, following a team is something that you never stop doing and it always gives me a lift to see West Ham do well (even better this year to see Spurs doing so badly!).  One of the ways I follow events and team news is through your blog which I enjoy because of the intelligent way it is written.  Also – by and large – the reader comments (for a football blog) are normally good and not just filled with profanity.

So, don’t let a few crass comments get you down. From my own experience I know what it feels like and I sensed your feelings from the comments a few days ago which is what prompted me to write.  I think this is what is known as empathy!  The on-line world is a very public domain and by entering it we put ourselves at the mercy of every sad loser with an Internet connection.

I noticed that some of your other regular readers also chipped in with supportive comments so you have a lot of people on your side.  Football is a topic that tends to attracts idiots – as we all know from some of the comments we have heard from the stands – so this kind of thing is inevitable from time to time.

There are people who do and achieve things in life, and people who never do or achieve anything themselves but just criticise what other people do.  They are the losers.

I really don’t feel there is any reason for you to give up.  You obviously enjoy writing about a subject that you have a great love for, and many people enjoy reading what you write.  Just ignore the idiots.  If I visit the blog and there aren’t any updates I assume you must be busy or there wasn’t anything newsworthy to publish.  No big deal; I’ll take a look later.

You’re doing fine!

The cockles of my heart are suitably warmed. I am also now back from Israel so will hopefully be posting regularly again overt the next few days.


38 Responses to A Nice Email

  1. DevoDevo says:

    About bloody time! 😉

  2. MrR3NO says:

    Good stuff Ian, I’m sure its nice to be appreciated every now and then 🙂

    Keep it up, I too enjoy this blog on a daily basis.

  3. Gorgonzola says:

    Don’t worry Iain. They’re probably the same yobs that boo their own players.

    I think wordpress should come up with a yob filter.

  4. jonnyhammer says:

    I seem to have missed the abuse. profanity if there was any as I’ve not been browsing much recently. I thought messrs Brand and Ross were involved for one moment! Yikes….

    Can I add a supportive note Ian. I do, when time allows, read both your West Ham and political blogs as we seem to share the same viewpoint on these things. It’s always enjoyable and enlightening and (although it appears it has not been recently from what I am reading here) free of bile, prejudice and idiocy.

    The reputation of our club is in tatters for so many reasons at present. Lets at least keep our discussion forums and blogs as an example of what being a real WHU supporter is all about, namely a love of the beautiful game and an inexplicable addiction to the ups and, sadly ,mostly downs of being a Hammer!

  5. Andy says:

    Good to have you back. We all appreciate your work and commitment. It’s nice to see a journalist that isn’t baying for the bood of anything claret and blue! Please keep it up! x

  6. Goatygav says:

    Glad to hear it Iain. Along with many others I’m pleased to hear your intention to keep the blog going. I agree with everything your Far East emailer has said.

    On the footie front I reckon we’re going to see the Mighty Hammers win with style and swagger. COYI!!

    All the best fella.


  7. tom fitzpatrick says:

    Dear Iain,
    I have never resonded to a blog before and would just like to say that although I don’t always agree with you, I always find your comments interesting, well written and civil.
    Please continue.

    Tom – Doc Martins Upper

  8. Colm says:

    I’m one of those people who enjoys your blog yet doesn’t comment to show my apreciation, but I must say I look forward to your realistic and no nonsence posts and check you site regularly, keep up the good work!!!

  9. jon.london colney says:

    i think you could take it as a positive if readers are complaining about the lack of material ian,we all enjoy and are sometimes driven to write what we are thinking and i believe we all want you to write as it allways creates a place for us to rant,rage and debate.its used as a release for most people and because its so good ,people want more.

  10. mickeyhammer says:

    Welcome back Iain. I do not contribute as often as I should perhaps but I always enjoy your site. perhaps when I retire in 6 months time I may post more often. I took my new son-in-law to Old Trafford on Wed. He is a Man U supporter so I made sure that he behaved himself. He was very impressed with our supporters who were in fine voice. Shame that we did not play with the passion shown against Arsenal. Let’s go for it against Boro this weekend. Up the ‘Ammers.


  11. Aussi Hammer says:

    Hi Ian, I must of missed the abuse you received which in fairness was probably either a deluded Spurs fan or an uneducated twat who couldn’t work out how to write a blog. I really enjoy the site, having followed WHU since 1975, attending hundreds of games over the years I moved to Australia last year. I have many memmories but going to every game of the relegation fight a couple of years ago was about as exciting as it got. Keep your blog going, I wake at 0500 evry morning here and check the news sites before even making a cuppa tea, yours is one I always look for because it is so well written.
    I look forward to many more intereting debates and will continue to give feedback. I do however feel that the present position is not good and hope that we can invest in a quality striker rather than a ‘has been’ come January, alternatively lets give Sears a decent turn from the start.

  12. Hammers & Zvezda says:

    Nice letter Iain, but you really should have let the matter die its natural cause…just like Sarah Palin and her $150,000 wardrobe, by beating on about it you just draw more attention to it, when you really should move on.

    Whilst we are on the matter, if our team can’t win at least we can have a victory of sorts on Tuesday when our man and Hammers fan, Barack Obama becomes the most powerful man in the world….I nominate you as Secretary of West Ham United…I’m sure our team deserves a ministry !!!

  13. Pablo says:

    Keep it up Iain, the blog’s excellent as far as I’m concerned, your site and KUMB are the only two bookmarks worth having. For every one whinger, there’s a thousand supporters, the whingers are always more vocal, so it’s the turn of the positive people to come out in support. Gawd bless ya guv’nor.

  14. SwediePHammer says:

    Dear Ian,
    I am and has been a die hard Hammers fan from childhood. To mess things up a bit, I’m Swedish and live in Los Angeles so your blog is my one and only connection to the fans and the team I so full hearty support.
    As always as a spectator you will always get mixed emotions due to some lesser intelligent part of the crowd. but again isn’t that what it is all about?
    Keep up the great job, Ian

  15. Gavva says:

    Being a West Ham addict based in Sydney, the web is my only real outlet to feed my habit, so to speak. I have “NewsNow” bookmarked, and normally read the links in chronological order, that is unless I see “West Ham Till I Die” in the list, then yours is the first link I will open. Thankyou, you are appreciated, believe me!

  16. Tony Titan says:

    Iain, this post makes good reading and needless to say hes bang on the nail – Nicely done !

  17. RunningHammer says:

    I completely agree with all that! Keep up the good work Iain….of course the odd break here or there is fine, most people would understand you do have a life with more important things to do.

  18. appyhammer says:

    That is agood e-mail. i must admit I check your site on a regular basis and enjoy reading the differing opinions, some i agree with some i don’t but it is good to know that people are pasionate about the same thing. I admit i don’t write as much as i should. On the down side with a site like this there will always be plonkers who have the brainpower just to tie their shoelaces and spoil it for others but they can only be treated with the contempt they deserve. keep up the good work

  19. Daren Wells says:

    You are doing a great job with the blog. I check in once or twice a week and yes this is my first post.
    Just a line to thank you for what you are doing.
    Come On You Irons !!

  20. wonday myson says:

    Iain, I must admit that i regularly read your blog with much interest and fail miserably to comment – the email that you have received makes valid points and has pricked my conscience. I will endeavour to contribute in the future meaningfully. Keep up the good work.

  21. pjd says:

    keep up the good work mate,plenty of good topics to discuss

  22. Biffo the bear says:

    Abuse? i missed it. Shame, I like a bit of abuse.

    Anyway, on a serious note I’d like to say that this is one of my favourite blogs. There seems to be a decent mix of people who post on here and the topics are always challenging in that they spark debate which is, surely, what a blog should do.

    So, Iain, if there’s abuse coming your way just let me know and i’ll bring me mates round and we’ll straighten it. OK?

    Didn’t realise you were feeling a bit under it all mate, one way of keeping the idiotic replies to a minimum….don’t put the word ‘spurs’ in the titles?

  23. irontc says:

    I think West Ham fans (including mysself) are very fortunate to have you (and kumb).

    please keep up the good work.

  24. Scalyback says:

    Iain, the writer of the e mail was so right. Don’t let the B******s grind you down!

    I check various blogs & websites daily and yours is definately one of the best, in fact I would put you up in the top two.

    Like several others have said, we could all do without the boo boys and the sooner we lose them the better.

  25. Martin of Surbiton says:


    I agree with all the above especially re grind / down / illegitimate offspring.

    I always check here first because I know there will be intelligent comment from you and ditto (on the whole) from your correspondents. Please keep going; it’s web-based crumpet substitute for the thinking man (oops, person.)

  26. Pepin - Czech Hammer says:

    Despite the fact, I quite often do not agree with your oppinions, I enjoy your blog very much.
    Please, keep it working.
    Your effort is highly apretiated by myself – huge West Ham fan from Czech republic.

    Come On You Irons !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Dean says:

    Hey, I check this blog weekly for updates, its has good articles to read. Keep it up!

  28. VerbalVolley says:


    Good to see you back, I will try to join in a bit more from now on.

    Good point made by Biffo about Spurs (or any other team) being in your headline. Obviously it will get picked up in that club’s newsnow feed. Yes, it will increase your hits and raise your profile… but it will also increase the abuse and bring the tone down.

    Maybe an idea worth exploring would be to seek out similarly intelligent blogs associated with other clubs and get some crossover action going on. What dya reckon? Would it work or would it just descend into abuse?

    Of course it’s not all ‘invaders’ on this site that bring the tone down. I was very angry at some of the comments left on here when you were trying to get some messages of support for Lampard’s Mum when she was ill. And occasionally I have left comments on blogs at the end of a bad day and after a few beers that I might not have done otherwise. I suppose all we can really do is rise above it and create a space where the twats get no joy.

  29. Tony says:

    Hi Iain. I read your blog , with interest, everytime you update. Dont worry about afew bored twats who just wanna take the p!zz. Remember its YOUR blog , so you run it how you want to mate. Keep up the good work. Best wishes from Tony The Hammer In Denmark.

  30. HammerMalta says:

    Not everyone agree with what you say,ok,but your writing is all about passion for your beloved WHU which is our passion after all.Keep it up Iain,we`re WEST HAM TILL WE DIE!!!!

  31. Gary says:

    Great letter Iain,

    Great blog mate love reading your comments.

    Keep it going.

    Up the irons.


  32. Edward says:


    it’s a great blog – I read it every week

  33. Clive says:

    I agree with most of the posts on here. Like many I read your blogs without comment but I do enjoy them as well as your political diary, which is often amusing as well as informative.
    Keep up the good work

  34. Ray Moore says:

    Always love reading you blog please keep it up.

  35. Roshi says:

    Hi Iain, Thanks for sharing that email with us. This is the only worthwhile “supporters forum” the rest being filled with childish, futile and crude comment. I for one thoroughly enjoy my morning coffee reading through your blog…long may it continue!


  36. Graybo says:

    Well, Iain, on the back of all this praise I think you should accept that invitation for Strictly Come Dancing 2009, just to show that Sgt John isn’t the only political commentator capable of strutting his stuff in style (ha-ha).

    Keep it up, glad you told the whingers where to get off.

  37. Jimma says:

    Never commented before but have always been interested in what you have to share with us. Keep up the great work.

  38. Mile End Paul says:

    Hi Iain, I think the fascinating thing about this section is that so many of the writers like me (ex Mile End now near Toulouse) are from all corners of the earth and it does keep us all in touch when we cannot “feel the pulse” at the Boleyn. In that respect alone you should forget the bad stuff as this blog is worldwide and obviously giving us all a good read and a chance to have our say with other mighty Hammers fans. Bad weekend coming up, wife is an Evertonian and I can still remember her silent smirk when she sat with me in the away end at Goodison a few years ago when we narrowly lost 5 – 0 !!!

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