About

I’m 44, live in Tunbridge Wells and am a radio and TV presenter, with my own show on the new political internet TV channel 18 Doughty Street. I also write Britain’s most widely read political blog, Iain Dale’s Diary, which I update four or five times a day. But when I’m not tarting about the media or doing my politics I’m invariably at Upton Park experiencing the highs and lows that every West ham supporter goes through.

I’ve supported the Hammers through thick and thin since 1974 and been a season ticket holder since 1991. I sit in Row X of the Dr Martens Stand lower tier, not too far from the dug outs. I used to be in the East Stand Upper, which to be honest I preferred. I sit with the same group of people I have done for 15 years, who include a good friend of mine John Parry, the managing director of Cosmos holidays and also Glen Roeder’s brother in law!

HOW I BECAME A HAMMER

I shall whisper this, because it’s a tad embarrassing, when I was a kid I was a Man U supporter. Well, it was natural, I lived in Essex! However, I saw the light when I was about ten years old and switched to supporting the Hammers. I think it was because my best friend at primary school, Roger Sizer, supported them. I vaguely remember going to see them play Cambridge United in a testimonial game in the early 1970s (can’t find details of it on the net) and that was what finally did it. My first game at Upton Park came in 1977, when we lost 1-0 to Chelsea. I stood in the lower tier of the West Stand,, very near to where my current seat is. I remember walking along Green Street and seeing a series of fights. It’s not like than now!

More to come… check back!

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58 Responses to About

  1. Noelinho says:

    You used to be a United fan? Gosh, you really do want to keep that one quiet!

  2. RMR says:

    Aye, that United thing is worrying – especially as it would likely include the O’Farrell and Docherty teams of the early 70’s and some very dodgy playing strips…….. I’ve been a supporter since the age of 4 in 1964 (I had no choice – my Dad….) but now live in the US and only ever get to see them on FoxSports, so the more decent gossip/chat/blog, the better……..

  3. Roads says:

    Just a note to wish you the very best with this site, Iain. My own first home game was a little bit before yours, since I turned up for Trevor Brooking’s début (a 3-3 ‘victory’ against Burnley) and I was also lucky enough to see Moore, Peters and (my favourite) Geoff Hurst more or less in their prime.

    Some years later, I was fortunate to make it to Wembley a few times with the Hammers, and even saw Brooking’s unlikely header to beat Arsenal in 1980.

    But it hasn’t always been an easy road, as I’m sure you will agree, and the scars of Mr Gerrard’s boot at Cardiff last May will take some time to heal.

    Let’s hope for the best, and that all the players stay. At least three goals against Brighton is a start. We can but dream, since nightmares are all too familiar.

    Cheers
    – Roads

  4. Jeremycj says:

    Iain

    My first view of West Ham was in November 1968. A full strength West Ham came down for a testimonial at Hartsdown Park, Margate. It was to celebrate the achievements former Hammers player Almer Hall, who had become Margate manager in 1950.

    I still remember Moore, Peters & Hurst on that famous slope. The crowd was around 5000 and for the record the score ended up 6 apiece.

    In 1959, West Ham were also the opposition when they came to play Margate. This was a match to celebrate the erection of new floodlights.

  5. raincoaster says:

    Ah, I see you made it to WordPress after all. And already in Top 100 Blogs: congratulations.

  6. sean wiseman says:

    iain, just found youre site,brilliant !
    been a hammer for 38 years and reading all the different comments gave me a wry smile !
    we will never win the title but you just cant help loving our club.
    keep up the good work and will be in touch soon,
    regards,
    sean.

  7. Mihai romania says:

    I’m west ham till I die. and I hate Milwal

  8. Dave Dainty says:

    Great site mate, liked the article about Keep/Sell even though I think Reo-Coker has turned a corner. Keep up the good work, Come on you irons!

  9. Mal says:

    Hi

    Nice blog, it’s the true measure of footy I think when although one may not agree with the content all the times, it’s good to see the all sides of a debate. Used to have a bit of a soft spot for West Ham, but I think the general barometer of support has swayed a lot with tevezgate. It’s not really WHUFC’s fault entirely, but it’s opened a massive can of worms as it’s not been dealt with correctly from day one, and every attempt to resolve has blundered from one farce to another. What’s not in question is WH’s form and the fact they played their way out of trouble, which is admirable.

    Nice to see you being honest about being a former spawn of Satan though! To be expected coming from the fertile breeding ground of Man utd fans, but at least you saw sense though. One last thing, do you think there’s a bit of a similarity with WH and Liverpool/MUFC in that there does seem to be a large amount of favouritism embedded in the media and the FA/Prem League? Hard to imagine Charlton, Boro, Watford, Wigan et all getting as fair coverage/treatment as yourselves did I feel.

    Will keep an eye on your blog, have a proper read through, and when get me fledgling effort you can check back and jib me in return!

    Cheers

    PS. Cheers for cashing in Lucas Neill, at least staying up has got the Biscuitman thinking about the wisdom in paying an inflated salary for him & Upson now his get out clauses wont be invoked (as yet) LOL

  10. Good blog ! i am read every day. so.. i am started web site (blog) – westham.org.ua please link to me on Blogroll

  11. Del Springall says:

    Iain, great news and very informative. Can I subcribe to this sites mailing list?
    Come on you Irons

  12. Just came across your Site and just wanted to say keep upthe good work…C’MON U IRONS & KEEP the FAITH….ps we must sit right behind you nearly..Centenery side of dug out

  13. Rapidhammer says:

    I love claret & blue!
    Up the Hammers!

  14. Phil says:

    LOL, You were a ManU fan! Nice! Nice blog there mate 🙂 Do visit ours. Infant in many terms, but every giant is a baby at first.

  15. Jeff Cardy says:

    Hi; I have suported the Hammers from 10years old and I am nearly 60! Season ticket holder with my son since 1995 but used to go to all home games anyway b4 getting season ticket.
    I will never and will not ever support any other club and the thought of supporting the reds just about makes me feel sick. I am glad you have seen the light and support a proper club now!
    All the best. J C

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  17. Hooky da hammer says:

    good site iain, again, keep up the good work ere. we are not the biggest club by far but our fanbase/ support has 2 be admired by other clubs. big up all the fans who gave it all over thick n thin. we’ve had sore throats, rowed with da missus cos she wants 2 go lakeside, got drunk on a saturday whilst singing the bubbles wearing a huge smile, getin drunk on a saturday whilst blubberin like u were 13 again. we make west ham what it is…….THE BEST CLUB IN THE WORLD 2 SUPPORT! I LOVE U WEST HAM!! blubber blubber sniff snivvle ……….Hooky da hammer, 31 yrs

  18. jimwhu says:

    ian westham played a joint cambridge and southend team at cambrige in a testimonial in the 71 72 season ithink that must have been the game you went to but couldnt get details for if you need more info get in touch

  19. Plaistow54 says:

    Hello Iain, yes it looks like you have well organized blog. West Ham is a working class area & it’s supporters are among the most loyal & passionate in the world. I was born & grew up there & live in Oz now. My Grandpa was a WW1 vet & lived in West ham all his life till he died at 89. I saw the 64 cup side & when West Ham won the World Cup for England. My loyalties are obvious. The internet & Foxsports are my lifeline to West Ham. I understand the Man. Utd. thing as i have a teenage son who has played out here since he was three & he supports Manchester. At least you have been healed. I coach at youth level & find that the standard of football here is improving. I think the last three or four years have been turbulent for the club but that Mr. Magnusson is the right man to take us forward. I hope he is in for the long haul though. Good Luck. Fortunes always hiding.

  20. jeff says:

    Hi Iain,
    I have supported the hammers from oz, since my hero,mervyn day was in goal. We get about 5 live games each weekend.so I get to watch the claret and blue often!
    Good luck with the site.

  21. Tim Wheatley says:

    My cousin and I had similar team choice issues growing up. It’s natural as a kid to support the biggest name or the winningest team.

  22. Rooster says:

    Iain can you please change the URL on the Ironworker link to http://cmonyuirons.blogspot.com/ whenever its convenient, thanks 🙂

  23. steviethek says:

    Thanks for a great fan blog.

    As a “yank”, I get the luxury of enjoying all the great football in the EPL, but for some reason I particularly enjoy watching the Hammers when they’re on.

    I felt a particular kinship to your “about” story, as my late father purchased season tickets to the (then Boston, now New England) Patriots thier first year (1960), so I grew up going to the games and watching a woeful team for over thirty years. Now they’re brilliant of course, and everyone thinks Pats fans are bandwagoners!

    Thanks again for the inspirational blog. I’ve just started one of my own.

    http://steviethek.wordpress.com

  24. Upton Spark says:

    Saw you on chanel 442 the other day and enjoyed the game showed which was our 2-3 away win at Arsenal.
    Funny that when we were 3-1 up it was showing that Arsenak were 3-2 up instead of West Ham.
    At the bottom of the screen it kept updating correctly though but strange none the less.
    Yes,442 chanel is very good.

  25. Andy says:

    Iain, what’s up with your Premier League Fantasy Team?
    Iain Dale’s Hammers.
    Can’t be bothered to manage them? Not one single transfer all season and you’re languishing in a lowly position in your own league!!
    Maybe you need The Special One or Big Sam to come and manage them for you?

  26. ale says:

    HELLOOOOOOO, much I’m trying to develop a blog newspaper in which the articles are written by blogger WordPress (or to limit if you do not have time can I you myself when an article by your blog and they to your blog…).
    The blog newspaper was born with the intention to give greater visibility to your blog and the people who search the Web to find articles of greater quality in a single place (having regard to the thousands of blog born every day…). If you go exchange links with blog newspaper contact me as well. I thank you advance and to http://www.giornale.fm soon

  27. Matthew says:

    Alright Iain, Great website. I was like you but not a red. I was given an Ajax shirt when very young and wore that everywhere, thankfully the time of Van Basten, Seedorf, and many more, then when watching the Big Match saw John Barnes play for Watford, that was it, John Barnes was my hero and living Watford i was able to watch him play for the hornets. After they sold him i couldn’t go anymore and just concentrated on playing, couldn’t bring myself to wear a liverpool shirt. Then i saw the light, i began 4 weeks work experience at WHU and loved every minute of it, meeting the players, talking to Billy Bonds, eating lunch on the pitch, going to chadwell heah, fell in love with theC+B, been a hammers for more then 1/2 my ilfe now and never looked back. Thankfully still see JB on channel 5!

  28. Sherbert says:

    Hi Iain

    Just came across your website and I hope to be a regular visitor. My Dad took me to my first West Ham game (FA Cup 4th Round vs Stockport County) on 25th January 1958 just a couple of days after my 10th birthday, a belated present if memory serves.

    From then on we were regular home supporters with Dad and I lining up outside the old Chicken Run from 12pm so that I could get a good view “against the bar”. I was privileged to see some of the best, including the rise of Bobby Moore et al in the Colts. My Dad used to go to any home game he could including the reserves and A-Team. I saw them win the FA Cup and Cup Winners Cup in their 60’s heyday.
    I have been a Hammers supporter ever since. Although have lived away from the UK since 1975 and therefore difficult for me to get along to Upton Park. I now live in Perth, Western Australia. Thankfully to Sky (Foxtel over here) I get to see a lot of matches and always the highlights -sometimes lowlights.

  29. Eric says:

    Great blog..is it OK to add your posts to my westhamdailynews.com? Of course with link to the post

  30. Goatygav says:

    Good to meet you Iain. You’re a very brave man admitting to the Manure support however it takes a man of true character to admit to that level of disgrace. Like all people with true character they become proper Hammers fans however.

    I grew up in a little town called Macclesfield. At school I was completely surrounded by Man City, Liverpool, Manure and Everton fans. It was a true test of my mettle however I never swayed and stayed loyal to my roots (Grandad, Dad, Uncles, Aunties, Cousins, Brothers and Sisters all support the Hammers as the family are from Upton Park(Dad’s side) and East Ham(Mum’s side).

    My first game was a birthday treat vs Man City at Maine Road on 14th Jan 1978. We lost 3-2. The scoreline sounds exciting but the game was dire – I don’t remember much about the game – just sitting in freezing cold rain amongst the Man City fans in the Main Stand (Opposite the Kippax).

    So far I’ve enjoyed your blogs. You seem to attract the more loyal, realistic element of the West Ham faithful – rather than the new breed of impatient moaners and boo boys (I generalise). I look forward to commenting more in the future.

    Cheers
    Gav.

  31. Dave Healy says:

    Lucas Neill should be shown the door ! He is firstly well over paid and secondly very slow going backwards. One of the easiest right backs in the prem to get around with ease. Gives away to many free kicks and penalties ….. !!! Back to Sydney you go.

  32. notahappyhamer says:

    wat is ians email address

  33. Essex says:

    Oi ! “I was a Man U supporter. Well, it was natural, I lived in Essex! ” – worst comment on your otherwise excellent blog.

    Everyone knows real Essex people all follow the Hammers !

  34. Dan Platts says:

    don’t you think us Hammers supporerts should be getting on at our board & not keep going at Sheffield united any other team in their position would have done exactly the same and taken us to court ! so why all the fuss we need to address our own failings….the Board lied too the PL & more importantly it’s own flesh & blood….because of this everbody and i have to agrre with them accused us of cheating not the fans not the players but the CLUB…someone & they know who they are need to admit this and go….and now…..they are all hiding behind it’s all Sheffield Uniteds falut and it’s not it’s our Boards…..Don’t you agree Iain

  35. CHRIS says:

    To all the hammer bloggers and to you Iain have a good christmas and av a good new year!!!!!!just a little about myself…born in plaistow go to as many games as possible dont live in east ham no more moved out some time ago,played the game alot but only as a journey man in the lower leagues and finished at east ham and barking,There are two chris’is on this site I’m the nice one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! enjoy this site alot well done.COYI!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. the headmaster says:

    Well, it does what it says on the tin – I am the genuine article and currently run a Primary school. Brought up in South East London, I fell in love with the irons during the 75 cup run – alan taylor and all.
    1st game was the opening league fixture in 76 I think it was – we beat QPR 1-0 with a Graham Paddon (RIP) goal under the lights and well, UP under the lights in them days was pure adrenalin and testosterone filled heaven – i was well and truly hooked!

  37. E1 says:

    Born east london first game with my grandad 1968 v sunderland 8 – 0 win hooked ever since. Never missed a game home away or abroad 1974 to 1985 lived in HORNCHURCH Essex. Got married and moved away 86 started going again 1990/91 and have been home and away right upto this seasons man u game. Now live in Essex.

  38. Mac says:

    Born ’62, grew up in Reading, brief flirtation with a Chelsea strip aged 6 (I know…) Supported West Ham since ’71, when I asked who’s strip graced the front of a Topical Times annual… First game as a frightened boy a bit too near the Shed End with my Dad in ’73 (or was it ’74?) when Billy Jennings netted in a 1-1 draw. Always stood on the North Bank to the right of the goal and have loved every minute. Currently run a graphic design business in the West End and have a framed Shoot picture of the ’71-’72 team on the wall.

  39. hammeredCalv says:

    Hello Iain & all fellow Hammers supporters, firstly Iain, i would like to congratulate you on what i deem to be one of, if not the best blog site i have read in a long while, i have been a hammers fan for 38 years now, my nan, grandad, aunts, uncles & cousins are all from barking road / canning town area, so when i was born, i was wrapped up in claret & blue and have never swayed or even contemplated supporting another team, my family would of dis owned me ! my mother and nan were evacuated to kent during WW2 along with many other eastend families in those very tough times. My father is half Spanish/ Italin, so you can imagine how pleased i was when i heard about Nani coming to west ham, as i had to endure a lot of Italian football whilst i was growing up, and had heard of the man, delighted when we appionted Zola too ! I beleive our club in Great hands and the future for west ham is going to be fantastic, providing we stay up this season, but am sure we will.

    have a great xmas everyone, and look forward to shareing the exciting times our great club is going to have in the future !

    West ham til i die……………..

    regards, HammeredCalv.

  40. hammeredCalv says:

    S.O – get a “life” as we say !

  41. s.o says:

    I have been a fan for yonks. My first game was at Arsenal away and we successfully took the North Bank. I used to hang with various firms, both home and away, until a nasty incident involving a meat cleaver got me a decent sized stretch on behalf of her majesty. I took the opportunity to discover books and also found religion, the Rastafarian religion to be precise. Being bought up a good Jewish boy in North London you can imagine the distress me turning to Jah had on my family. Anyway it’s all turned out fine. I now run a couple of niche escort websites and live in domestic bliss with my partner Godfrey and four cats named Stretch, Tonka, Bonzo and Dicksy.

  42. DevoDevo says:

    Hi Iain

    Intersting to see how eveybody got to support this great club!

    I was born in Hornchurch, Essex, to East End parents and was first taken to Upton park in 1967 to watch Man Utd (Charlton, Law, Best) by my Dad and a few others. Myslef and my older brother were handed over the heads of the crowd down to the front! We lost 3-1, so i guess it held me in good stead for the last 40 years.

    Favourite all time player, Alan Devonshire (see username), brilliant week in week out and would be worth a fortune these days. To think we paid £5000 for him!

    Best game: v Eintract Frankfurt 2nd leg of ECWC semi in 1976. Never been in such a brilliant atmosphere when the whole of Upton Park swayed and sung Bubbles.

  43. Daveip1966 says:

    Nice to see you writing about the boys for yourself (well, and us), now Iain. I first remember you from the old Yahoo groups list, and then found this place via a link on your political blog (via the Grauniad).

    As well as the Yahoo list, I was a regular on Alf Garnett’s Agony Hour and its erstwhile replacement ComeonyouIrons.com but, since moving to KL, don’t get much of a chance now.

    Hammer since 1975 (with childish dalliances elsewhere – we all make mistakes), partly due to the FA Cup, which was my first live TV game, aged four, and partly due to family. It didn’t work for my red-scouse brother though

    Now one of, er, some flying claret and blue colours in Malaysia (along with my recently indoctrinated wife and two baby hammers).

  44. richo says:

    Awesome blog site, intelligent (most of the time)and informative, we really do have the best fan club in the world.
    Born and lived in Australia all my life, started following West Ham as a kid when I would watch games with my grandfather (a Scotsman who loves West Ham, “more than Rangers, but only just” he would say). Play football and love the game, stay up to the wee hours to watch every Hammers game. Hoping to get to London in the next year or so and getting to Green street to watch a home game will be a top prority.

  45. BRIAN FROM OZ says:

    Hi, I am 57 and was born in WEst Ham (silvertown) and also lived in Custom House and East Ham (Chesley Gardens) very close to the ground. I have supported my hammers for 50 years although I could not afford to see them until I was 12 and I was lucky to be able to saee them in their glory years in the 60’s. Mooro is and always will be my idol, and it was a lot of fun in those days in the old chicken run. Being a kid though they really looked after me. I have been i Australia since 1974 and have only been back twice, and always during the season, when I go over to Upton Park the hair on my neck just sticks up!!I am lucky noe to be able to see every game they play live through pay tv and Setanta, the money is still worth it. I love this web site and all the fans that send it their comments, it is just like have an arument in the pub, but without the real beer!! I love Australia and have played and coached over here but my business has stopped a lot of that…guess what one one them is an egg farm…so I have my own chicken run!!!!! Keep the faith everyone, West Ham till we die,

  46. ATHENS HAMMERS says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS MATE.CHECK OUR NEW SITE: http://www.freewebs.com/athens-hammers

  47. Canadian Westham Rob says:

    Dear Iain
    My name is Rob and I now live in England for the past 11 going on 12 years.I have been a Westham season ticket holder for 10 years now and there is nothing in the world that can beat the passion and atmosphere at Upton park.I was born and raised in Thunder Bay.My mate in Tenerife Sean has a web page sean@tenerifehammers.com.I just found it today and e-mailed him also.Being Canadian It make me proud that if I go back I will not be alone.At the moment I think we have turned the corner for the best.On the pitch we are playing really well that is in the last 4 games.The tests for us is sat in the FA cup agains Barnsly they went a long way in the FA cup last year and you know what we are like against the smaller clubs.Well I will keep logging in and checking your site out.

    Your truely

    Canadian Westham Rob P.S. UP THE HAMMERS!!!!

  48. iainm says:

    hi iain great site been a happy hammer all my life was born in plaistow lived in east ham but now live in cornwall first memory beating fulham 7-2 in 68 went to 75 cup final what a day ! people dont understand how west ham gets in you …as they say we will never win the title but you always have great days at upton park keep the faith WHTID

  49. Basildon Bob says:

    Born in Hackney in 1979, moved to DagenNAM in 1981 now live out in Basildon. Supported the hammers since 85, late starter on the match front as Dad wasn’t into football, but finally went to first game v Wimbledon 1987 (lost 1-2) hooked ever since. Most memorable game was against Man Utd 2-2 draw when Dicksy absoultley “leathered” the ball from the penalty spot to eqaulise late on. Not a regular at matches but try and go to as many games as I can.

  50. Graybo says:

    Been a Happy Hammer since the mid sixties when, as a lad, I received a comic which had a special free gift of three colour photos of three players… Danny Blanchflower, Billy Wright and Bobby Moore.

    I wasn’t supporting a football team, and my dad and I opted for Bobby Moore’s team. What a wonderful choice.

    My earliest football memory was pleading with mum and dad to let me stay up to watch the Cup-winners’ cup final – it was way past my bedtime.

  51. Matt Ryan says:

    Hi, Ian! Just to say a big hello, I also live in TW and nice to see a local lad 🙂

    I have enjoyed your blogs for a long time! So much so that you have inspired me to start my own WHU blag and vent my views that way!

    Thanks Mate

    Matt

  52. Shay says:

    Hi Iain – really terrific blog on the Hammers.
    I’m 47, born in Ireland and now living in Australia since 1987 – and have been an avid Hammers fan since 1973. I rememebr going on a schooltrip to Butlins Holiday Camp, just outside Dublin, and all of us kids were buying soccer caps and I ended up with a rather plain West Ham one – probably because all the Arsenal, Man U and Liverpool ones were all snapped up. Thus I became a Hammer, well remebering the glorious Cup wins in 75 and 80 but also the relegations and the disapointments and all the false dawns. Then again I wouldnt have it any other way. When I tell folk that I am a Hammers fan I get the feeling people think I am a real fan – in contrast to if I was to say I was a Man U or Liverpool fan I would be think that other people think I am a glory hunter.
    Havn’t been to Upton Park since 1986 but I’m really keen to get back there for a game someday soon.
    COYI.
    Well done on the blog, Iain.

  53. Jolly says:

    Hi Iain,

    Love this blog – I normaly check it twice a day, comfortably the best on the net – keep up the great work.

    Aged 35 this year and born in Ilford, Essex, ive been a fan since the age of 4 (1978) when my dad took my brother and me to our first game against Ipswich – I don’t remember anything about the game but still have the programme. We became season ticket holders in the 80’s sitting in the lower west right next to the dugouts as my mum and dad used to do charity work for the club – anyone else remember the old scratchcards??
    2nd proudest day of my life (after my wedding day) was the day i was the matchday masoct on 27/11/1983 for a live game vs Man Utd – I still have the video from the day and the commemorative book.
    Due to work commitments I only get to about 10 games a year now and normaly sit in the Doc Martin’s upper where the atmos’ is rubbish….

  54. Jolly says:

    P.S.

    I will fulfil a life-times ambition on June 1st this year when i will play in the footballaid match on the hallowed turf of The Boleyn.

  55. The Gaffer says:

    Hello Iain,
    I think I saw you on Setanta a month ago talking about the Champions League.
    Am i right?

  56. Iain Dale says:

    You did indeed. And I will be on the BBC News Channel at 11.20pm tonight reviewing the newspapers, if you want another look!

  57. The Gaffer says:

    Ok, Im sure to check it out.
    BTW the new domain is not working properly…

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