The Mike Ireson Column

The International break. Nothing happening West Ham wise. Well that’s not true for me this time.

This international break I have welcomed in to the world one of the youngest and newest supporters of West Ham United, my grandson James.

It makes me immensely proud that I have passed my love of this club down through the generations and that that will live on when I’ve thrown a seven and toddled off.

Regardless of what happens on the pitch we all share this claret and blue religion. It is our duty and our honour to pass it on.

I have 3 sons and I have 3 big ticks in life boxes that I guided them in to the claret and blue way. I was fortunate enough in their formative years to be able to make them season ticket holders and give them West Ham memories they will never forget.

High and lows – the true West Ham way.

Within hours of young James being born his father, my eldest son Tom, had sent me a picture of him adorned in West Ham babywear.

Heart goes zing, tear in the corner of the eye. It will be a while before he realises but James’ West Ham journey has begun.

What will his West Ham memories be? Well for him the Olympic Stadium will be home. The Boleyn Ground will be a thing of the past. Confined to video evidence and tales of lore from his father, uncles and grandfather.

Who will the first manager he remembers? He may regale his children with tales of the legendary manager Mark Noble. An ex player who went on to guide West Ham to the Champions League.

It won’t matter what happens on the pitch though. He will follow the path of his father and his father before him (sorry I’ve gone all Star Wars there).

In 46 years time the not so young James could well be writing this very same article, via whatever the medium is of the day (the internet may seem like chalk and slate by then).

James, welcome to the West Ham family. I can promise you nothing. There will be high’s, there will be low’s. There will be all points in between.

But one thing will remain the same throughout your life, and the title of this blog, West Ham till I die.


One last personal note, happy birthday to my middle son Sam today. Guide your nephew in all things claret and blue! ?