After following West Ham home and away for 15 years or so, during which time I'd moved into journalism, I started editing Hammers News, the official club magazine, in the mid-90s and later covered the club for the local press, providing match-day analysis and a weekly opinion piece that ran for 12 years. I've also written eight West Ham-related books, starting with Terminator, The Authorised Story Of Julian Dicks through to Hammer Blows, a collection of my columns for the East London Advertiser and Barking & Dagenham Post. Other titles include The Essential History Of West Ham United, Claret & Blue Blood, Bring Me The Head Of Trevor Brooking and There's Only One Stevie Bacon... For my sins, I've also worked as a sub-editor for 'quality' newspapers such as The Sun and the Daily Star, been a staff sports writer for The London Paper and (back in the mists of time) Teletext, as well as the Recorder Group of regional titles, before heading to Spain where I currently reside and appear as a pundit on the Costa del Sol-based 93.6 Global Radio's Saturday Sports Show every week. Thankfully, every Hammers game is aired live here, so I've not missed a single episode of the real East End soap opera that is West Ham United...
How I came to support West Ham
I seem to remember liking both West Ham and Arsenal as a child but when the Hammers beat the Gunners on the way to their 1975 FA Cup final success against Fulham there was only one team for me after that. My best mate at school suggested we start going to Upton Park for games and the rest, as they say, is history...
My best West Ham memory
Attending the 1980 FA Cup final and seeing Trevor Brooking head the only goal of the game against Arsenal, a tactival triumph for manager John Lyall. Also being invited to sit on the bench alongside boss Harry Redknapp for a friendly against TSV 1860 Munich in 1995. I say, what language!!! And getting to know the likes of Julian Dicks, Tony Cottee, John Hartson, Neil Ruddock, Ian Wright and Ian Bishop during their times with the Hammers.
The best West Ham game I’ve ever seen
It's hard to look beyond the 1980 FA Cup semi-final replay against Everton at Elland Road. Ecstasy turned to agony when Bob Latchford wiped out Alan Devonshire's extra-time opener, but the fans were back in heaven again when Frank Lampard headed a last-gasp winner. A rollercoaster of emotions.