My Favourite Shirt - Part Three
Part Three of 'My Favourite Shirt' has West Ham fan, Tom Moate, discussing his favourite shirt as well as life supporting The Irons.
Tom outside London Stadium with the 1989/90-1990/91 West Ham United Home Shirt
Why is this your favourite shirt? It is the shirt the team wore during the season I started supporting West Ham (1990/91). To me that team was magical. I have seen better players and better teams since but that team will always hold a special place in my heart. In my eyes, this shirt represents excitement, attacking verve and wonder. It was performances in this shirt which cemented my love for the Irons. Of course, it wouldn’t be West Ham if they did not stuff things up and they duly did so in the last game of the season by losing to Notts County and in the process throwing away the old Second Division title.
Are there any happy or bad memories that come back to you when you see or think about this shirt? The memory that stands out is the bittersweet 1991 FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest at Villa Park, which had the team wearing the away kit. I was not there and watched it on television. The game was effectively ruined as a contest when Keith Hackett wrongly sent off Tony Gale. West Ham went on to lose 4-0 but it made me feel extremely proud to be a West Ham fan as the fans created a party atmosphere and sang, “Billy Bonds’s claret and blue army” incessantly.
Who was the best player who wore this shirt in your opinion? Ian Bishop.
And the worst? Matthew Rush.
Why do you support West Ham? I honestly don’t know. It is lost in the mists of time. There are no family connections. In 1990 I found I was a West Ham fan
What was the first Hammers game you went to? Home to Leicester City in January 1991. West Ham won 1-0 thanks to an opportunistic strike from George Parris after a through ball hit him on the heel and ran away from him.
The programme from Tom's first ever West Ham game
How have West Ham done this season and how do you see the remainder of their season going? A mixed bag and in many ways that is typically West Ham. Overall I am pleased with the way the club is going under Pellegrini. I believe progress is being made in attitude and playing style and I am optimistic for the future.
Your best 1-11 from supporting the club?
Marc Rieper, Rio Ferdinand, Slaven Bilić
Scott Parker, Ian Bishop
Dimitri Payet, Paolo Di Canio, Felipe Anderson
Dean Ashton, Carlos Tevez
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