Fan-tastic! The amazing West Ham United claret and blue army

10:29 20 May 2012

Celebrating in Australia... Jackie Patten and two week old grandson George in Hammers kit!

Celebrating in Australia... Jackie Patten and two week old grandson George in Hammers kit!

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The amazing support for West Ham United

Fan-tastic! Living proof of the strength and breadth of support for West Ham United is there for all to see this morning after the Hammers earned back their true place in English football.

Hammers clinched promotion with a dramatic Championship play-off final at Wembley, beating Blackpool 2-1 to return to the Premier League.

And at Wembley, back home in Newham or in various places all other the globe, there were bubbles being blown everywhere as the Irons got back where they belong.

The fans outsang their rivals at Wembley, at the Boleyn and in pubs and clubs and in home all over Newham, the support was simply fantastic.

And all around the world, the support for the Hammers was simply senstational.

One little story summed up that support, and how once you have that bond with the Hammers, it neve goes away.

Jackie Patten sent us two emails from Australia to tell us how she felt.

She said: “I am living on the Gold Coast of Australia in Queensland having moved here from England five years ago.

“This is the first big match i have missed since I began to attend matches fifty years ago.

“I was born in Whitfield Road, East Ham, about two mins from the ground and my first season was 62/63.

“I went to Wembley in 1964, 1965, and 1966 and thought that was what you did at the end of the season!

“How wrong can you be? I hHave had some good times and some bad times over the years but that’s par for the course for a Hammers fan, “ said Jackie, whose maiden name was Ludlow.

“Its a great place here in The Gold Coast but I will always be a Hammer at Heart. I am thrilled that my grandson Jacob aged 14 is proud to wear the shirt.

“And my new grandson aged just two weeks George got dressed in his new strip curtesy of his auntie Joy, who was at the match. “We all watched it together and obviously am so thrilled at the result. We are back where we belong. My favourite players over the years include Bobby Moore, Paulo Di Canio and Trevor Brooking(with a soft spot for Carlos Tevez).”

Something special indeed.

After the final, manager Sam Allardyce acknowledge the support of the claret and blue army, saying it had made a real difference.

He also praised match-winner Ricardo Vaz Te.

“Now if you cannot celebrate that as a good season, I don’t know what you can celebrate. Overall, we have only lost eight in 49. It’s been a thrilling season, outstanding from the players.”

He said Vaz Te as being one of the best buys in a long career of bargain hunting.

Vaz Te scored his 12th goal for West Ham against Blackpool after moving from Barnsley in a £500,000 deal in January.

“What a signing,” he said. “The goals he has scored are probably the reason why I’m sat here and we’re back in the Premier League. He must be one of my best signings and I’ve signed some good players in my time.”

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