West Ham – My Angel is a Centrefold

by James Baker

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

So, after months of doubt and negotiations, West Ham United was sold on Tuesday. There were a number of bidders, some more serious than others for the famous old club but we now have a winner, ladies and gentlemen. The club has returned to the bosom of the east end (well, the leafy suburbs of Essex) in the hands of the two Davids’. No, not the classic Spitting Image sketch of politicians of the time, Owen and Steel (Oh, David!) but the porn kings, Sullivan and Gold (Oh, David!)

I’m a life long Hammers fan and season ticket holder. It has been very hard to watch over the past 4 or 5 years as my beloved club became the real-life Eastenders. Turmoil and crisis seemed to be everywhere you turned over the past few years. We used to laugh at clubs such as Tottenham and Newcastle with their ongoing troubles but we have regularly out done them over the past few years. Tottenham even seem to be running quite well now as a club and they are certainly doing the business on the pitch. In the last few years, the soap opera that is West Ham has seen relegation scraps, Icelandic owners bringing the club to it’s knees by spending silly amounts on some fairly average players (and a few good ones), defeat on penalties in the FA Cup final, our prize striker retiring from the game at the age of 26, Pardew and Curbishley, our sponsor going bust, some recent crowd trouble with our mates from the other side of the river and of course, the infamous Tevez saga (I’m not going to add gate to the end of Tevez. Why the hell is every single crisis in the press described with the word gate on the end of it?)!!!!

The Hammers have been dying over the past 18 months or so. No money to spend because of the ridiculous excesses of the past regime, it really has been a case of battening down the hatches. Players we would have liked to have kept had to be sold. We were desperately seeking for a sponsor to fill the void left by XL. Sheffield United were taking us to the cleaners. It seemed that everything that could go wrong was going wrong. Some would argue that the club deserved this after Tevezga, sorry, excuse me, the Tevez saga.

And now West Ham has a chance. They have been given a lifeline and boy, they needed it. David and David (Oh, David!) may not have been everyone’s cup of tea and I admit, I was a little non-plussed by the events of the past few days. I don’t want purveyors of smut ruling my club!!! However, after watching the press conference yesterday, I found myself dismounting my moral high-horse, ahem, and warmed to them. I can’t say I’m sold but it’s amazing what a few words spun in the right way can do to re-new hope. I think Hammers fans have been so devoid of hope for so long that any green shoots such as yesterday are a welcome. Hammers fans of old were generally known for their optimism but as the past few years have rumbled on, the eternal optimist has given way to a fraught and nervous fan. The Boleyn Ground was always an intimidating place to come and play but over the past few years the nervousness of the crowd has made the Boleyn a much more welcoming place. I hope the announcement yesterday may have restored a bit of faith amongst the faithful.

David and David, please take care of my Hammers and restore a little pride. Who knows, Karen Brady, the first lady of football may use the Hammers as a project in her new role as one of Alan Sugar’s team leaders on The Apprentice this year. Who can make the Hammers a £100 million to clear their debts? David and David (Oh, David”) will have to sell a lot of dirty mags to make that kind of money. I for one hope that the current owners stay “hired” and bring some much needed stability to the club. As in the words of the J Giels Band “my angel is a centrefold”! My beloved is now in the hands of the centrefold kings. Look after her, please!

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  • Ben

    Great article, being a life long hammer myself i too felt great optimism after the conference. I think it is to do with the fact the new owners are fans which is something we all would love to be able to achieve. I feel as though the club is safe because of this fact and maybe given time we will push on and achieve much missed success. But for now Im happy to be sailing in a ship that isnt about to capsize! I think our new pre match anthem should now be “My angel is a centrefold’ please contact the club and suggest it.

    Same old west ham taking the p***!!!!!

  • http://www.hammertimes.co.uk Toby

    Just to answer your question on why every legal crisis has “gate” at the end. It comes from the “Watergate” political scandals from the early 70s in America. The Democratic headquarters, based at Watergate Hotel, was burgled. With the burglary and attempted cover up ending up in President Nixon resigning his post. So now every legal fiasco has “gate” chucked onto the end as it is synonymous with dodgy/illegal stuff.

  • dexylongshot

    Good old Dave and Dave or DD as in Double Diamond or DDD as in Dexy Double Diamond or maybe back to DD, especially with Karen Brady in the picture! A new dawn in East London, (another one), I do trust the new lot though, even if one of them wears Al Murray’s jacket and the other has got eyes like Satan. Not so sure about some of the new signings being mentioned. Jo, Benjani & McCarthy. Zamora and Hutton have been mentioned thou and I’d be happy to see them at The Bolyen/Olympic Stadium.

  • JJ

    West Ham are the luckiest club around. Everyone knows they should went down instead of Sheff United! I hope they go down this year

  • Gavin

    They’ve done well at Birmingham, there heart is in the right place and they have plenty of experience. I think they’ll do well and West Ham will stay up….just.

  • nursejackieemu

    a very good article…and I’m not a big hammers fan, I will always side with Sheff United on the Tevez business and have argued the toss for years on here.

    as a side and referring back to the bad management of the club…
    is it true that ljungberg came from arsenal where he was on 30k week to you lot on 80k? plus other incentives and a whacking signing on fee?

  • dexylongshot


    It worked out that he cost West Ham 11 million for 28 games. Bargain.

    …and to think I actually shock Eggys hand underneath the South Bank at the start of last season.

  • nursejackieemu

    I think plenty of clubs have been guilty of that kind of deal…seems West Ham have been stung the most in recent times though…thinking of Boa Morte, Ljungberg, Dyer, Neill and others.

  • dexylongshot

    Dyer is probably worse,I think he has only played for us 4 times in over 2 seasons.

  • JB

    Thanks for some of the comments, chaps. Just wanted to say I was not asking for the literal explanation for using the word gate after a crisis. I am fully aware of Watergate, I just hate the use of it. Thanks anyway, Toby.

    Lucas Neill was a great signing and I am very sorry to see him no longer at our club. He was a great captain and what he lacked in pace he made up for with his reading of the game and his organisation skills. Unfortunately, he is the ultimate football mercenary.

  • dexylongshot

    Lucas Neill was Mustard for a time but yep, the total football mercenary, talking of which, do you think Dobin Van Nostrilroy will sniff at the big nosebag of 100’000 sheets a week being dangled by the D&D Smut Factory???

  • http://theboleyninheritance.wordpress.com/ TBI

    JJ why should we of gone down and not Sheff Utd? At one point they were 12pts ahead of us, they lost 6 games on the bounce and we won 6 games on the bounce PLUS beating Man U on the last day of the season. All the Blades had to do was beat Wigan at home I think, So you tell me who deserved to stay up?

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