My Farewell to Green St. Hammers and Covering West Ham

West Ham's London Stadium. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
West Ham's London Stadium. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) /

My time at Green Street Hammers covering West Ham has come to a close, so a fond farewell to the team that inspired a huge portion of my life, and here’s to the next chapter for me – still a die-hard West Ham supporter.

It’s hard to think about supporting West Ham for myself without covering them on a day-to-day basis. For the last three years, I have been on the Green Street Hammers team at FanSided, producing written content covering my beloved Hammers.

I became a West Ham fan a few years earlier, selecting the claret and blue in a hungover state, unable to move from my bed. West Ham were playing Swansea on a cold February morning and a Kevin Nolan brace and Andy Carroll red card had me completely won over.

Because I was so hungover that I couldn’t move, I decided that I would pick whichever team won the game already on TV as my Premier League team.

And just like that, my West Ham love affair was born.

While I had to struggle through the rest of the day, cleaning my bedding and rushing to the washroom to find something to puke into, I never knew at the time how easy it would be for me to be welcomed into a community as strong and deep as the West Ham family.

Being from Canada, football (not soccer) is far from the norm for viewing. We are a hockey country with deep roots in basketball and baseball while having an admiration of the American football scene as well. For me, however, it was a quick and fast fall for the beautiful game.

I went from completely ignorant of the sport outside of the World Cup and Euros, to moving my work schedule around the morning/early afternoon EST kickoffs just to watch Dimitri Payet whirl a freekick into the net.

When I joined GSH I was welcomed by Scott Johnson, a transplanted Englishman in Australia. Between the both of us, we had to site covered 24/7 in the most literal sense. Scott taught me an awful lot about writing and West Ham culture, lessons I will never forget.

Next came Jeremiah, my North American pal who brought his outsider’s approach to covering the Hammers to the site. He stepped up to site expert alongside me after Scott took a step back and it was a pleasure writing alongside you for all these years.

Lastly, the man inheriting the ‘site expert’ crown all by himself now is Henry Tomlinson. Part of what makes stepping away from GSH so easy for me is knowing how perfectly everything will be run with Henry at the helm.

He is an unbelievable talent in the journalism world and an even better person outside it. Since he stepped up to help run this site it has been on an astronomical trajectory and will continue to climb under his leadership.

To the team members along the way, thank you for making me proud to get the first read-through on all of your writing and making my job a lot easier than it had any right to be. Jeff, Louis, Jay, Jack, Justin, Scott, and all the newer team members, thank you!

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Lastly, I owe every single person who has ever clicked on anything authored by me a massive thank you. I was able to put on my writer’s cap because of all of you and it has been a true honour writing accepted or divisive articles to agree with or rip apart.

I will end on this short memory of truly understanding what the West Ham Way is how tight-knit and loyal the West Ham family is. Travelling to England for the first time in 2018 with my Fiancé to see the great city, I was also spoiled with tickets for West Ham’s New Year’s clash with West Brom.

I had no access to tickets outside of some fan forums and sure enough, my ask for two tickets was answered by a life-long West Ham supporter who had a pair available to us. Little did I know I was going to be 20 rows up off the pitch in what would become the Billy Bond stands nearly at the center circle.

On a rainy cold night with a gritty 1-1 match headed for the final whistle, Manuel Lanzini picked up the ball and ran into the Baggies half and I experienced a roar from a crowd I will never forget. The ball found its way to Marko Arnautovic and his low cross missed Chicharito but found Andy Carroll at the back post to secure the win.

At a moment’s notice, I went from a spectator in a stadium to a grown man screaming and cheering, hugging once complete strangers and falling over my seat along with 60,000 like-minded lunatics. Even my now wife was jumping and yelling, completely swept up in the celebrations on and off the pitch.

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It was a memory I will cherish forever and a high I will chase forever. I have had an absolute blast covering West Ham for all these years and look forward to whatever lies ahead. One last time, thank you to everyone who has read my writing along the way, and come on you Irons!