West Ham: Saïd Benrahma Honors Late Father With New Number

Said Benrahma, West Ham. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Said Benrahma, West Ham. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) /

Saïd Benrahma gained attention in England before joining West Ham United, partly because of something that happened while he was playing for Brentford. The Algerian international scored a hat trick against Hull City in February 2020 and lifted his shirt to reveal a message: Je t’aime papa (“I love you, Dad”).

The heartfelt tribute was in honor of Benrahma’s father, Mohamed, who has passed away the previous month. He had worked hard to support his family and dreamt that his son would play in the Premier League one day. That dream came true in October that year after Saïd joined West Ham.

Benrahma returned to training with the West Ham first team last week and decided to change his jersey number. He has chosen to switch from the number nine shirt to the number 22, saying that his father always wanted him to wear that specific number. Michail Antonio has subsequently taken the number nine jersey, having previously worn the number 30 for the last six years.

Born and raised in Algeria, 25-year-old Benrahma is the youngest of eight children. He and his mother relocated to France when he was 11 years old, but he maintained close contact with his father and visited him in Algeria every summer. Benrahma joined Nice’s academy and rose through the ranks to make the first team, eventually signing for Brentford in 2018 and rising to prominence in the Championship.

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Benrahma admits that he is a big family man. His mother lived with him in London and attended his photoshoot on the day he joined West Ham. Benrahma has promised that he will honor his father on and off the pitch and look after his mother and sisters. He will now walk out onto the pitch with the number 22, knowing that his father is looking down and beaming with pride.