Historic link as Irons train before hundreds


The Hammers were watched by the  great, great, great grandson of the Club’s founder Arnold Hills when they turned out for their first New Zealand training session.

Hundreds of fans turned and reports that among them was the long term descendant of Arnold.

The fans watched the Hammers go through their paces before hetting the opportunity to meet the squad.the

Choruses of ‘Bubbles’ – greatly appreciated by Joint-Chairman David Gold, manager Sam Allardyce and his staff and players – we sung as the players went through their paces.

Kiwi Gerald Smith has lived may have lived in New Zealandall his life  but his family history records that he is the great, great, great grandson of the founder of the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company and its football team, Arnold Hills.

He told the official site: “My mother’s mother was a Hills and her grandfather was Arnold Hills.

“I’ve visited my family in London a few times, but I’ve never actually been to the West Ham stadium, so we’ll definitely all come over soon to watch a game.”

“I’m definitely a fan because of my family links, but Wednesday [versus Wellington Phoenix in Auckland] will be the first time I’ve actually been to a West Ham game.”

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon