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No belief, no confidence, no pride, no effort – they don’t deserve us

Blind Hammer David Griffiths on how the disabled show total commitment to their beloved Hammers unlike some of our players!

At last Pellegrini has gone. Above all Pellegrini had to go because his team were no longer fighting. Ironically this is in stark contrast to their disabled supporters who fight every game to attend.

Pellegrini was tactically inept but this should not disguise a disgraceful deeper truth. the His players were cossetted and did not work hard enough. In the 16 games prior to the Southampton game West Ham were, according to Opta statistics, outrun by their opponents 14 times.

The stark unpalatable truth is that In only two games this season have West Ham run more than their opponents .

Exactly a year ago my brother, fighting cancer, in the last months of his life, nil by mouth, having to take both fluids and food through a peg in his stomach, fought his way through journey over 200 miles to see his beloved Irons.

Today on the Accessibility Bus I was privileged to sit alongside a supporter who attended his first game in 1948. He is therefore in his 71st season of supporting West Ham. Despite his increasing disability he is still fighting to see his team play .

After the game I was also privileged to meet fellow Claret and Hugh readers Joe and Alison Riley, also on the Accessibility Bus. Joe has Motor Neurone disease and now has to use a wheelchair. Yet Joe is still proud to maintain an astonishing record of supporting West Ham.

Joe fights his impairment every day and can barely fight his way out of bed on some occasions. Yet Joe and Alison provide an amazing example of commitment to the West Ham cause. Joe has maintained an extraordinary record of missing only two home games in 40 years.

Joe and Alison live in Wickford. Today they faced the prospect of a nightmare journey because of train line closures due to engineering works. To manage all this with draining energy levels they decided to hire an expensive taxi for a substantial part of their journey to and from West Ham.

The energy and commitment of these supporters who fight through thick and think to support their club is in stark contrast to the lack lustre commitment of the current squad. .

The first task of any new manager will be to increase pride so that the team at least manage to show the same commitment as their supporters. Then perhaps we will have a team which deserve our support.


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About David Griffith

My Father, born in 1891 was brought up in the shadows of the Thames Ironworks Memorial Ground. I remember as a child jumping over the settee when Alan Sealy scored in our 1965 European Cup Winners triumph. My first game was against Leicester in 1968, when Martin Peters scored what was adjudged by ITV’s Big Match as the Goal of the Season. I became a season ticket holder in 1970. I was registered blind in 1986 and thought my West Ham supporting days were over. However in 2010 I learnt about the fantastic support West Ham offer to Blind and other Disabled Supporters. I now use the Insightful Irons in-stadium commentary service and West Ham provide space for my Guide Dog Nyle. I sit on the West Ham Disabled Supporters Board and the LLDC Built Environment Access Panel. David Griffith aka Blind Hammer

13 comments on “No belief, no confidence, no pride, no effort – they don’t deserve us

  1. Well said David. I think we all deserve better than we have had dished up in recent seasons, but the sacrifices made by the fans you talk about certainly put it in perspective. How good would it be if some of them at least had a team to be proud of in the coming seasons. We can but hope.

  2. Pity the players can’t see this regardless of manager no excuse for lack of effort. But playing at home with one striker strange. Obiang was never replaced, poor Sanchez out of his depth.

  3. Truly inspiring commitment. Thank you for sharing. Can we send to each and every member of the playing squad? Perhaps it will shame them into more effort more of the time. Amazing fans.

  4. Excellent article but how often have we said this in the last 10 years since G&S took over? The cycle isn’t changing because the club continues to do the same thing expecting a different outcome. The pride and respect the players need to show starts from the top.

  5. Wow, thanks David and Mike, we take so much for granted in life… Real sobering thoughts.
    Please cannot somebody, institution make a poster of this post and deliver to our management and” team “players and I use this term loosely unfortunately.

  6. Thank you David, I’m Joe, was a privilege to speak to you again yesterday. Got home after 9 last night after long and disappointing day, totally drained by it all. However I will be back again Wednesday and every game I can because this is my passion in life. I don’t expect my team to win every week, but I do expect them to try with every effort. I have been using the disability bus since September 2018 and see so many disabled and elderly people using this service, they too keep coming back every game too.

  7. Before I read this article I was just despondent, head shaking with a team (is that what they are?) who just seem not to care. But David’s fantastic post has made me really angry – how they let everyone down, including themselves, the lack of effort, the lack of belief. This for highly paid players and backroom staff who should know better. Show them David’s post and shame them into a little pride and effort for our great club. The managerial staff might have been inept but the players are equally culpable.

  8. Hi I’m Joe’s daughter Samantha.

    Dad is a true inspiration in all areas of life, what he has to go through with his MND (Motor Neurone Disease) shows just how cruel life can be sometimes.

    Nether the less, dads passion and commitment to West Ham still stays strong. Dating back to the days that he used to stand on a wooden footstall (at the age of 5) at Upton Park with my Grandad Len, all the way up to now where he battles the journeys on our least than reliable train services (which he has been left stranded on 3 times this year) just to make it to a match.

    One of my funniest memories as a child was abandoning our car at Sainsbury’s on the A13 and running all the way to Upton Park, due to the standstill traffic jam. The sheer panic that dad had then about potentially missing a match was hilarious

    The players could learn a lot from my dad! Hopefully they get a kick up the bum soon! We need our spark back…

  9. Great piece. David, Joe or any of the other supporters mentioned above who have to deal with such adversity every day (not just on match days) have more claim to the title of ‘Mr West Ham’ than any of our current players. Good luck for 2020.

  10. Great post Samantha – my daughter Amber was with me yesterday as well so at least we have the next generation holding tightly onto the true faith!

  11. I am Joe’s Mum and am so proud of him. His disability (MND) is one of the most cruel but he has soldiered on with his support of the Hammers through thick and thin, never letting his disease stop him. Many times the journey to the ground has been very difficult with accessible transport on the train letting him down on many occasions.
    Joe you are an inspiration and I pray that you can attend the games as long as possible. Well done Alison too for your hard work making it possible.

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