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This disease needs to be removed from our great club

Regular CandH blogger Allen Cummings offers his most heartfelt blog yet on events on and off the pitch in Wales yesterday.


For the past sixty years I have been a supporter of West Ham United.

This is the club I have loved from boyhood to manhood and now through to a more gentler age. That makes me a Hammer for just over half the club’s entire existence.

I’ve seen most things in my time, and until recently I was happy to say to anyone who listened “seen that, done that, got the t-shirt”. Thrilled by the amazing highs. Sent to despair by the shattering lows.

I’ve worshipped truly world class players. Shaken my head at some hopeless journeymen. There have been true legends,  genuine heroes mixed with embarrassing and hopelessly inadequate villains. But through all that, it has always been about the football. That’s what really mattered.

 I can understand the frustration over yesterdays result. I was as frustrated as everyone else, not necessarily just by losing, because that’s the chance you take in competition. It was the way we lost was the real sickener for me.

But having said that, I can recall many times when a West Ham team, with better players than some of those on show yesterday, contrived to lose a game in similar fashion. So it wasn’t new, and I consoled myself in the knowledge that being West Ham we could just as likely turn in a super show next Saturday against Burnley. That’s the West Ham way.

Then to start the long, sorrowful journey home and discover what had gone on with our Vice Chairman David Gold, supposedly in the name of my club. I was lost for words. That’s #notmywestham – not the club I remember, not the club I want it to be.

And it’s surely not an aspect of the club most decent supporters like me want to be part of. Last week it was the disgraceful ‘Hitler’ banner, This week it’s the hi-jack of an 82 year old man and the abuse and intimidation to which he was subjected. How low can you sink?

Is that what we want this club of ours to be associated with? I’ve disagreed and debated with a number of people on here over a variety of issues but I respect their views and I believe they respect mine.

Sadly the people trying to tarnish my club, our club, wouldn’t know the meaning of the word. They are becoming a cancer, eating away at the very core of West Ham United.

And it’s a disease that needs to be cut out and eradicated before it’s too late!

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About Hugh5outhon1895

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

19 comments on “This disease needs to be removed from our great club

  1. Well said ! Said from the heart and so true. I know not directly related and I’m writing on this site but I feel social media hasn’t enhanced good behaviour . Years ago you came to watch a game or saw it on the tv , had face to face discussions and win or lose enjoyed the game as part of the West Ham family

  2. Well said!! spot on! just wish our players would just get on with it! they all look like they have issues !! they should look at Harry Kane, he just gets on with it! makes it look easy, not fanning about!!

  3. Well said Hugh. The manner in which David Gold was treated was disgraceful. That sort of confrontation is not only beneath contempt, it is dangerous. The stress of being treated like that can lead to heart attacks in people twenty to thirty years younger than David Gold. And those of you who are abusive on-line of our board are not much better. There is nothing wrong in expressing heartfelt views – just do it without the abuse,the bullying.. Do you think you are more likely to be listened to if you pepper your comments with abuse rather than in a well-argued and rational way? I don’t think so. You weaken your case by being abusive because it seems to be the outpourings of ignorant thugs, and you have less chance of persuading more civilised fans and the Boardof its merits. The fans and the board need to unite behind the players at this time to help us avoid relegation. Save the protests until we’re safe – then organise marches, protest groups or whatever in order to achieve the changes you desire. The current achievements of the RWHAG may not be enough for some, but a good start has been made. Continue the CIVILISED fight when we’re safe.

  4. Allen’s posting is heartfelt and above anything else, downright decent. There’s nothing that Allen writes that one could take exception to, and yet it is exceptional for its authenticity.

    As I posted yesterday on C&H it is one thing to reasonably critique the current owners and coach, and I do without apology. The former seem to demonstrate minimal understanding (and in the case of Mr Sullivan a large dollop of unreconstructed ignorance that is truly shameful to the name of WHUFC) of the need for sophisticated leadership of a contemporary footballing ”brand’.

    While the latter is a two-hit coach at Preston, to a lesser extent Everton, and is proving ineffectual with the Irons when compared to the unsung merits of Chris Hughton, Eddie Howe and the rising star that is Carvalhal.

    That said, it is not critique and criticism of the owners that is the malignancy at the club. The present crises are partly made by management: the despicable Henry remarks; the lack of a professional, planned, systematic player recruitment policy; and, three consecutive mediocre coaches. The thinking behind the recruitment of Fonte, Ayew, Byram, Chicharito – in excess of £30 millions – is indicative of the pathology at the heart of our club. For the club to progress there needs to be a change in ownership and a willingness to create a management infrastructure capable and competent of leading the Club, professionally. To use Allen’s word, we have ‘journeymen’ owners, Club systems and policies, and ownership. There is the pathology that is seeing our beloved Irons go from crisis towards the abyss.

    Now although I stand by my views, support healthy critique and criticism of what is not good ora functional at the club, I also agree with the spirit of Allen’s ‘raw and real’ posting. We have every right to criticise, to dissent, but absolutely no right

  5. Couldn’t agree more, fella.

    I’m only fifty years in, but feel just the same. The recent ascendency of social media, where everyone is not just entitled to an opinion, but also entitled to make you hear it – seems to be giving a lot of morons the feeling that they can be as obnoxious in person as they seem to be on line.

    A return to reasoned debate, sensible discussion and standards of common courtesy and behaviour is urgently needed! How would these people feel if their Grandad was abused in the street like this?

  6. Very well said and elequently written ., Allen . You have said it so well it leaves no room for anybody else . You , like me have been supporting West Ham for over 65 yrs and seen all the exciting highs and depressing lows . We have had better teams than this one that still failed , and that was long before the existence of the current Board . But , as you say , it was about Football and we loved it ., still do despite our present plight . It is truly Sad to read some of the uneducated comments on this forum by certain individuals . Everybody has the right to thier say , of course they do . But seriously , some of the language and innuendo isn’t fit to be written or read . To verbally abuse a 82 yr old man who has West Ham at Heart is both deplorable and disgusting , not to mention downright cowardly .
    COYHAMMERS and god bless you Allen .

  7. …to be offensive and abusive of Mr Gold, or any of the Board. No right to abuse and use offensive analogies to the coach and players alike. Using the Hitler sign to a person of Jewish heritage is downright provocative and potentially racist. Such behaviour by fans is despicable. Mr Gold and his co-owner, and the coach are not my cup of tea. That view will not change no matter what the ‘propaganda’ about them. However, these are human beings who do not deserve to be abused, to be harassed, to be intimidated, or to have totally inappropriate and insensitive slogans flung at them.

    I endorse the spirit of Allen’s posting as a 65 year old Hammers fan whose first game was at the Boleyn, versus the Villa, in 1960.

  8. Like you Allen, I was first introduced to our great club as an 11 year old and I am now almost 75 years of age. Those many years of supporting our club give me a right to a view and I could not improve on yours. Walking from Stratford to the stadium every home game I am often ashamed of the foul mouthed louts that call themselves WHU supporters. Our owners have made an investment in the club. Not necessarily what we would like but beggars cannot be choosers. Christ, I remember the Brown days, the Icelandic episode, etc. At least the current owners are fans. Yes, they have made many mistakes but lately they seem to be learning from these mistakes. And yes, I am ashamed of what happened after the game on Saturday as should all real WHU supporters.

  9. My views 100% even down the longevity bit which I always illustrate by pointing out that I’ve watched West Ham play under every manager apart from the first two. I wonder if these guys describe themselves as “Real” ??

  10. I can understand the frustration but not how it found it’s way to the confrontation of David Gold in the manner it did. Once that happens you lose the argument and moral high ground and it then doesn’t become about the reasons behind the frustration but the confrontation and how distasteful it was. The board has a lot to answer for but this was not the way to try and hold them to account!

  11. I couldnt agree more than i do with some of the well thought out articles and comments on this website of late. West Ham have always been a win some lose some sort of team. yes thats the west ham way. its time to roll up our sleeves and get on with it. going to the next level was never a promise. it was a desire, an ambition, a target. we all need targets its just some people set their targets higher than others, and when things dont come to fruition straight away, they dont just give up. they dust themselves down and come up fighting. too many of our fans now have a different reaction. some of these so called real fans are like spoilt brats throwing their toys out of the pram if they dont get what they wanted immediately. they should be ashamed of themselves but people like that never are. as someone else said they have no moral compass. the only way they know is confrontation and protest and the worst of it is, they really believe, unbelievably, that they have right on their side.

  12. Some of our fans are deluded,this our club has never been no different than what’s going on now never and probably ever will be no different,we’re West Ham!
    NO previous board has done more more than this mob as we were going UNDER after Eggert and Co,sure there’s has I’ll judged promises but that goes with modern football we must stick to now!!because anything like the bond scheme protest and we’re down!and take a look around you it’s hard to get back.

  13. We were sold a vision of what we would strive for. There was no tme limit, and no promises. We all bought into it, and we are still striving for it. It will come in time, but a minority is not satisfied with that, and want to sulk because we are not in the champions league after 1.7 seasons after moving to the new stadium. It’s utterly hideous. After what was done against David Gold, everybody should boycott this stupid march, and get back to being real West Ham supporters.
    The march is unreal.

  14. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion over the board & the direction the club are going, but to treat an 82 fan like that is disgusting. He stopped the car & got out to talk to the group & he was treated like that.. what is happening to our fan base? Protesting is one thing but that along with the hitler banner last week makes you ashamed to be a WHU fan.
    The fans behind the banner have no shame, to compare the two is sick beyond words & disrepectful to the many people who lost their lives in the war. Remember DG had to experience war time britain.
    Imho some West Ham fans need to go back to supporting West Ham & get real, nothing happens overnight. We will not compete with the top six straight away if at all. Spending £40/50/60m on single player isn’t going to happen

  15. There have always been some proper morons that support our club (and most clubs to be fair, angry white men with far right tendencies), they are the same ones that would sing certain anti semitic songs when we played Tottenham I had several fights with them in the North Bank in the 80’s got chucked out twice for that… they haven’t got two brain cells to rub together, they generally pick on soft targets when they are in a group. Hopefuly they will be identified and banned for life.

  16. Absolutely spot on Allen. I agree with every word. Having followed our great club for nearly 50 years I have to say I am sickened by the behaviour of people like those who accosted David Gold. A similar incident happened to David Sullivan, who was mobbed and jostled by meat headed ‘fans’. These thugs are a disgrace, not just to West Ham, but to society in general. Well said sir.

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