US Irons at the ready – ‘Can you hear us America’


HammerFlag (1)From East End boy, lifelong Hammer and CandH top blogger Scott Alsweilleir, New York Sunday. Scott’s priorities are spot on – the flag hangs outside his house summer and winter

It’s like a drumbeat, rousing and urgent. For those of us living in America it’s a very special time, and we intend to do the club proud. We’ll be there, at the games, wearing our colours, singing with all the passion and heart we can muster.

There is something rather special for us, the geographically displaced, the expats, in having the opportunity to see our beloved Irons visit the land in which we now live.

As my American cousins celebrate their national holiday this weekend, my thoughts are only on the coming English invasion, and what it means to me and the others like me. Watch this space for more on that later, I’ll be interviewing other Hammers in America (both other expats and the American born) about their views and thoughts as this tour progresses, and over the coming season as well.

It’s a special time for us. Remember back, when you were a youngster, taking in your first game. Remember your excitement, your eyes lit in anticipation, your heart pounding as you see your heroes.

Chances are you were raised in a household that proudly wore the Claret and Blue. You recall the Chicken Run, the songs, the camaraderie, the sense of family and togetherness that very little else can achieve like the love we share for our great club.

Now picture yourself being thousands of miles from a game. Separated by the tyranny of distance, and an ocean away. Now you hear the first whisper. West Ham are coming to America.

You frantically search for more information, book a hotel, ensure you have tickets for the away supporters section. In my case I’ll be driving about 11 hours in each direction to be at the game in Cary, North Carolina. Some will be coming from even further afield.

You come together with other Irons across the country. Planning, making arrangements. We’ll turn the away supporters section into something that more resembles a home section.

We’ll out-sing, out-chant, and completely drown out the local team (although with much appreciation for them hosting us). We’ll show them what being a football fan really means.

Can you hear us, America? We are Super Slaven’s Claret and Blue Army. We’re coming, we’re loud, we’re proud, we’re passionate, we’re the best fans, of the best club, in the world. Come on you Irons!

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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