Whether I’m at the ground or watching a match on TV, I’m always determined to stick it out until the end.
Don’t get me wrong, following West Ham often makes every moment of viewing torturous, and the prospect of leaving after five minutes extremely tempting. But by remaining steadfast it either means I can applaud the team in, or exert some degree of satisfaction from booing and heckling as loud as I can after stumping up the best part of 50 quid for the dissatisfaction of being there.
The only time I have bailed early is when I was watching West Ham away at Tottenham in 1998, when Hammers fans kicked off after Samassi Abou was shown a red card. There were chairs and drinks flying everywhere, and my uncle thought it best we left five minutes before the 90 with the safety of a thirteen-year-old in mind.
But some of the performances this season have made it far too appealing to cut the experience short. However the past two results have summed up the reasons why we stick it out.
A frustrating game against Leeds was made worse at about 3.40am our time when they opened the scoring. The prospect of getting to bed ten minutes earlier was an extremely appealing one.
We were in the end rewarded with the equaliser, which sent the Hammers contingent at the Royal Exhibition into ecstasy, and we surprisingly headed home in decent spirits.
So in the hopes that was to be a springboard, we arrived at Cheers Bar at 6am for the Middlesbrough game.
Sadly, as so often at home in midweek, we under performed and were frustrating throughout. Sure, leaving early would have meant we didn’t have to witness the equaliser or the two chances they had to win it, but I’ll tell you why I again stay.
One, in the delusionary hope we nab something in the last minute. Two, because the support of the Sydney Hammers and the post-match debrief amongst us keeps me somewhat sane. I for one have no idea how I would behave in the office later in the day if I hadn’t got the moans, questions and frustrations out of my system. So thanks for that lad.
Back home, the result was greeted with the increasingly familiar sounds of discontent around the ground.
There has been a lot about booing fans, and I believe it has its place at the end of the game, if justified. We as fans expect results, performances, and passion, and too often we haven’t seen it this season.
But we as the Sydney Hammers have remained committed to the cause, turning out in great numbers whatever the time of kick-off, and blowing bubbles until the very last minute, whether celebrating, or counselling.