Bram: West Ham – Forever Blowing Bubbles

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After arriving in London we headed straight for Upton Park home to West Ham United. They had a preseason game against Pacos De Ferreira. They are from Portugal and even after all of the time Eric spends on FIFA, on his PS3, he couldn’t pick out any of the names of anyone one there team. However, we both recognized the names of their coaches respectfully. Costinho and Maniche who were both on the Portugal national team together who brought Portugal to the Euro Cup finals in 2004 and the same year won the Champions League with Porto with then manager Jose Mourinho now called the “Special One”. They were taught by the best and now are trying to produce some good talent in Portugal. Getting back to the game now though it had been 12 long days since Ajax played Roda in the Amsterdam Arena so we were really anxious to see some football at long last. When you get out of Upton Park station you can make out the stadium. On our way to the stadium there were many little small shops to buy your scarfs or jersey or inside the stadium there was West Ham’s Megastore where is where we bought our scarf. We did get a Forever Blowing Bubbles shirt from one of these small shops more on the history of blowing bubbles a bit later.

One of my favourite football movies and I’ve suggested many times before in previous blogs is Green Street Holigans and to give a brief summery, Elijah Wood (actor who plays Frodo in the Lord of the Rings) plays a “Yank Journalist” who gets kicked out of Journalism school and decides to come to England to see his sister. He meets his sister’s husbands brother who is the leader of the Green Street Elite (AKA GSE) West Ham United’s firm. He gets into many fights and things as such but he starts to realize what being part of a firm is like and what being a football fan means to some of these lads. It’s a bit brutal of a film so many readers might not enjoy watching but I thought I’d give a brief summery because we were in the home of West Ham. This is why I am so in love with this stadium and part of the city.

We entered through the gates with security guards around 7 times as big as the security guards in the Netherlands and Germany, but never actually checked our bags which I found odd. Getting in the stadium brought a rush of fresh air, the football pitch and the air just incredible. Eric told me that we’d be sitting about 20 rows up from the field which I thought was awesome so I couldn’t wait to get to our seats. We got to the steward and not for the first time on this trip Eric was wrong for all the right reasons. He told us that we were 4 rows up from the pitch and basically in the centre of the field. We couldn’t believe our eyes, as you saw in the pictures we were literally like 20 feet from players like Kevin Nolan and Joe Cole. Best seats of the house in my opinion.

In the movie they actually tried to emulate an actual match day experience so that you would experience in the East Ham area of London. (West Ham United is actually located in East Ham) So it came to no surprise to us when they started to sing our favourite song from the movie. Forever Blowing Bubbles. For those of you that don’t know the song here are the lyrics, its really catchy and if you wanted it sung wait till the mini episode we will be posting or check it out on youtube.

I’m forever blowing bubbles,

pretty bubbles in the air,

they fly so high, nearly reach the sky

then like my dreams they fade and die.

Fortunes always hiding,

I’ve looked everywhere,

I’m forever blowing bubbles,

pretty bubbles in the air!

United “clap clap clap”

United “clap clap clap”

United “clap clap clap”

During this song in the stadium they actually had a bubble machine and bubbles were going everywhere it was truly amazing for a huge fan like me.

Were here to look at some of the differences between the fans here and as far as I see it every fan at every stadium is different but maybe some similarities in the different countries. In Germany, especially Dortmund it was getting behind your team for the full 90 minutes, in the Netherlands it was more about watching the game and enjoying the game. In England so far it’s been a bit different, they sing even though it was just a preseason game, but you can tell that every single person in the stadium is focused on the game. We’ve been very lucky here and all of the games we’ve seen the home team has always won. What this hasn’t allowed us to feel is the feeling as a wise person was telling me of the feeling of a home loss. As a Toronto FC fan we get this a lot but its different here in England and the rest of Europe. In Canada a lot of fans will go home saying oh just another loss for Toronto FC. Here people take it to heart I believe and it can affect there whole week until the next football day! I’d like to be able to experience this before the end of our trip.

After the game finished 2-1 West Ham we made our way around the stadium getting some last shots of the stadium and the ground. Here’s where our trip gets mental yet again. We were going to be staying at West Ham United HOTEL! We were going to be staying in a box suite, which they turn into a Hotel. Hold on though it gets better. 2 hours after the game we went to go get checked in, they had to clean the rooms and everything and there was club captain Kevin Nolan just going to his car so we got his autograph. Eric on his match day ticket and mine on my match day programme. It’s amazing that he can have such a great relationship with all the fans I think that’s something that the big teams miss that true connection with fans. After getting the autograph we head to our rooms…

The feeling of opening this door I can’t describe to you. We literally went mental and during our full stay here I still am not able to look at the screen for more than 2 minutes without looking out the window seriously. When we walked in we went crazy it was actually unbelievable to be able to stay inside West Ham is something I can’t even dream up.

We spent the rest of the night in and just talking about our plans for the next day and about our day we just had. Why I mention this is because every 30 seconds we would try and talk to each other but our eyes just started to gaze to the window and looking on the pitch. This never stopped for the whole 5 days we were there.

During our stay we had a tradition English buffet breakfast every morning some of the greasiest food I’ve ever had for 5 days straight but really tasty! The only other thing I’ll mention about our stay here at Upton Park is that coming back from a long day journey I saw Sam Allardyce coach of West Ham United and got a picture taken with him and he asked me where I was from and had a great little talk before he went in to have a meeting which Eric and I are convinced was about signing Stewart Downing ex-Liverpool player. While we were there some amazing things happened and during breakfast you just saw players in the next room eating breakfast. I really couldn’t believe the whole thing to be honest.

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One thought on “Bram: West Ham – Forever Blowing Bubbles

  1. A few points I loved about this were: 1) just picturing what it would be like to watch your reactions when you got to your room, 2) meeting up with Kevin Nolan, and 3) meeting up with Sam Allardyce. Love it!

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