One of my favourite sights as a West Ham fan is when a player replicates the crossed irons of our crest in the form of a salute to the crowd.
For some reason the Irons salute is rarer than a clean strike of the ball by Freddie Piquionne. Maybe it’s just a further sign of the lack of affinity between modern footballers and the clubs they represent, or maybe it’s just not well known?
The only players in recent times who have made the salute are Craig Bellamy, Freddie Sears and, of course, Carlos Tevez, who honours the salute every time he has reason to return to the Boleyn Ground.
I think I remember seeing Ray Winstone doing it a few times before too, possibly in the ‘Dicky Dirt’ adverts for our last Umbro kit. Like or loathe Winstone, he is one of our own and I love a famous passionate West Ham fan, so he’s alright by me.
A local boy who I would never expect to see the salute from, due to his legendary status nearer Earls Court than East London, is John Terry. Born in Barking and apparently released from our Academy at a young age before joining Chelsea, Terry has never spoken of any support for his boyhood local side.
Which is why I’m pretty sure the gormless one has been put up to posing this way by good old Ray. Nonetheless, I wonder what Chelsea fans would think of this. It’s like seeing Ince in a Man Utd shirt. Well, not quite…
I’m something of an anomaly in that I don’t really mind Terry. I think he has been a quality defender and a good captain for both Chelsea and England. Sure, he is a thug and has made big mistakes off the field, but on the pitch he is decent. I used to hate him but after working with Chelsea for the last year I’ve grown to tolerate him – maybe I need to get back to my old ways of slagging him and Franky off…
I’m genuinely surprised to see Terry do this, because him and his BFF Frank have never really had a nice word to say about West Ham, and the abuse they get from the Boleyn terraces has sometimes been nothing short of uncomfortable! They had been enjoying themselves at the England Footballers Foundation Dinner so were obviously having a good laugh. But not too much of a laugh, what with an England match tomorrow night!