Dublin Hammers Trip - Chelsea - Saturday 3rd May 2003

West Ham 1 vs Chelsea 0.

What a weekend to choose. If you were to write a script for this game you could not ask for better. The early flight did'nt cause many problems and we arrived safe and well. The usual spots visited before the game, The Queens, The Boleyn and the Duke. What an atmosphere, you could sense that it was going to be a special day and every Dublin Hammer was priveliged to be at such an important game.

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Confidence was high, we were playing well and then the moment we were all waiting for...61 mins gone and like music to our ears it was announced... PAULLOOOO DEE CAANNIOO. What a reception he got coming on. The place went crazy, betting slips were pulled out from pockets... plenty of money on PDC for first goal, last goal. Grown men crying... it had to happen. Then 10 mins later it did... and where did Paolo run to? right to where we were sitting at the corner flag. The singing the cheering and the choice of songs (particularly about Big Fat Frank) was incredible. Countdown to 90 minutes was nerve wrecking, we thought it would never end and for one horrible moment we all thought Frankie had done us, but for a great save by DJ.

Thought it was a lovely idea of Charlie bringing the get well soon card for Glen Roeder from the Dublin Hammers and leaving it into the reception area. And how did we end up in the programme again?... they must like us over here. (For those of us left behind, we also got a mention during the 'today fm' commentry from the match!).

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Off to the White Heart where we tried to watch the Bolton game but really we were not interested. The sing song in the beer garden was getting going and the Cockney lads enjoyed the input of the Dublin Hammers... Particularly when we gave them our version of Yellow Submarine... sung to the verse of WE ALL DREAM OF A TEAM OF GARY BREENS.

So back to Jurys and prepare for the night out, more singing in Jurys, more banter and more laughs. Off we went to various spots in North London... we never knew we had such an abundance of talent in the clubs, singers, dancers, and comedians.

What a night, followed by a Solpadine Sunday. Where did the lads get all the Hawain shirts and shades, what a laugh it was like a crowd scene from Hawaii Five O. The usual plan for sunday, markets, city centre and of course watch the Gooners trying in vain to do us a favour. Of course some of us had the misfortune to miss the flight due to Garys love of Burger King where he insisted on eating for Ireland. Well 4 of us missed the flight, (The Chelsea Four). Heathrow is not a nice place to sleep. First flight out on Monday was a welcome sight, BUT will Charlie charge us for the extra night...

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Overall the weekend was another great success. All credit to Charlie and the committee for a weekend which goes down as one of the best ever. The choice of hotel and timing of flights could not be faulted and the ability to obtain tickets for such a crucial game must say a lot about the super reputation of this club.

Roll on Birmingham and another win for survival. We deserve it. Roll on next season and keep the faith no matter what happens against Birmingham.

Thanks to Brian O’Flaherty for the report and Charlie O’Rielly for the photos!