Dublin Hammers Trip 2005 - Sunderland - Friday 29th April 2005

West Ham 1 vs Sunderland 2

My first trip, and a good one it turned out to be! I arrived at the airport to find everyone else had already checked in. I found everyone at the bar... surprise surprise! The next two hours were spent drinking and chatting, til at last the flight was called and off we went.

Classic No.1; 5 minutes after take off the queue of dublin hammers waiting for the toilet went half way down the plane.

Upon arrival we were met by a 'cheeky cockney chappie' and his mini bus, who took us with very little fuss to upton park. After dropping off the bags it was time to resume the drinking, ending up in the supporters club. The atmosphere upon entering the ground was excellent, with bubbles breaking out at regular intervals. Everyone seemed to be up it and as the game started the noise echoing around upton park was stunning. For myself who had'nt been for 5 years, it was a tad emotional!

The first half we were good and after harewood had given us the lead he ran to the corner where we were to celebrate. In the second half we were second best, eventually conceding the second goal. That put a dampener upon proceedings, and as the final whistle went we set off in search of a drink...

Classic No.2; "We are meeting the lad who runs the jersy hammers in a pub just 10 minutes up the road..." a club member.

45 minutes later members complaining of worn shoes and sore feet arrived at the chosen venue which happened to be in an extremely dodgy council estate. Oh well we got on with the drinking. None of us fancied the hike back, especially as the crowds after the game had gone... dodgy area or what! Back at upton park we had a few at the bar...

Classic No.3; So there we were sat around when one member who by now was slightly worse for drink slammed the table and came out with... "I've been a member of this club for two years, I deserve some success"... as you can guess those of us that have supported whufc for over 30 years fell off our chairs laughing!

the bar closed around midnight, much to the disgust of two members who were last seen disappearing off into the night (reeking of after-shave) in search of a drink?

On saturday most members did their own thing, meeting up later in the evening at a local pub and then in the hotel bar, where the main topic of conversation was how all the teams above had lost, which meant we still had a chance of the play-offs.

On sunday after breakfast we had a quick tour of the ground, taking in the dressing rooms, the tunnel and pitch, finishing with us taking turns sitting in our beloved (not) chairman's seat, complete with footrest? I enjoyed that, however some members seemed more interested in heading off to a pub near liverpool street station... i wonder why?

We were picked up again by our faithful bus driver at liverpool street and driven to the airport. As entertainment members had a sing-song, even the driver joined in for 'two little boys'. Then before we knew it we were back in dublin. A great weekend, helped by great weather!

Thanks to Brian the travel sec for all the work he put into organising this trip. Nice One Mate!

Report by Paul Smith.

No photos from this trip!