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Arsenal prepare to welcome our friendly friends from the east end

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Billy the Dog explores the happy by-ways of East London

Thames Ironworks, whom we play this weekend under their new name of West Porno (the club also known as Wham), have done well over the years, winning the West Ham Charity Cup in 1895 and then becoming Western League Division 1B Champions to the joys of all in Brick Lane and  thereabouts.  Much of their success has come from changing the name of their ground from Upton Park back to the Boleyn Ground and back again, so that away teams often don’t go to the right place.  These days most visiting teams know that West Ham is three stops from Barking.

For most of their time West Ham have been managed by King Syd and then Gone Redwood.  In 1986 they came third in the first division.   They have also beaten Arsenal in a cup final, and were only the second team to win a league match at the Ems.  They also won the Cup Winners Cup Winners Cup Winners Cup for Cup Winners.  As did we.

West Ham have a deep rooted East End feeling for the older members of their families, and so in the 1970s set up a holiday club for senior supporters – the Inter City Firm, which enabled the likely old men to travel free of charge all over the country.  Through this they gained public attention for the kind and helpful way in which they have always looked after those more fortunate than themselves.

Since that era, sophisticated surveillance has meant that the Inter City Firm has been able to keep a close eye on the police, and ensure that they (the police) are available for barn dances and other social events that the Firm regularly organize often with their friendly neighbours The Mill Wall.  The Firm is now almost invisible, but is still there, watching the police’s every move, and playfully wrapping them over the knuckles when they become too full of themselves.

Indeed what needs to be recognised most of all is the huge sense of fun and vivaciousness that exists among West Ham fans.  For example when Palermo visited West Ham in the extra preliminary preliminary extra round of the Winky Wonky Cup, some jolly supporters wore “Hammers against the Mafia” tee shirts.  There was a little light banter with visitors, who took it all in good heart.   For the return game, Toto Cuffaro, the governor of the island and town hair dresser, joined in the spirit of mutual understanding by having eight billion T-shirts printed saying “La Cosa Nostra è liberta”.  These were given to Ironside fans who were allowed  to see the error of their vision and were duly knocked out of the Ninky Nonk.

Closest allies to Thames Ironside are still Millwall with whom they often plot and plan exquisite adventures.  In the League Cup this year they played each other, and there was much jolly joshing, with fans coming onto the pitch many times for chats with each other about politics and the rise of neo fascism in parts of the capital. The League clearly understood the happy banter that underlay the situation as they chose not to shut the ground or take any other serious steps – thus proving that everything was all right.

In August 2006, West Ham signed C Tevez and J Mascherano, just before being bought by Eggert Magnusson.  Both of these moves are known as Big Mistakes – but the EPL told West Ham not to worry, and  that everything was all right.  So instead of relegating the club back to their spiritual home in the Western League the EPL merely fined them two packets of biscuits and six krona.  Wigan, Fulham, Sheffield Untidy and (for no especial reason other than the fact they love them) Millwall declared  West Ham a UNESCO centre of peace and harmony.  In return West Ham changed their name to West Biscuit, and later to West Iceland.

In 2009 the biscuits had run out and so the club was sold to a bank, but the bank had no biscuits either and everyone was mortified, and the club was put up for sale with the promise that they would soon play in the Olympic Stadium, just up the road, next to the fruit stand.

But it was not to be and the happy hammers saw their club change its name again from West Iceland to West Porno.  This was a major step forwards because everyone knows that as Mr Brown said, Iceland is a terrorist nation.

So the lovely cuddley Gold and Sullivan assumed a position, and soon after tool control of West Porno and said that they wanted to move to the Olympic Stadium, forgetting in the heat of the moment that this was a Biscuit idea.

The manager is the wondrously pleasant and smiley Émile Zola who is also a  leading figure in the world of naturalistic fiction. His principal work, Les Rougon-Macquart, a vision of mid-19th century French life, is published as a part work in each West Porno programme which is expected to run for over  22 years.

In 2010 Karen Brady was appointed Director of Biscuits, and is such a good sport that when people call her “The Tea Lady” they only get 185 years of hard labour each.

Interestingly the last part of “Making the Arsenal” – the novel of the same name – is set in Sidney Street which is not far from West Ham – and covers the Battle of Sidney Street.  They were a nifty bunch those east enders, even 100 years ago.  But very loveable too.

Making the Arsenal is available from the fruit shop just behind the outer shell of the Olympic Stadium, or from www.amazon.co.uk or from the publishers direct. If you would like me to sign one, order if from the publishers and add a note to your order.

(c) “I didn’t write this stuff guv honest, it was the other fella, he’s the one” 2010

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