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2012-11-14T11:41:00 Updated 2015-02-19T01:41:00

Big Sam hails his 'happiest day'

Sam Allardyce has described West Ham United's npower Championship Play-Off final victory as his 'happiest day in football'.

Big Sam, who has taken charge of nearly 800 competitive matches at Blackpool, Notts County, Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham since 1994, led the Hammers to promotion in his first season at the Boleyn Ground.

Speaking at a Supporter Advisory Board (SAB) meeting this week, the manager was given a warm welcome by more than 100 fans before taking part in an enjoyable question and answer session.

Big Sam discussed a wide range of issues, including West Ham's fine start to the Barclays Premier League season, how he intends to establish the Hammers as a top-flight club, his pioneering use of performance analysis, how he scouts new recruits, his standout players so far this season and the professionalism and consistency of his squad.

After reconfirming his commitment to the continued development of young players and his intention to send some of them out on loan later this month, the manager was also asked to reveal the happiest moment of his 20-year management career.

"I think the happiest moment of my career was Wembley, without a doubt" said Big Sam, to widespread nods from SAB members.

"I'm not a Bolton lad - I was born in the Midlands but I started my career at the highest level with Bolton and they were obviously close to my heart. When I got them into the Premier League at the Millennium Stadium against Preston [North End in 2001] that was pretty special, but it wasn't as good as Wembley.

"It was just unbelievable when we won. Just reflecting on the occasion, it was just a cauldron of noise and it made the hair on the back of your neck stand up on end from the very, very start until the very, very end. That was my happiest moment."

Big Sam was subsequently congratulated on the job he has done since taking charge at the club 18 months ago - during which time he has won 32 and lost just eleven of the 60 league and Play-Off matches he has taken charge of.

Supporter Advisory Board

Led by Head of Marketing Tara Warren, the SAB has returned for a second season in 2012/13, with more than 100 both returning and new members advising the club on key policy issues.

As was seen last season, the SAB and its various sub-committees can and do make a very real difference to supporters' experiences. In 2011/12, for example, the SAB helped to secure match packages to make football 'Affordable for All' and was instrumental in the launch of the new Junior Hammers membership scheme for 0-6 year olds.

The SAB also played a leading role in the introduction of the popular 'Moore than a Football Club' brand, improved matchday entertainment and the introduction of new benefits for Season Ticket Holders.

This season, the sub-committees will examine a variety of subjects, including the matchday experience, ticketing, media, retail and the club's role in the community.

For more information about the Supporter Advisory Board, click here.

The 2012/13 Supporter Advisory Board

Keith Alder-Barber
Stuart Allen
Graeme Archer
Satvir Atkar
Steven Barlow
Tony Barritt
Catherine Bayford
Rachel Beagles
Daniel Bloom
Jack Boteler
Tim Boughen
Peter Bruce
Steve Burton
Peter Caton
Will Cheeld
Neil Clack
Daniel Clement
Marcus Clement
David Clements
Andy Connacher
Tina Cowen
Lesley Craig
Colin Crowe
Michael Crowhurst
Stuart Dean
Jill Dower
Tom Dowsett
Neil Duggan
Kevin Dunckley
Gavin Dunstan
Dee England
Saul Ettridge
Michael Evans
Tricia Evans
John Farren
Rob Ford
Paul Fox
Richard Francis
Michelle Gabriel
Johnathan Gaffney
Paul Gibson
Sherrie Goldsmith
David Hall
David Halston
Tony Harries
Graham Hatt
Benjamin Hawkes
Ian Henderson
Jack Hess
Graham Howlett
Craig Hughes
Peter Hunt
Anthony Hyams
Deniz Jaffer
Steve Joyce
Nigel Kahn
Diane Keleghar
John Kemp
Warren Kober
Adrian Leahy
Victor Lindsell
John Llewellyn
Phil Llewellyn
Kevin Markham
Ryan Marsh
Steve Marsh
Neil Martin
Dan Mason
Suzanne Mason
Gerry McCarthy
Norman McGuire
Steve Medhurst
Antoni Miziolek
Darren Morgan
Colin Morris
John Norman
Michael Nuciford
Leigh O'Connor
Cecilia O'Herlihy
Wallace Onnie
John Parry
Jonathan Penfold
Eamon Quinn
Kevin Radley
Paul Reynolds
Paul Richardson
Pete Richardson
Jason Rose
James Rutherford
Steve Ryder
Nigel Salvage
Nick Scott
Barry Shelton
Stuart Slaney
Mark Steele
Terry Stokes
Ben Surdeau
John Sussex
Dave Tate
Mark Taylor
Kishan Teli
Simon Thomson
Eleanor Tilley
Mark Tilley
Stephen Todd
Stephen Trowers
Kathryn Upton
John Walker
Ian Wearne
Sean Whetstone
Anne-Marie White
Peter Whitelock
Nick Wood
Richard Wood
Ali Worth
Ian Wicks
Trevor Wisdom
Daniel Yallop
John Yewman
Jason Zammit

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