Lennox Lewis has praised the battling qualities of his boyhood team West Ham United after they went toe-to-toe with Norwich City on Tuesday.
Lewis was at the Boleyn Ground to cheer on the Hammers as they won 2-0 thanks to James Collins' header and Mo Diame's last-minute sucker punch. Big Sam's side's quick one-two pleased the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, who was invited in to the dressing room to deliver some words of encouragement before the game.
"It felt great coming back," Lewis said. "I've been away from West ham for a long time and I'm finally back. The guys looked focused and pumped.
"[When I went in the dressing room] I told the boys that they should go out there and knock this team out, simple as that, and if they need any help I'm here!"
Lewis met Big Sam before the game
Lewis' affection for West Ham can be traced back to his formative days growing up as a youngster just around the corner from the Boleyn Ground. Although he is now based in Jamaica, the 43-year-old insists his love for the Club has not diminished and he will be a member of the Claret and Blue Army for life.
"I grew up in West Ham and I used to love West Ham United - they were always my team. Just because I've got older it doesn't mean they're not my team any more. I am West Ham for life!
"Even if I'm in Jamaica or in Miami I'm trying to find where I can watch a game so it doesn't matter where I am, I'll always follow West Ham."
Lewis made his name by becoming Olympic Champion in 1988 before moving on to a professional career that delivered an outstanding 41 wins from 44 fights. His football team have Olympic ambitions of their own, with a move to the iconic Olympic Stadium in 2016 on the horizon - a switch that excites the most recent undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
"I'm very excited about the move to the Olympic Stadium. I'm glad they got it - I don't know what all the fuss was about," he concluded.