West Ham United will always feel like home for Martin Allen.

'Mad Dog' played 190 league games for the Hammers in a six-year spell between 1989-1995, becoming a popular figure at the Boleyn Ground with his whole-hearted displays.

He was back in E13 recently to play in a charity match for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital and we took the opportunity to catch up.

Martin Allen, a familiar and welcome face at the Boleyn Ground, it's always nice to see you back - and you were back for a great cause with the game for Great Ormond Street recently...

MA: "It's a charity which everyone supports and I was lucky to be invited when you see some of the names in the dressing room!"

The fans look forward to seeing you - they hold you in high esteem and you had a special relationship with them, didn't you?

MA: "I think so. It is always nice to come back. [They remember me for} Messing about a little on the pitch, probably being naughty most of the time. I was the quickest player to 51 [disciplinary] points, which is my claim to fame - my cousin Clive got 51 goals and I got 51 points! The supporters have a good sense of humour I think.

Your family's from this neck of the woods. There's something particular about east London isn't there? When you go around the world, if you ask someone who the archetypal Londoner is, it would be someone from this part...

MA: "Yes, without a shadow of doubt. Like my family, a lot have moved out to Dagenham, Romford, Basildon and the likes. I was the throwback because we moved to Reading when my dad signed for them when he was young. Even though I was brought up in Reading, there's always been this special part of travelling back around here, as has been well documented. When I got that phone call from Lou Macari to come and sign, it was magical.

When you think back to your time here, you mention the cards and the disciplinary points, but there were some other fond memories as well. What sticks out as your favourite time?

MA: "You don't forget the goals, that long shot at Highbury in front of all the West Ham supporters in the Clock End was special. Some of the goals here, the cup nights, the volley against Wimbledon. The whole experience really, I was lucky in my life to have the ability to play here. I had to work hard as I wasn't the most natural of gifted footballers, but to make the most of my ability to play for West Ham was really very special.

"I'll never forget my first game against Plymouth, driving along the road from East Ham and thinking this is so much bigger than what I'd been used to at QPR. It was a completely different atmosphere. The characters in the Chicken Run - the howling from the terraces. Even now I can be anywhere and someone would literally start howling. Not many people have got that in their life! That's all come from here, I get called Mad Dog wherever I go and that's come from the Chicken Run."