Junior Season Ticket Holders granted All Access
Twenty young West Ham United Season Ticket Holders were lucky enough to go behind the scenes at the Club’s Premier League match against Manchester United on Monday as part of the new Junior All Access Pass initiative.
The youngsters enjoyed a tour of the Home dressing room – all kitted out prior to the team’s arrival – as well as a meet and greet with defenders James Collins and Reece Oxford.
Welcoming the Hammers squad off the team bus and into the ground and watching the sides warm-up from pitchside before the clash were other moments to savour before the adrenaline kicked in and they took to the London Stadium pitch themselves at half time.
Facing Academy starlet Nathan Trott in goal, the junior Hammers each had a turn to beat the goalkeeper from the penalty spot, with the majority of the group finding the back of the net before celebrating in front of the 57,000-strong crowd.
The nerves were jangling before the shootout for Calum, ten, who was loving his day at London Stadium.
“I have been so excited ever since I found out about the chance to come today,” he said. “This Stadium is a big step up and it has been an amazing opportunity to come down here today. The Stadium is even more than I expected inside; it’s truly amazing! It’s been a brilliant experience.
“I’m a bit nervous about the penalty but also really excited because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I’m going to try and put it top right!”
Another one of the lucky few, 12-year-old Maddison, explained what her favourite parts of the afternoon were.
“I’ve enjoyed it a lot, it’s been really good,” she said. “The Stadium is huge! It was really exciting to watch the players come into the ground from their team bus and because all of them walked past us, it was really cool!
“I was looking forward to seeing Andy Carroll and Manuel Lanzini and they were both there, so it was great!”
Finally, Daniel, an eleven-year-old Season Ticket Holder, could not hide his delight after smashing his penalty past Trott in goal.
He exclaimed: “I decided to put the ball low to his left so he couldn’t get it and it went in! The goalkeeper had no chance.
“It was amazing being on the pitch. The atmosphere was amazing and everyone supported me out there so thanks to them all.
“That’s always something I’ve wanted to do! I really enjoyed taking the penalty and also watching the players coming into the ground. I met Angelo Ogbonna too, which was good!”
The scheme is part of our ongoing commitment to reward the Club’s most-loyal supporters, and is part of many new initiatives bringing you up close and personal with your heroes.