Fans From Afar

At least one person in a West Ham supporting family was happy come the final whistle at the Riverside on Saturday.
Unfortunately, it was a Boro supporter who was able to able to celebrate while his wife and two children had to suffer the taunts of dad following West Ham's defeat.
Postman Mark Nassau of Middlesbrough has to put up with West Ham mad wife Carol, son Ryan, seven, and daughter Lucy, three, constantly arguing with him about who is the better team.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Carol was from the London area, but she, like Mark, is a a Teessider who actually CHOSE to support the Hammers!
"She is from Middlesbrough, like her brothers, one of whom supports West Ham and one Tottenham," explains Mark.
"She chose West Ham, and went to her first Upton Park game towards the end of last season - Harry Redknapp's last one in charge.
"She goes every year to the Riverside, so she saw the last game of the season, which was a nothing game, and the game on Saturday.
"But she sits in the West Ham end while I sit with the Boro season ticket holders.
"It's murder in our house - Carol spent a lot of time brainwashing the kids, and they have got the quilts, the curtains, the clock - everything.
"I've tried everything to make them see sense but I am outnumbered - I have no chance."
But Mark cannot contemplate changing allegiance himself, even if it would lead to domestic harmony.
"I've supported them since I was little and I believe you have to stay loyal no matter how good or bad your team are.
"But at least the wife is happy to have the football on, though she would rather be watching West Ham than Middlesbrough."
The one consolation for Mark is that he reckons over the years support for his side has yielded more frequent happy moments.
"We finished a place above West Ham last season," he says, "and beat the Hammers twice last season.
"In fact, West Ham have never won at the Riverside, and we have been to Wembley three times in recent years, while West Ham haven't been there since 1980.
"Mind you, we were losing finalists each time - and my wife is always saying 'no one remembers losers'!"
MD Paul Aldridge says he is delighted with having 3/4 of the Nassau family on West Ham's side, and comments:
"You don't have to be from east London to support West Ham; we welcome fans from anywhere in the world!"