Hall's A Hammer!

Legendary TV and radio broadcaster Stuart Hall has revealed to whufc.com that he has always been a West Ham fan - and was distraught by the club's exit from the FA Cup last week.

BBC Five Live reporter Stuart, former presenter of It's A Knockout, was saddened by the Hammers' own KO to Chelsea, and says: "I've been a West Ham fan since Ron Greenwood's days when we were old pals together and I used to come and support them, sing the song, sit with him and admire Hursty, Budgie Byrne, and co.

"I was very disappointed West Ham lost against Chelsea. Poor old Hutch, he will never forget that header in a lifetime.

"It is like throwing a leg of mutton into a lion's den, heading the ball backwards into your own goal.

"I'd have liked to have seen West Ham win the FA Cup, and this was the year they could have won it, because the top teams are out and West Ham are in that second layer.

"They are not in the bottom layer, like Bolton and Blackburn and Leicester, but now it is a case of pressing for a place in Europe."

Stuart was at the Reebok stadium for Bolton's 1-0 win over West Ham at the weekend, and says: "I love West Ham and their style of play, but on Saturday it was never going to be a classic, was it?

"A mini gale was blowing off the Pennines for a start, litter was blowing about like confetti, the flanks were stiff, and you know damn well when the wind swirls around the Reebok you are never going to get a classic game.

"And of course the heart of the team was missing. You can't do without Repka, Sinclair, Carrick and co. without saying it is West Ham reserves, so Bolton were rather jammy.

"It was six months without a win at home for Bolton, and November 18th since they last won a match, and that was away at Ipswich.

"But I think if West Ham had had a full side, with all the quality, it would have been different.

"Labant's left foot was very impressive - every time he swung it either from a dead ball or a pass, it created havoc.

"Joe played his heart out and if he doesn't play against Holland I will be very disappointed.

"Kanoute was a bag of tricks, but if you are missing the back up it is very difficult to play cohesive, organised football with a wind like that.

"There was so much nervous tension and anxiety in the game, it was desperate at times.

"Unless you are playing in a settled formation it is very hard to throw guys in and say, with six players missing, 'you are filling his boots, you are filling his'.

"It is very difficult to gel - but there were no failures out on the park and nobody looked out of place."

Stuart has promised to visit the new look Upton Park when his schedule allows, but admits: "I loved Upton Park the way it was, and I love the fans, the atmosphere, the club, and everything..."

And he has a message for chairman Terence Brown for when he does come down to Green Street:

"Terry - the drinks are on you!"

*You can hear Stuart's dulcet tones on RealAudio.