January 2002

James Dorrington

James Dorrington was born on Christmas Eve 1984.

He attended his first West Ham match on New Year's Eve 1988. The League match against Charlton Athletic at Selhurst Park ended in a 0-0 draw but James managed to get on the news TV highlights standing at the front of the away fans terrace on his own in the kid's section.

Shortly after James and his Dad Terry became West Ham season ticket holders in the original family section at the north bank end of the East stand. As well as seeing all West Ham's home games when the club were suffering relegation and then enjoying promotion in the early 1990's James also travelled to over 40 away grounds to the see the Hammers.

In September 1999 14 year old James was the youngest West Ham supporter travelling to the away UEFA Cup tie in Osijek Croatia staying overnight after the 3-1 victory in a bullet ridden hotel, an aftermath of the Balkan War. A few weeks later James was the second youngest Hammers fan to attend the away UEFA Cup leg in Bucharest where West Ham lost 2-0 on a particularly cold night. James had his picture taken with his favourite player Johnny Moncur at the airport on the way home.

In October 2000 James was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was treated at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. West Ham United FC kindly invited James to attend the home match against Sunderland in January 2001 where he went to the home dressing room posing for photographs with Paulo di Canio, Frank Lampard , Joe Cole and former Manager Harry Redknapp.

James saw his final West Ham game on Boxing Day 2001. Feeling unwell, he left the ground just after Trevor Sinclair scored a spectacular overhead kick goal to put West Ham 3-0 up this was James's final memory of his beloved West Ham. James died on New Year's Day 2002 just eight days after his 17th birthday.

James Dorrington attended Billericay School. He was a youth player with Southend United at the time his tumour was discovered and also represented Essex Schools in Cricket.

James created a website initially to offer support to other teenage brain tumour sufferers. The website can be accessed on www.jamesdorrington.homestead.com/home.html. The website has become a tribute to James's short life and has received over 13,000 hits.