Your Chance To Play At Upton Park!

West Ham United, together with the vast majority of senior clubs in the top divisions throughout England and Scotland, has signed up for an eagerly-anticipated second season with Football Aid, the national football charity which lets fans play a match at their favourite grounds.

Football Aid raised nearly £250,000 for diabetes and football-related charities in its inaugural season by enabling 1,200 fans to pull on their heroes' strips and play a fans match at some of the country's top grounds.

The Hammers have pledged their support again for what promises to be an even bigger nationwide event, raising more money for deserving causes.

The match at Upton Park this year will be played on Sunday, April 28 and Hammers fans can bid for a place in one of the teams by visiting

The Football Aid bidding website received over 13 million hits between February and June last year as fans participated in an online auction for team places.

Football Aid is the brainchild of businessman Craig Paterson, whose son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 11. A keen football fan, Craig contacted clubs and football authorities throughout the UK to ask for their support and was overwhelmed by their enthusiasm.

He said: "The idea just snowballed last year, and this year promises to be even bigger and better, thanks to the strong backing of the FA Premier League, the Scottish Premier League, the Nationwide League, FA and SFA, not to mention the clubs themselves.

"The fans who took part in the games ranged in age from 18 to over 60 years, but every single one had a great time - playing on the hallowed turf is something they will cherish for the rest of their lives, and many have said they'll be bidding again this year."

Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the FA Premier League said: "We are extremely pleased that so many of our clubs have pledged their support to such a worthwhile and enjoyable initiative. This is an excellent way for football to show its appreciation of the fans and to raise considerable sums for a variety of charitable causes."

Football Aid patron Bobby Robson is delighted, but not surprised, the concept of enabling fans to "play for the team" has proved so popular. He said: "I've been lucky enough to fulfill my dream of managing the club I've always supported and I know that every fan dreams of running out of the tunnel onto their team's pitch.

"Last year, hundreds of fans realised a lifetime's ambition, playing in end-of season fans' matches, managed by club legends such as Liam Brady, Alan Kennedy, Gary Mabbutt, Danny McGrain and Mark Hateley, and this year we'll have even more matches."

The bidding process:
Bidding has now started on the Football Aid website
There will be a period of open bidding until Monday, February 4, when the first positions (No.1) will close. Thereafter shirts no 2, 3, 4, etc will close every two days until 6 March.