Hammers Hotel Wins Award

West Ham's Quality hotel has been given an award in recognition of its services having met 12 stringent criteria.

David Thorpe-Tracey received the award at a ceremony attended by, amongst others, Newham Council, Newham College, Newham Chamber of Commerce, Asian Wedding Services, and London City Airport.

The notion of having a hotel at the ground was that of MD Paul Aldridge, who says:

"David and his team can be very proud, as we all are, that this recognition of excellent customer service has been awarded."

In his acceptance speech, David says:

"What is football Hospitality?

10-15 years ago it was a cold stale pie, cup of Bovril and a long queue for a flat pint of beer and then the toilets.

"Even as little as five years ago West Ham United was still at the mercy of the contract caterers whom we all know from experience only have very short term objectives.

"The facilities then could not attract anything other than the most ardent football fan and non match day business was non-existent despite our best efforts.

"However, the club had a vision and a plan to catapult Hospitality into the 21st Century.

"I am glad to say that the vision as we stand here within the White Horse suite in the superb Dr. Martins stand is well underway.

"This new phased building development of the Dr. Martens stand was hugely exciting, yet very challenging.

"The same Hospitality team had to overcome serving hot meals for 1000 box holders without kitchens, increasing our staff from 200 to 600 on a match day.

"We had to increase our Conference and Banqueting business from less than 100k to over a million and a half; Christmas parties in 1999 totalled 250 and this year we are anticipating 4000.

"We turned over £4m last year compared to 1 million pounds in 1999, and this year more importantly made a significant financial contribution to the club.

"Everyone in the Hospitality Team (nearly 600) feels a great sense of pride and satisfaction in knowing that their hard work is recognised by achieving this award.

"On behalf of West Ham United Hospitality I would like to take this opportunity to thank my team and all those who have helped and supported us in achieving our vision.

"We would like to assure the football club that we will not rest on our laurels but will continue to strive to achieve excellence."