Eddie's Ready For Action

One of the most hard-working members of the Hammers back-room staff over the last week has been Kit Manager Eddie Gillam.

While the players, manager Alan Pardew and coaches were all away still enjoying the close-season break, Eddie was down at the Chadwell Heath training ground a week early taking delivery of the new training gear.

"It all has to be named and numbered ready for pre-season training which starts in earnest on 6th July and for the tour of Sweden," said Eddie, who celebrated 25 years at the Club at the end of last season.

"We have three games in Sweden before returning on 20th July, so I have to make sure we have sufficent kit and then make all the necessary laundry arrangements, either at our hotel, or to use the facilities available at the training facilities of the clubs we are playing, to make sure the players are smartly turned out both on and off the pitch." The new home kit was launched at the end of last season and was used in the Play-Off Final. Has that been well received by the players?

"Yes, they like it. In fact, that original strip carried last season¹s Championship logos so they were only used once for the Final and were then given to the players as a lasting memento of that great occasion," said Eddie.

"So I¹ve taken delivery of a whole new batch of shirts from our suppliers, Reebok. They all have to be named, numbered and have the new Premier League logos attached.

"Also, the Premiership use Nike footballs, as opposed to Mitre in the Championship, so I have to organise the delivery of those." What happens to the old kit, training gear and footballs?

"The playing and training kit is passed down to the Youth Academy and for our schoolboys," said Eddie. "The old footballs are used on the training ground at Chadwell Heath and Little Heath by the youth players. Ñothing goes to waste, it is all recycled."

Ably assisted by Pete Williams, you can see why our Eddie is an important and very popular member of the West Ham United team behind the team he and his family have always supported.