Bobby's Dream Come True

BOBBY Zamora celebrated a dream day in the Millennium Stadium after the Barking-born player's 57th minute goal secured a 1-0 win over Preston and West Ham United's return to the Premiership.

"It's a dream come true," gushed Bobby. "I'm a local lad, there were loads of my friends and family at the Millennium and just to win and be part of the team that got the Club back to the Premier League - it's just unbelievable.

"But to score the winning goal in front of all the fans of my club was just beyond my wildest dreams. It's a fantastic moment for all the fans and I hope they savour it.

"We were having the better chances and we always looked capable of scoring. A few chances had come and gone, but we never lost our heads and the focus of the players was just incredible.

"Our belief and determination going into the game was brilliant. After last year we definitely had something to prove, but as the game kicked-off all that was put behind us. We had to beat Preston and we showed great professionalism in the way we went about it.

"Matty put in a great ball and thankfully I managed to finish it. My emotions at that moment were just indescribable. I saw all the fans going mad behind the goal and I wanted to celebrate with them. But we had to get our focus back and hold out, which we did.

"The celebrations in the dressing room and on the flight home were mad. Even Jimmy Walker, who did brilliantly but unfortunately got injured right at the end, was joining in."

Like West Ham, Bobby is a player who has had his critics this season. Indeed, rumours flew at the start of the year that the 24-year-old striker would leave the Club. But Bobby stuck to his belief that he belonged at Upton Park and in these Play-offs the Hammers have reaped the rewards.

"It's been an up and down season," he admitted. "There were times when I didn't really know what the future held. There was talk about me leaving and I knew that I might have to move to get regular first-team football.

"But West Ham is my local club and I would have never wanted to leave. Thankfully I stayed and now I'm delighted to have come good for the Club at just the right time.

"Scoring the two goals in the semi-final against Ipswich was a terrific moment, but the Millennium Stadium tops anything I've ever experienced in my life. It was incredible."

With the Premiership now beckoning for Bobby and his team-mates, the striker is determined to prove that he can play at the highest level.

"I've had a taster of playing in the Premiership and now I really want to show what I can do at that level," he said. "I don't really think I was given my chance before, but now I'd love to do well in the top-flight.

"West Ham United is a Premiership club again and now we've got to make sure that we keep it that way."