Pantsil on his solo run

John Pantsil has explained he went on a solo lap of honour after the final game of the season so he could say a personal thanks to the fans.

As soon as the final whistle blew after the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa, the popular Ghana defender embarked on his impromptu run - as all his team-mates went back down the tunnel for a quick post-match debriefing before the traditional collective lap. Pantsil, minus his West Ham United shirt by then, headed alone towards the Bobby Moore Stand before acknowledging all four corners of the stadium and then running back to the patiently waiting Mervyn Day on the sidelines.


Speaking to WHUTV, Pantsil explained his reasons. "The fans have been fantastic since the season started," he said. "I love the fans so much. I am expecting them to keep cheering the team up until the end of next season. The next season is going to be our season. I assure them, they should come down, relax, pray for us and all the players will get faith and bring some success to the team."

Reflecting further on the Villa result and the tenth-place finish, Pantsil added: The team has done well - better than last season. We have had injuries in the team but we have been able to hold the tenth place. We are happy with the performance against Villa because we were leading and they equalised and then they got their second goal. It is always difficult for any team to come back from that. We are happy with that.

"It was a tough game and not easy. Aston Villa are a very good team and we respect them ... We will learn from our mistakes and next season I think we are going to be the team to watch." The right-back is eager to be back in 2008/09 and fight for a place in the team after 17 appearances this campaign - a significant improvement on the handful of games in 2006/07. The 26-year-old still has one engagement left before his summer holidays - a friendly against Australia in Sydney on 23 May.