Get with the programme

Amazingly, one West Ham United supporter will have other things on his mind during the second half of Saturday's Barclays Premier League meeting with Sunderland.

While more than 30,000 Hammers will be cheering on their heroes at the Boleyn Ground, BBC Radio 5 Live horseracing commentator John Hunt will be keeping tabs on the runners and riders in the 2010 John Smith's Grand National at Aintree.

In Saturday's official matchday programme, Hunt discusses his love for the Hammers, his difficulty in announcing a Sheffield United goal during the big race in 2007, and why he would name his own racehorse after 1980 FA Cup winner Pat Holland.

Like all good racing enthusiasts, Hunt has also shared his tips for the National, with Irish jumper Backstage being singled out as the horse to watch.


"Well my sensible bet is Backstage trained by Gordon Elliott in Ireland. He's been prepared for this race specifically for the last two or three years. He's about a 20-1 chance and I think he'll give all Hammers fans a good run for their money.

"And I suppose the one horse we could also back, again at 20-1, because of our current plight and just because of the name, is Character Building. He's owned by the couple who had the 1992 winner Party Politics, and after Gordon Brown's decision to call a General Election this week and the situation West Ham are in, that would be a very appropriate winner."

Aside from an entertaining interview with Hunt, Saturday's matchday programme is full of exclusive features and photographs.

Carlton Cole, Manuel da Costa and Ilan speak of the renewed confidence in the squad ahead of the visit of the Black Cats, while Sunderland's former West Ham defender Anton Ferdinand looks back fondly on his time at the Academy of Football.

Guille Franco discusses Mexico's 2010 FIFA World Cup chances, while Jonathan Spector names his Dream Team and Scott Parker is Talking Football.

World title hopeful Kevin Mitchell and former amateur star Ray Winstone talk about the former's big fight at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday 15 May.

Former West Ham and Sunderland players Harry Hooper and Bryan 'Pop' Robson reminisce about their successful careers with both clubs.

With all the latest news from the club's reserve and youth teams, and exclusive columns written by Joint-Chairman David Gold and manager Gianfranco Zola, supporters cannot afford to miss Saturday's official matchday programme.

Priced at £3.50, fans can grab a copy in and around the Boleyn Ground, or online here.