Fan team backed by SBOBET

A football team made up of West Ham United supporters has once again been backed by the club's principal partners SBOBET.

West Ham United IFC, who play their home matches at Flanders in East Ham, are made up entirely of season-ticket holders. The team regularly take on supporter sides from other clubs on matchday mornings, with the games generally corresponding with first-team fixtures.

Last season, SBOBET Executive Director Bill Mummery kindly donated a full set of home strips to the team after learning from manager Vincent White they had been playing in a kit that dated back to the club's Championship days. Now, with the new Macron kit on the way, SBOBET have agreed to supply a set of 2010/11 strips to the team.

Mummery said: "From our first meeting with Vincent it was apparent the supporters' team were very much a part of the fabric of West Ham and its local community - which is what West Ham is all about.

"This and its culture as a family club is part of what makes West Ham a very special club. We have watched the progress of the supporters' team with interest. I believe they are great ambassadors for the club and it will be great to see it being worn by this team."

White said: "It's great that SBOBET are such keen fans of ours. They don't have to help us but they understand what we are all about and we are very grateful to them.

"We have been in contact with Bill Mummery since they gave us the kit last year and he keeps up to date with how we have done. I cheekily asked if there was any of last season's away kit left but that had all gone. He then just offered next season's kit. He genuinely seems to care and wants to help us."

The team could show their new kit off at a special international football tournament for internet supporters called WorldNet taking place in Leeds from 23 July. More than 60 teams from across the country and overseas will compete for the prestigious title, with the Hammers having reached the semi-finals last year.

"We are taking a squad of 18 up," added White. "Hopefully, we will be able to wear the new kit and really look the part thanks to Bill and SBOBET."

Before then, West Ham United IFC - which has been around since 1996 when fans on internet message boards suggested meeting up for a game - will stage their own tournament this coming Sunday [4 July] at Chigwell Met Police Ground. The Hammers will play teams representing Fulham, Barnet, Stevenage, Gillingham and Cambridge United.

West Ham United IFC