Hitchcock comes home

Lifelong fan Kevin Hitchcock is enjoying life as goalkeeper coach at West Ham United.

The 47-year-old was born and brought up in east London, spending his formative years cheering on the likes of Mervyn Day, Bobby Ferguson and Phil Parkes.

In March 1993, Hitchcock joined West Ham on loan from Chelsea, but never had the chance to make a first-team appearance for his boyhood club.

Nowadays, Hitchcock is one of the most respected goalkeeper coaches in the game, having worked with the likes of Brad Friedel at Blackburn Rovers and Shay Given and Joe Hart at Manchester City.

In between, the stopper formed part of the successful Chelsea squad of the 1990s, where he played alongside Gianfranco Zola, Steve Clarke and Mark Hughes, who he worked under at both Blackburn and City.

Kevin Hitchcock

"I was born and bred West Ham. I was born in Custom House and grew up in Plaistow and had a season for 12 or 14 years over at Upton Park and all the family are staunch Hammers supporters."

Hitchcock has forged a successful working relationship with former team-mate Hughes, but with the Welshman out of work after leaving Eastlands in December, he was available to answer Zola's call.

"It's no secret that Gianfranco is a good personal friend of mine, and I got a phone call from him and asked me if I would help him out until the end of the season. It came out of the blue and, of course, I have worked with Mark Hughes for such a long time.

"I said to Franco 'I'd love to work with you and help you out but I need to ask Mark's permission'. Mark said 'Go and help out Franco out' and here I am."

To read Kevin Hitchcock's views on Robert Green and working with West Ham's promising young goalkeepers, purchase a copy of the official matchday programme for the Barclays Premier League visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers, which will be on sale in and around the Boleyn Ground next Tuesday evening.