Double delight for Brown

Jordan Brown has spoken of his double delight at appearing in Tony Carr's Testimonial on Wednesday evening.

Not only did West Ham United's Under-18 captain impress while playing the whole second half in front of a crowd of nearly 14,000 supporters, but he also shared the Boleyn Ground pitch with his cousin, Sunderland's Kieran Richardson.

The teenager formed part of a Hammers team that included Paolo Di Canio, Gianfranco Zola and Academy team-mate Cristian Montano, who scored twice in a 5-1 victory over the Academy All-Stars.

Brown, who could skipper the Hammers in their final FA Premier Academy League fixture of the season at home to Charlton Athletic on Friday, was happy to be given the chance to shine by Academy Director Carr.


"It was special," said the 18-year-old. "It was the biggest crowd I've ever played in front of, and it was a good experience to be on the pitch with players who are that good. It was quality.

"I thought I settled in quite well. My first touch went well and my first run went well and from there I felt normal really.

"I want to be playing against players like that every week and hopefully I can build up from here."

The powerful, attack-minded left-back was in superb form, linking well down the flank with the likes of Zola, Di Canio and close friend Montano.

For Brown, it was a fitting end to what has been a progressive season that saw him become a regular member of Alex Dyer's reserve-team squad.

"It's been a really good season. I think I've done well and pushed on quite a bit. I just need to keep it up."

The cherry on the icing on the cake was turning out alongside cousin Richardson, who also came through the Academy ranks before enjoying a successful career with Manchester United, Sunderland and England.

"That was good, and it was great for my family, who were all there watching. It's never happened before so it was good. The Ferdinands and Lampards weren't the only West Ham family out there!"

West Ham's U18s finish their league campaign with the visit of Charlton to Little Heath on Friday, with kick-off at 12noon.

The Hammers go into the game a point clear of the Addicks, and know a victory would take them above Fulham into fifth place.

Admission and parking at Friday's match are both free.