Upson says 'thank you'

All of you who have followed us this season deserve the spotlight. Even when things have not gone so well, the fans have always been there home and away. None of us take that for granted and there have been many games when we have been in awe of the support.

This season has had its difficulties but I am pleased that, although we have not had too much to shout about, we have been able to secure this club's place in the Barclays Premier League. Despite the many problems, we have stuck together as a squad and, with strong support from the manager and his staff, kept on going.

Aside from it being a turbulent season with lots of changes and speculation, there has been the general pressure of representing West Ham United and what is expected from us every time we play. I have always said I would rather play for a club that makes such demands. You know you can never take it is easy and I enjoy that.

It was a great honour when the manager named me as the new captain at the start of the season. I am grateful to him and it has been a privilege to lead the team out and follow in the footsteps of some of the club's most illustrious names. It is something that means a lot to me personally and I have treated the job with full respect.

There have been positives to take away from the season, especially the way no one has hidden from the challenge and how we have coped with the pressure. I am sure this club will come out of this in a healthier state and can look ahead to better things. Morale is good and there is a determination at Chadwell Heath to improve.

Matthew Upson