Claret and blue army praised

West Ham United's "fantastic fans" were once again out in force on Tuesday night as the Hammers travelled to Sunderland.

Chairman David Gold said the backing received was deserving of praise, especially as just four days ago the travelling faithful had to make the long trip to Stoke City. Despite the famed noise of the Britannia Stadium, 'West Ham's claret and blue army' were equally in full voice.

"I pay tribute to the thousands who follow us wherever we play," he said. "Their enthusiasm and determination never ceases to amaze me. They have such good humour and are simply outstanding."

The Chairman has also been considering the stories of two very different Hammers this week - united by a common cause. One was Jonjo Heuerman, an eight-year-old season ticket holder who will be walking from Wembley to Upton Park in February in aid of the Bobby Moore Fund. The other was Alan Scott, a season ticket holder for half-a-century who has sadly just passed away.

Jonjo will set out with his family on 24 February 2010 to walk 23 miles from the national stadium to the Boleyn Ground home of the Hammers. He plans to arrive on Saturday 26 February, just before the Liverpool game. It is an idea that has captured the imagination of many, not least the Chairman.

"I have to say it is remarkable for a young man to be so determined and resolute for such a good cause. He deserves all our admiration for what he is going to try and do, and I am sure he will get a terrific reception from the fans."

The Chairman will greet Jonjo when he concludes his charity walk, something that he said he "would be thrilled and honoured" to do, adding: "To be a part of his day and congratulate him on such a performance will be wonderful."

It was a more sombre tone when discussing the news of Alan Scott, a loyal supporter who was remembered at a special wake held at the stadium on Monday. Fittingly held in the Billy Bonds Lounge, given his favourite player was the marauding mainstay of the 60s, 70s and 80s, the Chairman was touched to hear of Alan's lifelong commitment.

"I have personal experience with my mum who was a West Ham fan for 60 years and sadly passed away a few years ago. It brings back memories to me of how much this club meant to her. Fans like Alan are the lifeblood of this club and we value them. My condolences to his family and friends."