Hammers support Help for Heroes

West Ham United's players and staff have flung their support behind the Help for Heroes Rugby Challenge.

Manager Sam Allardyce, captain Kevin Nolan and defender James Tomkins each pulled on a pair of Help for Heroes socks ahead of a star-studded match between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres at Twickenham on Saturday 3 December.

Help for Heroes is a registered charity founded in 2007 that provides assistance to wounded servicemen and women. In four years, it has raised more than £100m.

The Help for Heroes Rugby Challenge will see two teams comprising some of the world's biggest stars clash at the home of rugby, with the likes of 2003 World Cup winners Barking-born Jason Leonard and Lawrence Dalaglio and Wales legend Ieuan Evans managing a Northern Hemisphere squad against a Southern Hemisphere side coached by Australia great Michael Lynagh and New Zealand hero Sean Fitzpatrick.

Manager Allardyce said the Hammers had not had to think twice when asked to support Help for Heroes.

"It goes without saying that we will do everything we can to support this charity," said Big Sam. "Everything about Help for Heroes is brilliant and everybody should support them.

"Everyone who makes a donation to Help for Heroes should feel good about themselves because they will make a difference to people's lives, no matter how big or small that donation is."

With two cousins in the Armed Forces, skipper Nolan said Help for Heroes was a charity that was close to his heart.

"I always try to support Help for Heroes because I have two family members in the Forces - my cousin Stephen Connolly is a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy and another cousin Gareth Nolan is in the Army.

"We went abroad as a group of lads last year and they were talking about some of the things they do and you cannot help by have respect for them.

"They are proper men. The way they are when you sit down and talk to them and other people from the Forces makes you realise how lucky you are to be in the job you have.

"I have absolutely no hesitation in supporting Help for Heroes."

For more information about the Help for Heroes Rugby Challenge and to find out how to make a donation, visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk