Trio entertain at fans' forum

Sam Allardyce, Guy Demel and Robert Hall took part in an entertaining disabled fans' forum at the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday night.

About 50 of the club's most loyal supporters were invited to the special night at the home of the Hammers, where they got the chance to quiz Big Sam and two of his first-team stars.

Demel and Hall kicked-off the evening with a lively question and answer session, where the fans in attendance asked the pair a range of questions, from who their footballing idols were growing up to which team-mate is the worst-dressed. The pair amused the supporters with some funny anecdotes and stories from the training ground before posing for photos and signing autographs.

After a quick break for refreshments, Big Sam took to the microphone to answer questions. With the audience enthralled, the West Ham United manager covered areas such as how his early career experiences helped shape him into the Barclays Premier League manager we see today and how he hopes to exceed some people's expectations with West Ham United this year.

Sam Allardyce at disabled fans forum

Sam Allardyce was delighted to meet supporters at the disabled fans' forum

After the event, a beaming Demel explained how happy he was to spend some time with the supporters and praised Disability Liaison Officer Julie Pidgeon and her team for putting on such a successful night.

"I really enjoyed it and it is nice to meet our fans and to talk about all the different areas," Demel said. "We had some really good questions and some of them were really hard!

"It's really important to give footballers a good image and it's vital to give something back to our fans. I think it's great for the club to set up something like this where we can meet the fans. I hope everyone that attended on the night enjoyed it.

"I don't remember saying who were the worst dressed were! [laughs] If you want I can take a few of them shopping in central London to give them a personal shopping experience!"

Season Ticket holder Cathy Bayford certainly seemed to agree that the night had gone well. She said: "It's been wonderful. Julie's team are so supportive and really good at getting us all involved and making us feel part of it.

"The players did really well as it was probably a bit daunting for them, especially for Rob Hall as he's so young, but he is confident and I love the way they shared a joke. It was nice to hear Sam open up and we really felt like we went behind-the-scenes.

"We get really looked after here at the club. Even when we go to away grounds they make sure we are OK as some of those grounds are nowhere near as accommodating."

Pidgeon was glad to see her guests enjoy the evening. She said: "It went really well and we're really pleased with it. We had a bigger variety of fans here, including Season Ticket holders and people that don't manage to come along regularly because of their disability.

"It's all part of the package we offer. On a matchday, people that are non-disabled have more opportunity to meet players at the gates and other places. These people can't, so we give them the opportunity to meet them in relaxed surroundings."

Further information for disabled and visually-impaired supporters can be found here.

Moore Than a Football Club