Chadwell Chatter

Hi everyone,

With the season over, I was lucky enough to play at the Boleyn Ground recently when I played for Alan Devonshire's West Ham team against a number of invited sides that decided they fancied taking on some of the legends from West Ham's past.

When you come down regularly to Upton Park and you have been for years now to watch your team play, you always imagine what it's like to play here. It's always real thrill to pull on your boots and get out there. Fortunately there's no one really here to see how appalling the football is, apart from some of the old boys and a few of the youngsters who are pretty good. It's an absolute thrill to be here and put your boots on and smash one in the back of the net as well.

I also enjoyed another year of hosting the Club's Player Awards, which is always a great night. It's a great way to get to end of the season and think you know what, we're still in the Premier League, we've had some great results, we beat Spurs three times and it's not often you get to say that. We made a point of saying that over and over again and enjoying it.

It's a brilliant night, the players mix with the fans that have come down and it's a chance for them to talk about the season and start planning for the new season as well, which I think is one of the really key things. It's been a difficult season as fans, but you look at the positives. We finished brilliantly against Spurs and we had that great run in the middle of the season which got us safe and if we think about next season now I think it's quite exciting what we can achieve.

All the winners at the Player Awards were worthy winners. Mark Noble is just a legend around here having grown up just around the corner he's West Ham through and through. I think I said on the night that he's the pride of east London.

Adrian and myself enjoyed an on-stage selfie at the Player Awards

It's great to be around him and the Club runs through his veins, so he was a worthy Hammer of the Year. Adrian just cleaned up left, right and centre and what a fantastic guy! I tried to speak to him in English, but his English isn't great at the moment, but if you think about how he's commanded that area brilliantly all season it's remarkable. He needs to work on his cockney though; there wasn't enough apples and pears for me, but a brilliant selfie which was a lovely touch.

You can tell he's really enjoyed this season which is great as a West Ham fan because you just want to know that players love pulling on the West Ham shirt. You want to know that every time they go out they're going to give it their all and Mark and Adrian are examples of players who did just that last season.

I get another chance to pull on my boots next month when I'll be playing under the guidance of Sam Allardyce - something I enjoy as I've never lost when Big Sam has managed us in Soccer Aid. He put me on man-marking Clarence Seedorf last time which was an interesting experience. Seedorf didn't like it much because, if anyone's seen me play football, I play a little bit like a rugby player and Seedorf didn't like that.

We're up against Jose Mourinho, he's the Rest of the World's manager this year, so I know that Sam and Jose are going to lock horns again. The tactical battle's going to be pretty immense I reckon. Jose's going to be up to his old tricks and Sam will love every minute of it. It's a great, great experience and I think over the years we've raised £12 million for UNICEF and it's a great excuse for us to go and pretend to be professional footballers for a couple of days. Tune in if you can to support a great cause!


Ben Shephard