'We all follow the West Ham'

Every home game at the Boleyn Ground is special, however for three Hammers fans based in Minnesota, the 1-1 draw with Manchester United was especially poignant.

For father David and son Robert Curtis, alongside friend Jeff, it was their first visit to the Boleyn Ground in over three decades, and for Robert, his first ever time.

Speaking before the game, a clearly emotional David explained: "It really is a pilgrimage. I never thought I'd be able to get back, but yeah, it's really good to be here.

"I was born in East Ham, lived in Dagenham and I used to come to the games as a kid. Those days you could just jump on a bus, you didn't need to have your parents with you. As I got into work, I moved away, my job has taken me overseas quite a lot, we ended up living in the United States.

"The day my son, Robert, was born he had a West Ham scarf on his crib but he's never been to a game. I always wanted to bring him over here, I always said one day, and here we are."

In a highly entertaining game, the Hammers came agonisingly close to a 1-0 win after Cheikhou Kouyate's superb goal looked to have sealed the three points.

Unfortunately, however, there was just enough time for the visitors to equalise as Daley Blind volleyed home from just inside the box.

Describing his love of the Hammers, Robert said: "This is sacred ground to my family. The thought has always been in our minds to come out here. It's been a matter of watching West Ham on the telly for 34 years this summer.

"The idea to come here presented itself last year, we were all in a right place in our lives, so we decided to make it happen.

"I've brought my son Cameron, he's two-and-a-half and a massive West Ham supporter. He loves everything about it. Today is a family affair, West Ham are in our thoughts daily."

With less than 18 months to go before West Ham move into the new Stadium in Stratford in summer 2016, the Curtis's had a limited number of opportunities to pay a final homage.

As David explained: "It was really important to make sure we came here to the Boleyn Ground before the move. We'll have plenty of time to go there, but it was coming down to crunch time, we had to make the journey.

"As supporter services go, they've been absolutely tremendous. Ever since we got here to reception I've felt as though I've been treated like royalty. I'm not used to it, I'm a bit nervous. I don't know when it'll sink in that I'm actually here. We chose Man United because we wanted an easy win, we'll take care of that later on.

"To know that the club you've supported your whole life treats people so well is very, very special. It's been an absolutely amazing experience."

As well as been shown around the stadium including the players' tunnel and dressing rooms, the avid West Ham fans also bumped in to co-chairman David Gold.

"We were talking about all sorts of things with Mr. Gold, what a gentleman. We couldn't be happier that West Ham is owned by individuals who are genuine West Ham fans first, and owners second.

"They care about the club as much as we do. It's a great experience and very exciting times for the club. We've invited him to go ice fishing in Minnesota and he can cruise through the lakes of Missouri any time he wants.

"We couldn't be more pleased. Last year was a trial for us all but they've turned it around. The summer signings were just superb, they've transformed the team. They have spurred on the fans and the other players. It is great football to watch, the club, in all areas is firing on all cylinders.

"We've all married into American families and they have all have West Ham shirts. At his wedding all his groomsman had West Ham shirts. We are definitely spreading the West Ham word.