The Big Interview

Long-serving physiotherapist Rob Jenkins returned to the Club's Chadwell Heath training ground this week to take part in a documentary covering the legendary Bobby Moore. The documentary will be screened in 2016 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of England winning the World Cup.  

Having worked at the Club from 1966 to 1990, Jenkins had plenty of stories of Moore and other players that he worked with through the years. On his return to Chadwell, he spoke to

Rob, welcome back to Chadwell Heath, what is it like to come back?

RJ: “It's wonderful, absolutely amazing. When I came through the gates I sort of felt disorientated because it felt so familiar yet a lot of it has changed. My medical room is where the Manager’s office is now. There’s a lot more buildings here now, it just shows how football has come on with the all the developments in sports science, the analysts and media side of things. I recognise a few things but it has certainly changed a lot since the early 60s, that’s for sure. When my dad first started working here, it was a cricket pavilion with a pitch and that was about it really.”

Your Dad worked here before you, then he brought you into the club, there’s a few instances throughout the club’s history of family members working here?

RJ: “Yes, I think that’s one of the reasons that makes this club special. Other clubs may also have families working there too but I think it’s important that the club has a connection to the people from the community. West Ham has always had that. My Dad loved working for the club, as did I. It was fantastic working for the club you support. I was here for 25 years, when I started the Manager’s office was full of smoke but that’s all changed now. 25 years is a long time, certainly long enough! But I loved it here, it was an exciting time to be involved, especially as a West Ham fan.”

You were at Upton Park recently to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Club winning the 1965 European Cup Winners Cup, it must have been nice to see some old faces?

RJ: “Oh yes, it was fantastic. It was great to be pitch side and for that achievement to be recognised. I thought the current fans gave us a great reception even though it was a long time ago. It doesn’t feel like it was 50 years ago, that’s for sure! As you get older the times flies, I’m 77 now. It was really nice to see some of the players. Eddie Bovington is still a good friend of mine, Ken Brown, Martin Peters, Alan Sealey’s wife and his son were there so it was a wonderful occasion.”

How often do you get the opportunity to come to watch the Hammers these days?

RJ: “I come about three or four times a year. I always love coming to watch the games, it’s a feeling that’s never left me.” 

We’re just about to enter the final season at the Boleyn Ground, the stadium must hold many great memories?

RJ: “Yes definitely, my clinic used to be just outside the ground as well. The whole thing is going to come down. It’s sad but I will go to the new Stadium in Stratford, we’ve got a good team so hopefully the atmosphere will be just as good and we can create some new memories to celebrate.”