First Founders secure seats

Reece Burke and Tony Cottee were on hand to meet the first Season Ticket Holders to pick their seats at the new Stadium

The first Season Ticket Holders to select their seats at the New Stadium Reservation Centre got more than they bargained for, as Reece Burke and Tony Cottee dropped by to surprise West Ham United’s newest Founders

As of Tuesday morning, the Reservation Centre in Westfield Stratford City opened its doors to the first handful of Band 1 Season Ticket Holders, with some 40,000 Hammers fans expected in total. 

Following the successful launch of Club London, it is now the turn of West Ham’s many thousand Season Ticket Holders to take advantage of the Virtual Venue to handpick their seats at their own appointments.

When renewing for the 2016/17 season, Season Ticket Holders will join Arnold Hills, Dave Taylor and all of West Ham's founding fathers by leaving their own indelible mark on Hammers history.

Lifelong Hammer Timothy Whitmore, who attends games alongside his daughter Charlotte, was the first to secure his two tickets and, after bumping into Academy graduate Burke, spoke of his pride in leading the charge.   

“I feel pretty honoured,” he confirmed. “I've been a Hammers fan since '72 and a regular ever since, so I feel really honoured to be the first person to walk through as a Season Ticket Holder. 

“The whole [Reservation Centre] experience is very positive and very easy. The booking process worked really well, and the graphics and the explanation from the advisors is really, really good. 

“Having not seen the new Stadium in the flesh, it's good to see a computer simulation and if it reflects what we're really going to see, then I'm very positive. The view looks excellent.” 

Hammers legend Cottee entertained the crowds in the afternoon and, having been through the process himself, urged supporters to take up the opportunity to select their seats in person at the Reservation Centre.  

He told West Ham TV: “It was really, really enjoyable. Being a West Ham fan, it's always great to talk to the supporters. I had a little bit of football chat, before we got started, and then we got into the nitty-gritty of talking about the Stadium and trying to help them decide where to sit.
“I think everyone was really, really happy, everyone's really looking forward to it and I think most people were surprised at just how good the Stadium is.
“That's my advice to anyone, if you're having second thoughts, you must come down, go through the process and understand just how great the Stadium's going to be.
“It's important that the fans are happy and the advisors here are great. You come down and they'll explain anything and everything to you.”

A group of nine, Season Ticket Holders old and new, were among the fans snapping up their seats on day one  and once Hammer of the Year Cottee expects more of the same in the coming weeks, with fans possessing the unique opportunity to take their seats alongside friends and family.    
All existing Season Ticket Holders can give two fellow Hammers fans priority to join them as new Season Ticket Holders in the new Stadium and select their seats altogether at a Reservation Centre appointment.  

Cottee continued: “We had a guy come in who said he wanted to bring his nephew. He's only four and we're saying ‘that's who we want’. We want a four-year-old to come along, because we need the next generation of Hammers.   
“If you've got your group who go to football every other Saturday, there's also the opportunity to bring the family in, to bring friends in and if you want to get a group of 20 people together you can even do that as well!”
Season Ticket Holders wishing to organise their group appointment or to add new Season Ticket Holders can do so using the Online Reservation Centre, where they can track their progress in the seat selection process. All Season Ticket Holders should now have received their login details via email.

For more information on Founders, click here.