Potts pays tribute to Hammers

Dan Potts has bid a moving farewell to West Ham United as he prepares for a new challenge at Luton Town
Dan Potts has bid an emotional farewell to West Ham United on leaving the Club after 12 years in a Claret and Blue shirt.

The 21-year-old joined the Hammers at the age of nine and, after bravely winning a life-threatening battle with leukaemia as a schoolboy, graduated from the Academy of Football and went on to make 13 first-team appearances.

Potts will join League Two club Luton Town this summer, where he will play under West Ham fan John Still and alongside former Hammers teammate Pelly Ruddock, and is looking forward to the prospect of playing regular senior football.

In the meantime, however, the son of West Ham legend Steve Potts, has paid tribute to the staff, players and supporters who made his time at the Boleyn Ground so enjoyable.

“West Ham has been a massive part of my life, not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well,” said Potts, who captained the youth team and Development Squad regularly before making his first-team debut at 17 in December 2011. “I’ve been brought up around the Club and have a lot of fond memories and I will never forget my time here. West Ham has made me the person I am today.

“It goes without saying that my debut against Barnsley at Upton Park was pretty special, and to play away against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Premier League was also amazing. There are some other moments that I can’t really remember, like when I suffered a concussion playing at Arsenal a couple of years ago!

“The whole memory is a positive and good one and within that there have been some very special moments.”
West Ham has been a massive part of my life, not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well
Potts was part of a close-knit year-group that came through the ranks at the Academy of Football, with the likes of Elliot Lee, George Moncur, Blair Turgott, Matthias Fanimo and the late Dylan Tombides forming a special bond that will never be broken.

“I have made friends for life at this Club, 100 per cent. There are a lot of good people at the Club, not just the players, but the staff are also top-drawer and top people. You wouldn’t expect anything else from West Ham, because it is based around good people. I’ve made a lot of friends for life, that’s for sure.

“It’s been a memorable time and the Club will always be in my heart for various reasons. The Club has always been there when I’ve been in times of need, on and off the pitch.

“Being around the Club as a whole, it’s going in the right direction with the stadium move and all that, so it will be great to see them do well and be in the top half of the Premier League, where they belong.

“No-one deserves that more than the fans, because they are a massive part of the Club and I am one of them. You won’t find a better set of fans.

“The Club will always be in my heart and it’s a sad day, but it’s come to a time when I have to think of myself and I want to be playing. I’ll always appreciate what they have done for me I’ll never forget it.”
After an injury-affected 2014/15 season, Potts is now embarking on a new adventure with Luton, where he hopes to make his mark by becoming a first-team regular and help the Hatters to climb the Football League ladder.

“It’s been a tough time, but I know I am ready and it has got to the stage where I need to be playing week-in, week-out and from a personal point of view, that’s the decision I’ve made,” he explained.

“When Luton approached me and asked me to look at the club, it felt right and felt that the club was going in the right direction, so I hope I can kick on with them and move up the leagues.”

West Ham United would like to thank Dan for his hard work, commitment and passion over the past 12 years and wish him every success in his future career.