Boleyn Memories - Bobby Zamora

The former West Ham United striker and lifelong Hammer recalls his favourite moments in a Claret and Blue shirt
While Carlos Tevez stole most of the headlines during West Ham United’s ‘Great Escape’ from relegation in 2006/07, another striker played arguable as bigger role in the Hammers’ amazing late-season renaissance.

Bobby Zamora scored five goals in West Ham’s final ten Premier League matches, including vital winners at Blackburn Rovers and Arsenal and at home to Everton.

Speaking to West Ham TV ahead of Saturday’s visit of the Toffees, the Brighton & Hove Albion forward joked that he and not Tevez should have been crowned Hammer of the Year at the season’s end.
“We had a strong team and with the team that we had certainly should have done better, and it was only when we came under pressure when we showed what we were all about with our run at the end of the season,” the 34-year-old recalled. “We took a lot of good scalps and put in a lot of good performances.”

“How Tevez got Player of the Year, with the number of goals I got, I don’t know! No, seriously, Tevs done brilliant and he was a pleasure to play alongside as well!”

Zamora scored eleven goals in total as Alan Curbishley’s side used a run of seven victories in their final nine league matches to stave off relegation in unforgettable style.

Eight years on and the striker is still banging in the goals, having returned to first club Brighton this summer, and helped the Seagulls climb into the midst of the Championship promotion race.

That is familiar ground for the Barking-born Zamora, who fired West Ham back to the Premier League through a Play-Off final winner against Preston North End in 2005.

“I don’t think we ever thought we were going to lose. I really thought that and had confidence and belief in the lads and that continued through both legs of the semi-final and the final,” he explained.

“It was instinct, really. It wasn’t a clean hit but those are the ones that go in! It done the ‘keeper and ended up in the back of the net. It was then about holding on and hanging on and we never had any doubts about the lads at the back.”

He repeated the trick for Queens Park Rangers in 2014 and is now hoping to make it a hat-trick of promotions under the management of another former Hammer, Chris Hughton, with Brighton.

The scorer of 40 goals in 152 Claret and Blue appearances, Zamora remains a popular figure at the Boleyn Ground – the stadium he visited as a childhood Hammers fan.

“I used to play for the team I support and it was strange on my home debut, playing out on bthe pitch and ‘Bubbles’ being sung,” he told West Ham TV. “It was nice and to score was great. It started well and I absolutely loved my time there.”

Looking forward, Zamora believes West Ham’s move to the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford will be beneficial to the team he has supported all his life.

“I think the Club is going to grow, I really think so” he concluded. “There is a lot of tradition at Upton Park, but if they keep going the way they are, they are going to fill out the stadium.

“The more the merrier, really. The more West Ham fans we can get in there, the better, and hopefully we can get some Champions League football in there.”

*To watch Bobby Zamora’s West Ham TV interview in full, please click on the video box above!