Gapes' glowing Foundation report

Ilford South MP and lifelong West Ham United supporter Mike Gapes has joined those heaping praise on the West Ham United Foundation, after the Hammers’ community wing celebrated 25 years of community sport. 

Mr Gapes has a longstanding association with the Club, both personally and professionally, and insists West Ham has always taken great care of its community. 

And with the Club’s fan base growing all the time, the Labour Co-operative MP expect the Foundation will do likewise as the Hammers prepare for the big move to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.   

He told West Ham TV: “The work that the Foundation has done in the community, with different groups, girls and boys, in and out of schools, is very important. The Club does put, and always has put, things back into the community. 

“In fact, I can remember years ago, when I was involved in a Thames Gateway project, West Ham were supporting that, for young people, including young offenders, who were coming out of prison, or were actually in prison, and trying to encourage people to change their behaviour. 

“It's actually very important. Football is the national game and lots of people are affected by football and if you can't get people to be engaged in educational or other activities in a conventional way, often football, football clubs, Premier League clubs, and West Ham among them, can provide the key to that. 

“West Ham is a community-based club and with the move to the Olympic Stadium, it will still be a community-based club. Because the club represents and covers the community, and obviously it's important that we get that message out to all the different groups in the area around the ground and wider, because the fan base is so big now.”  

On the pitch, Mr Gapes is thoroughly enjoying what he has seen this season and is hopeful that the good times are here to stay under the stewardship of Slaven Bilic.  

“As a Season Ticket Holder over the years, I've seen the ups and downs, the setbacks, so you get used to it, but there's something about this team, this year, I think the quality is really good,” he added. 

“They're playing attractive football, and obviously we've had some really good wins against teams that were, last season, in the top six and this season, we're in the top six! I think we're going to have a good year.”