Moose's Memories - Scott Parker Part 1

The first of Ian 'Moose' Abrahams' revealing two-part interview with former West Ham United midfielder Scott Parker
Ian ‘Moose’ Abrahams starts the final calendar year at the Boleyn Ground by chatting to three-time Hammer of the Year Scott Parker...

Can you believe it is 2016?

This will be one of the most momentous years in West Ham United's history. The farewell from Upton Park seemed a long way off last July when we began in the Europa League, but now 2016 is here and I don't know about you, but it seems more real.

For my first Moose’s Memories of the New Year I'm delighted to say I caught up with a player who will fit nicely into those who can be considered West Ham greats; a player who every single time he pulled on a West Ham shirt gave everything; a player who, when you read this, has as much appreciation for you, the West Ham fans, as you have for him; a player you voted three years in a row as Hammer of the Year.

Scott Parker.

Scott joined West Ham in 2007 from Newcastle and he revealed that moving to Upton Park wasn't a difficult decision.

“I had a relationship with Alan Curbishley from Charlton and so he knew what I was all about,” Scott began. “Coming back to London was an obvious move for me and, at the time, West Ham had just been taken over by some wealthy owners, who made some good signings on papers and I was buzzing to be a part of it.

“Having been at Charlton I had always known about the history of West Ham and fan-wise all about the club, so joining was a no-brainer. I had four amazing years of my career at West Ham and on a personal level it's the one club I feel I really had a bond with the fans.

“So, looking back as I come towards the back-end of my career, they were four amazing years."
If you'd have told me at the start of my West Ham career I would have been as an integral a part of the team and that the fans would take to me as they did, I would have said I could only have dreamt that
During his time at West Ham, Scott became regarded (not just by me) as one of the most consistent English midfielders in the country.

As you'll no doubt remember, his performances brought a recall to the England team and the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award, but more on that to come.

The drive Scott had came from the belief he took onto the pitch.

“In my head I always wanted to contribute as much as I could and be valuable to the team,” he told me. “If you'd have told me at the start of my West Ham career I would have been as an integral a part of the team and that the fans would take to me as they did, I would have said I could only have dreamt that.

“I never foresaw it, but reflecting on it and the relationship I had with the fans, they brought out the best in me. Yes, we had some hard times, but early on it was fine on the pitch, although at the back end it got a bit messy, (the relegation under Avram Grant) but the one constant was the rapport not only me but all the players had with the fans.”

I asked whether being the first player since Julian Dicks to win Hammer of the Year three times demonstrated that bond he felt with the fans?

“Yes, that rapport was the biggest thing. When I look back at my West Ham career, the highlight, no matter what the results, the rapport was superb, not just with me but my family.

“Even the way I left the club, going to play for a rival, some were not happy, but most appreciated my efforts and without their support I couldn't have played the way I did.”
Scott left after the Hammers relegation under Avram Grant, having amazingly never been named as the Club’s official captain.

Despite that, his half-time team talk when 3-0 down at West Brom that 2010/11 season was described by Carlton Cole when I spoke to him a couple of years ago as ‘inspirational’.

Of course I spoke to Scott about that and his move to Spurs, and for those who were unhappy about his departure, read what the man himself told me, he didn't want to leave.

“That last year was nothing but disappointment for the team, to be relegated, no-one wanted to get relegated,” he recalled. “We had many problems, one after another, but after we were relegated, there came a point in my career, where with Euro 2012 around the corner, I had to move on.”

I asked Scott, if West Ham had stayed up would he have left? Scott, who as long as I have known him has never dodged a question, answered.

“If we hadn't have gone down I would've stayed on, there would have been no reason for me to go, especially with the special bond me and my family enjoyed with the fans.”

To back up Scott's sentiments when I asked him about winning a recall to the England team and his Football Writers' Player of the Year award.

“They were great on an individual level, but I'd have given all that back for West Ham to stay up and us be successful on the pitch – that's how comfortable I felt playing for West Ham."

You can read Part 2 of Moose's Memories - Scott Parker at 9am on Thursday 7 January right here on!