Boleyn People

Trevor Wood MBE is proud to be part of Pride of Irons – the official West Ham United LGBT Supporters’ Group
Trevor Wood has a special love affair with the Hammers that dates back to one of the most memorable periods in the Club's history.

Wood was a child when he made his first visit to the Boleyn Ground five decades ago. It was at a time when West Ham won the FA Cup in 1964 and then, 12 months later, lifted the European Cup Winners’ Cup at Wembley.

Just when things could not get any better, three Hammers played a major role in helping England win the FIFA World Cup in 1966.

With those successes fresh in his young mind, Wood says he was never going to follow any other Club.

Wood said: “My love affair started when I was back in primary school. One of my best mates used to go and watch the Hammers with his Uncle and they asked me to go along.

“The 1960s was massive for the Club and we all joke that we won the World Cup for England – but basically we did!

“I remember watching Geoff Hurst and thought he was amazing and I became a big fan. It was really him that made me keep going back to West Ham.

“When I saw what he did for England in 1966 it made me so proud because I had been watching him all the time for West Ham and then he scored a hat-trick in one of the biggest ever games involving England. I can still remember the celebrations.

“I have been lucky enough to meet him at a couple of events. The first time I met him I was a bit nervous because he was a real childhood hero and it was a like a worship moment – my jaw was down to my ankles. It is funny what football can do to you.”


Wood has spent his whole life working with people who have disabilities and has focused on helping them to lead more enjoyable and fulfilling lives – especially when it comes to participating in sport.

Having managed the Respite Care Unit for Hackney Council, Woods linked up with the Greater London Sports Association for people with learning difficulties and quickly became a trustee and then vice-chair.

He led the negotiations with three of the other main disability sports organisations in London to merge and form the London Sports Forum for Disabled People, of which he became chairman and remains a director and trustee.

A tireless worker, Wood also served on the Football Association’s Advisory Group for Mental Health and the Tackling Homophobia Taskforce and was, until recently, a member of Sport England’s Equalities Group.

“For me it just seemed like the obvious thing to do,” Wood recalled. “My sister had multiple learning and physical disabilities so it was the obvious line of work to go into.

“It was fun and all my life has been about enjoying myself and helping other people enjoy themselves. Sport is such a great leveller.

“You can have somebody with the IQ like Einstein or someone who has profound learning difficulties but they can both still enjoy sport. Why put up barriers just because you have a disability?”

Wood's impressive work has certainly not gone un-noticed and he was handed the ultimate reward when he was invited to the Palace to meet the Queen and be made an MBE back in 2003.

It is still a moment he will never forget – especially when he thought the original letter was just a tax return!

“You open it up expecting to throw it down in disgust but I remember taking it over to the armchair and started reading it and thought 'Oh my goodness!'” said Wood, who is also a talented painter who was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2005.

“When you are doing things like I do, you don't expect to get medals or a pat on the head. It just ended up being a mad year.

“Anybody who says it doesn't change their lives is lying. It is as simple as that. Those three individual letters (MBE) help get you introduced to people.

“The Queen gave me the medal and I had a couple of really nice parties! I am still having fun putting MBE after my name on letters and people are more impressed by it than I am.”


Wood is not just involved with helping people with disabilities; he also played a role in helping to set up The Pride of Irons – the supporters’ club for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender fans of West Ham United – in early 2015.

Just a few months on from its foundation, Pride of Irons has established itself, with regular attendance at home matches and in events featuring other LGBT supporters’ clubs.

Existing to support LGBT fans, their friends and families, the only requirement for membership is that you support West Ham.

“The group was founded in early 2015 after it was perceived there needed to be an LGBT presence within the Club,” said Wood.

“We want it to become as big as it can be. The Pride of Irons has been going for a year and we have over 100 members. We are starting to really grow.

“We are linking up with groups and have good links with Proud Lilywhites. There is Pride in Football which is a nationwide supporters’ group linking everyone together.

“It is a slow thing but we are getting there. If anyone is interested to join they can go on our Facebook page and we have got a link on the Club website so everyone is welcome.”