We All Follow The West Ham!

The Chicago Hammers watch every game from over the pond and are ready for a new era for the Club
The Chicago Hammers watch every West Ham match from over the pond, and have many fond memories from visiting the Boleyn Ground. However, member Matt Gregory says they’re ready for more great times at the new Stadium on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park…
Our Chicago Hammers supporters’ club was set up when we applied for official status in 2013 having established a group of West Ham fans in 2012. We were meeting regularly to watch Hammers matches, so therefore thought becoming a recognised group was the next step for us.
Now, we have around 50 members who meet to watch matches, and it usually consists of around 15 or 20 of those at a time. We always use our local pub as the matchday ground, and members from all over the city and across the state of Illinois and beyond love to get involved.
We've got over 1,500 followers on Twitter and Facebook and we get contacted by people from across the US about places to watch West Ham.
Primarily, we are based on the north side of Chicago and meet every week (even last winter when there were ridiculously freezing temperatures) at AJ Hudson's Pub. Every game, home and away, is televised, which is great for us, as we can see those turning out in Claret and Blue every single time.
Many members of ours have visited the Boleyn Ground over the years, however the visit of Crystal Palace earlier this year, which marked the Club’s Over Land and Sea fixture, was the first time our group had visited the ground to watch a game as a whole.
Because so many of us have personally made the trip to Upton Park, we individually all have our great memories. Personally, I find it difficult to pick a stand out one. Watching that team of the late ‘90s at Upton Park is full of great memories – Paolo Di Canio, Trevor Sinclair, Shaka Hislop, Rio Ferdinand, Mark Vivien Foe, Joe Cole – we were playing some really exciting and entertaining football and it has been great to see Slaven Bilic getting this team to do the same in the last season at the Boleyn.
Individual moments are just as memorable for me, too – Carlos Tevez scoring his first goal for West Ham against Spurs or Di Canio's wonder goal against Wimbledon are definitely up there.
It’s therefore difficult to select any players as favourites from over the years, too. Ian Bishop, Di Canio and Dean Ashton were all so exciting to watch, and I used to love watching John Moncur and Julian Dicks. With the way the team has played this season, it's tough to pick out favorites from our current squad. Our youngest Chicago Hammer, Tre, loves watching Michail Antonio and Dimitri Payet week-in, week-out.
There's no doubt that the Boleyn Ground has been a very special place, and it's why we made the long journey earlier this season. But moving to the new Stadium on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will give us the chance to compete at the highest level and continue to attract top quality players. We're hoping to come back to see the new ground next season and start making memories there too.