Jones meets up with Slaven once again

Steve Jones

Former striker Steve Jones will always have a special relationship with the West Ham fans following his remarkable story which saw him sign for his beloved Club. Jones made headlines in the national press when Harry Redknapp took him to the east London Club after he was working in a soap factory while playing for Billericay. The talented forward was rated one of the best strikers in non-league football and spent four memorable years at Upton Park. The 46-year-old has kept in touch with his former team-mate Slaven Bilic and was recently back at the Club's new training ground to meet up with some old friends.... For the amount of games that I played for West Ham I seemed to be remember quite well which is great. I was working in a soap factory and a lot was made in the press at the time. I was playing for Billericay Town as a semi-professional in the Isthmian League. I got made redundant and West Ham came in for me straight away. Harry signed me for around £40,000. The crazy thing was I had played for Billericay on the Tuesday night and was then a substitute for West Ham at Upton Park four days later. It was hard to believe what was going on and it was a crazy time. I realised at the time that it was going to be hard because West Ham signed me when I was 22 and I had not had the coaching that a lot of the other players had gone through. It took me a couple of years to adjust to it but I was a West Ham supporter and it was a dream for me to go and play for for them. I was there for two seasons and then I came back for a second time. I was a better player the second time around but it just didn't happen for me in front of goal. I remember playing against Arsenal at Highbury on the opening day and we lost 2-0, but I managed to hit the post and the bar and if one of them had gone in, maybe it would have been a different story for me. My favourite moment was probably playing against Norwich in a live televised game. We drew 3-3 and I managed to score and set up a goal for Trevor Morley. Norwich had a great team at the time with Chris Sutton and Jeremy Goss and it was a great game to be involved in. The other big highlight would have to be the 4-1 win over Spurs at White Hart Lane. I remember the ground being empty on 85 minutes and the Hammers fans were doing the conga! Trevor scored a couple, Mike Marsh and Matt Rush got on the scoresheet and it was a fantastic result at the time. I remember going out the night after and I don't recall having to buy a drink that night! I still keep in touch with a few of the lads and did a charity event with Julian Dicks during the summer. I played with Slaven and he has gone on to become a fantastic manager. He has taken West Ham onto the next level. We have struggled a bit at the start of the season but that is down mainly to injuries, but we showed with the recent unbeaten run what the team is capable of and to get that victory over Chelsea was excellent. Looking back I have some great memories from my career including playing for Charlton in the memorable Play-Off win over Sunderland at Wembley. I set up two of the goals and it was a great day. There are still people around the Club from when I was playing including Shirley in the canteen and when I saw Slaven, he invited me to come down to the training ground with my little boy Liam who plays for the West Ham's U11s. Slaven is a genuine guy and told me to bring him along and get some photos with the players. I hope Liam will be able to follow in my footsteps but he has still got a long way to go. He loves being at the Club, but when you are only eleven you still have a long way to go. It is hard work for the youngsters. He recently played in Belgium and spent the day travelling there. There are a lot of demands for that age but he managed to get the winner!