Martin Allen showed every emotion during his six years and 232 appearances in a West Ham United shirt.
Anger, elation, disappointment and delight all played their part in a Claret and Blue career that spanned two promotions, one relegation, countless crunching tackles and 35 goals.
Arguably the most memorable of those strikes came at Arsenal on 30 April 1994, when the midfielder smashed in an unstoppable drive in West Ham’s 2-0 Premier League victory at Highbury.
What made Allen’s thunderbolt all the more special was the fact that his father, young son and uncle were all in the stands watching on.
To dribble forward and smash one into the top corner at that end of Highbury was amazing
“Arsenal away in the Premier League in April 1994 was a big game,” recalled Allen, who is now managing another north London club, Barnet. “Under George Graham, Arsenal were a strong side who were through to the European Cup Winners’ Cup final, having won the FA Cup the previous season.
“George had been my youth-team manager at Queens Park Rangers, so I knew him well and playing against his team, The Arsenal, was always special.
“My Dad, my son George, and my uncle Charlie, who is now 92 and still living in Romford and is a lifelong Arsenal supporter, were there.
“I met them before the game to give them their tickets and during the warm-up I could see them in the Clock End and I gave them a wave. So, to dribble forward and smash one into the top corner at that end of Highbury was amazing.
“I can’t put into words how it felt to look into the sea of West Ham fans behind the goal and see, among the heads, my Dad holding my son George up alongside my special uncle Charlie. It was a magical moment.”