Marko Arnautovic and Club legends Carlton Cole and Tony Cottee gave West Ham United supporters an early Christmas treat, meeting them at the official Club Store in Lakeside.
Arnautovic signed autographs, posed for photos and laughed with over 300 fantastic Claret and Blue fans, while Cottee and Cole also meet with supporters, took pictures and gave out their signature.
Having been voted the 2017/18 Hammer of the Year, Arnautovic shares a special bond with the West Ham fan base, and was delighted to spend some time meeting some of them ahead of the festive period.
If you still need to pick up those Hammers gifts for Christmas, remember you can order to click-and-collect at our Official Club Stores up until 12pm on Sunday 23 December, for pick-up on Christmas Eve
The Austrian said: “It always has big meaning to the players, to meet the fans. And also for the fans to come and see the players.
“It’s nice to see kids. when you can put a smile on their face, especially before Christmas. It was a good day.”
It always has a big meaning to the players, to meet the fans. When you can put smiles on their face, especially before Christmas, it's good.
Former striker Cole was also thrilled to spend time with a group of supporters that backed him so passionately during his near-decade tenure as a Hammer.
The 35-year-old said: “For me personally, it’s always been a pleasure to play for West Ham. It’s great to meet supporters and I love that they love the attitude and passion I have for this club.”
Having grown up a West Ham United fan, Cottee knows just what it means to supporters for players, ex-players and people involved at the Premier League side to take the time to meet them.
Cottee added: “It’s great. I’m a fan myself and I remembering being a kid, queuing to meet the likes of Sir Trevor Brooking and Frank Lampard, and I ended up playing with those lads.
“I’ve been walking around and I think I’ve signed an autograph for everyone, done some selfies and it’s been great. It’s great to meet the fans! It’s Christmas and a lot of us that are lucky, and from a football point of view, it’s nice to be able to give something back.”
West Ham fan Nicola and her son, Max, were some of the first in line to meet the Hammers attacking trio, having arrived at the Lakeside store at 8am on Thursday morning.
“We got here at 8am this morning,” Nicola confirmed. “It’s the second time I’ve met Tony Cottee. My dad brought me to a signing session when I was a little girl, and I met him then, and now I’ve got to do it again.
“We waited for Marko Arnautovic, and then we’ve also met Carlton Cole. It’s been great.”
Max said: “My favourite player is Marko Arnautovic! It’s been great to meet him and Carlton Cole!”