Rice: Seeing my name on the back of West Ham fans' shirts is unbelievable!
A year ago, the number of supporters with Declan Rice’s name and number on the back of their West Ham United shirt was restricted to his family and friends.
Twelve months on and you cannot walk more than a few metres on a London Stadium matchday without seeing ‘RICE’ and ‘41’.
The popular young Irishman has become a fans’ favourite since making his first-team debut at Burnley in May 2017, impressing all with his composure, tenacity, ability and attitude.
And while he may now have made more than 25 Premier League appearances, stopped some of the best strikers in the world and been capped by his country, Rice is still touched every time he sees his own name being sported by a member of the Claret and Blue Army.
“It’s crazy, to be honest,” said the 19-year-old, who modelled the 2018/19 Home and Away kits as part of the Club’s #ImForever campaign.
“As a kid, you dream of playing in the Premier League, being on FIFA and fans having your name on the back of their shirts. In fact, it really touched me the first time I saw a fan with ‘RICE’ and ‘41’ on the back of their shirt at Swansea away last season.
“I thought to myself, ‘Wow! This is unbelievable. Why has someone chosen me as the name to have on the back of their shirt?’. I want to keep playing for the fans and getting my name on more of their shirts!”