9th January 2014

What a lovely bit of P-Awww for West Ham

By Hannah Ingram on Thursday January 9, 2014

I’d like to say well done to West Ham.

No, I haven’t changed allegiance to the London football club, but I was impressed with how they’ve turned what is a tough time for the club into a decent PR opportunity.

After conceding 11 goals in their past two games, things on the pitch are not looking good for the Hammers.

Yes, the manager’s job might be on the line. Yes, the club’s Premier League status might be in danger. It’s enough to make you cry…

In fact, the club has gone out of its way to track down this crying child, who was spotted in the stands as West Ham lost 5-0 to Notts Forrest in the FA Cup at the weekend:

Oh bless.

In response, the club’s website put out the following message:

Sunday afternoon’s defeat at Nottingham Forest was tough for all to take, but particularly for one tearful young man in the away end.

Everyone at West Ham United shares this young man’s disappointment and is grateful for the large numbers of fans that made the trip to the City Ground.

To show the Club’s appreciation for the travelling Claret and Blue army, the Board, manager and captain would like to offer this young fan and his family a chance to watch an upcoming fixture at the Boleyn Ground from the Directors’ Box.

Nice touch!

I’ve been behind the scenes of many different football clubs and it’s always really humbling when you see children meet their idols for the first time.

The fact that West Ham has offered him the chance to rub shoulders with the big wigs is a great idea, and one which captured the imagination of the media.

ITV, MailOnline and the Metro were among the many media outlets who picked up on the story, giving the club plenty of positive PR during a turbulent time.

What’s more, this bit of quick thinking is still bearing fruit, as now comes the follow up story – the young lad’s been identified as Callum Mann, his dad’s been interviewed and he’s “an even bigger fan than before” the defeat.

Jason Mann said: “I’m over the moon, we were very lucky, we were in the right seat and apparently the club are looking at getting free travel for fans for an away game, which is another great gesture.

“Callum is an even bigger West Ham fan then before and he is a proper passionate fan, he has never cried before and (this gesture) was quite heart-warming.”

Oh how I love a happy ending*!

*I can’t predict the future very well, so refuse to comment on where West Ham might finish in the Premier League come May.