“Good Morning Ladies And Gentlemen welcome to today’s celebration, yes a celebration. Some say when someone has died it’s a time of sadness and sorrow, a time where one reflects on their own life and time they’ve spent on this wonderful planet. As we are gathered here today we have the opportunity to unite as one and to celebrate an extraordinary life. So many of you from different walks of life are here to commemorate a wonderful life, of passion, pride and underachievement.

Born to the east end The Thames Iron Works sprang to life in 1895. A small football club was founded and as it grew so did its family. As time passed by TIWFC grew out of its home and surroundings and changed names but not identity they moved to Upton Park. Now known as West Ham United the club remained at The Boleyn Ground from 1904 to 2016.

During that time strong family bounds were made strangers and friends became family.

I think you’ll all agree not the most glamorous or attractive but what was lacking in skill was made up with passion and enthusiasm. Over the years legends were born and heroes made. Some will never be forgotten.

So why do we wipe away a tear but smile? Isn’t this what made West Ham so special. Unpredictable yes, frustrating yes unreliable and sometimes downright daft. Other times beautiful oh so beautiful. We saw you in a different light. Our love for you grew and every once in a while you did or gave us all something special. When those moments came we cherished those longing for more.

The good times were few and far between but we were united behind you. Did you ever fulfil your potential? No. Did you leave us frustrated and at times sick to the core? Looking around the congregation here I can see a few nodding heads. Yes West Ham there was something so special about you. Sitting here gives as all a time to reflect on ones own special memory of you. Your first match maybe or when we threw everything but the kitchen sink and still lost. That wonder goal or when it looked like the whole team was going to get sent off. Yes very special moments that should be held onto and shared.

As I said earlier this is a day of celebration. For all of the lows and there’s been many think of the highs. Those magnificent highs. Even in defeat holding our heads high and puffing out our chests. Why? Because we’re West Ham and that’s what we do. We should make no apology for who we are and what we believe that’s what makes us Hammers.

The passing of The Club was a shock like any death but not a surprise. Health wise the club was in bad shape for sometime and although we all tried, using a plaster to heal a gaping wound was never going to have a happy ending.

Moving home especially at that ripe old age leads to the inevitable. I’m sure you’re all in agreement with me that no wants to go into that kind of home.

So on 10th March 2018 The Club died. None of us could help and whatever our best intentions were sadly there wasn’t anything that any of us could do. Many of you will say The Club was in the best of health and moving to that home added to the decline. This is neither the time nor the place as what’s done is done.

It’s with a heavy heart that I ask you to all stand and for the final time sing with me…..

I’m forever blowing bubbles…………….”