Saturday, 13 September 2008


West Ham attracts a lot of media attention. East London is a fertile source of journalists, actors, film-makers and writers.

Some recent major motion pictures featuring West Ham include Green Street, starring The Lord Of The Rings' Elijah Wood (right) as an American student who visits London and becomes a West Ham fan. Both Gary Oldman and Sean Bean have portrayed West Ham fans on celluloid, in The Firm and Essex Boys, respectively. Other movies about West Ham include Rise of the Foot Soldier and Cass.

West Ham is the only football club referred to in the Harry Potter series of books. The club is repeatedly referred to as the team supported by one of Harry's friends:

"Harry had caught Ron prodding Dean's poster of West Ham football team, trying to make the players move" (book 1, chapter 9)

It is estimated that the marketing potential of Elijah Wood's Green Street character and the Harry Potter character Dean Thomas could facilitate significant brand penetration in Asia and the Americas.

High profile West Ham fans include Russell Brand, the host of the US MTV awards who writes a weekly column about the club in the Guardian newspaper. Brand routinely encourages Hollywood celebrities to wear West Ham United shirts. Known Hollywood fans of the club include Matt Damon, Nicolas Cage, Rob Schneider, Adam Sandler, Keira Knightley, Ray Winstone, Macauley Culkin and John Cleese.

West Ham's most famous fan at the moment is no less than new US President Barack Obama, whose Kent-based English relatives ignited his interest in the club: