Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Sing When You're Winning

The following post is a 'proper naughty' interview with Danny Dyer. It is the latest in an occasional series about West Ham supporting celebrities, taken from last month's FourFourTwo magazine.

Sing When You're Winning With... Danny Dyer
By Nick Moore

How come you're a West Ham fan?

I was brought up in Custom House, east London, so I was always aware of them. My dad took me to my first match when I was nine. It was against Coventry and we lost 1-0. The thing I loved most was the walk there. It was a joyous two miles- everyone coming out of the houses and heading for the ground. The anticipation, the community. It was a real buzz.

Were you hooked straight away?

Yeah. I used to love watching my dad's face getting so excited. Football was our only real time together. He'd take me to the pub afterwards and talk about Billy Bonds. I didn't understand, but I'd ask a million questions.

What's so special about the club?

Upton Park is an old school ground bang in the middle of a council estate. It's never really changed. Back in the day there was a real edge to the place. I also like that being a West Ham fan isn't about glory hunting. In the 80's there was nobody running round east London in [Man] United tops- they supported the local side. The ticket prices are bollocks, though. I used to pay £2.50, but it's a joke now. They've forgotten about the ordinary man.

Who were your favourite players?

Tony Cottee and Frank McAvennie. The great thing for me was doing that Sky One thing where I got to play with them in a West Ham kit. I was so frustrated because I didn't train for it. I could see a run, but my body wouldn't do it. But what a buzz- Cottee laying the ball off... to me! He is a gentleman, too.

Who is West Ham's biggest hardnut?

McAvennie was a wildman. He loves a booze. When I put my shinpads on, he said: "What do you need those for?" He never wore them in 20 years. And Julian Dicks was an animal. I remember him having a go at Vinnie Jones once and Vinnie was shitting himself. His arsehole fell out. Dicks epitomised West Ham. When he kissed that badge, he meant it.

What was the best game you ever saw?

For all the wrong reasons, the FA Cup final in 2006 when we lost to Liverpool. I thought we'd won at 3-2 up. I finally knew what it was like to win! But then the guy on the intercom said, "There will be four minutes of extra-time," and fucking Steven Gerrard hit that shot.

You had a run-in with Liverpool fans...

Jamie Redknapp got me tickets in the hospitality bit of the Liverpool end. We went 2-0 up and I was jumping around like a lunatic. I was getting grief, but what do they expect? Then the Scouse mob started to turn on me. I thought: fuck you, you've won everything. When they equalised, there were fans making their way up 20 rows of steps to call me a wanker. I spewed my ring up afterwards.

You recently did Dead Man Running, a film funded by Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole. What were they like?

They're both great. Ashley gets a bad press. he's probably one of the most hated men in the country. Admittedly that fucking book was badly advised. To moan about being on sixty grand- you can't do that. But the time I've spent with him, he's been a gent. West Ham fans might hate me for saying that, but you've got to take people as you find them.

Did you chat about football with your co-star 50 cent?

Yeah, I didn't know 50 liked football. He was obsessed with the cockney thing, though. Especially jellied eels. He just couldn't get his head round them.

Do you banter with any fellow thesps?

Nick Love is a Millwall nut, but it's hard to banter with their fans though, because they're shit. And what happened at Upton Park with the riot was horrendous. Forty-year-old geezers rushing onto the pitch, calling Millwall players wankers? Embarrassing. Weirdly, it was probably good press for Nick, because it happened two weeks before The Firm was released. It was mad timing.

You've done a lot of 'hardman' programmes. Do you enjoy that tag?

I'm not hard. Yes, I'm from a tough background, I've got a Cockney accent and a bit of a swagger, although fuck knows where that comes from. I'm not a twat and i don't suffer fools, but I've never once claimed to be a hard man. These shows are jobs. I don't swan around like I'm the same as these men. I couldn't stand up and have it- I felt like a child around them. Some people think I'm a cliche, but what can I do?

How do you see West Ham's future?

We're a selling club now and it's not right. i don't know what's happening with us at the minute, I'm finding it hard to read the papers. If we go down, I fear we're fucked. We won't be coming back. but I like Zola and Clark, and I think we're too good to go down. We've been having some bad luck, and hopefully it'll turn around.

Best moment?

Being promoted back to the Premiership with Alan Pardew. A great day, and we got to see West Ham with a cup. We hadn't won one since the FA Cup in 1980!

Worst moment?

The 2006 FA Cup final- I haven't watched it since the day the Scousers were getting in my face. You can buy it in the West Ham shop, it was such a proud performance, but I can't face it. I feel sick thinking about that day.


Bobby Moore. I liked Ian Bishop, Martin Allen, Cottee and Dicks, but as an all-time hero you can't really look beyond Bobby.


Craig Bellamy. He's a fucking snake. He couldn't wait to jump ship. I don't want him at my club, anyway.

Dream Signing?

Kaka would look good in a West Ham shirt. But, fuck it, I'll say Ronaldo- flash twat, but phenomenal too.

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