Need help? Call our helpline…

5pm–midnight, 365 days a year …or find help online here


0800 58 58 58


0808 802 58 58


Need help? Call our helpline 0800 58 58 58
or Use our WEBCHAT.

GALLERY: A simple tribute to West Ham

Mike Fordham documents days supporting his beloved West Ham, warts and all.

Pictures and words by @michaelfordham

Football is more than a game. It’s a cliché to say so these days. The sentiment behind football is used to sell everything from lager, takeaway pizza, gambling, aftershave and moisturiser. You know, all those man things.

I realised just how much football meant to me during the last season at Upton Park. Along with tens of thousands of other men (it IS mostly men), I realised that season that football was really all about place, friendship, family and kin. The football was where so many of us had learned to be the version of the men we had become. It was a place where maleness and blokeitude was for better or worse articulated and negotiated. It was where we took the piss. It was where we had a giggle. It was one of the few places where we were allowed, required even, to engage with our emotions.

That those feelings were often recoded into hatefulness and a ragged sort of swagger doesn’t excuse the excesses. Or perhaps it does. These pictures are a simple tribute to a place, a time, and a whole bunch of men for whom football will never be quite the same.

Related issues

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

Comments are closed.

Related Articles

  • Football For All

    Football For All

    Football’s terrace culture doesn’t have to be misogynist cosplay… Words by Tom Victor Cover illustration by Leona Beth  Ask about the oblique sexism at Premier League…

  • Ivica Strok: how Football Manager helped me cope with loss

    Ivica Strok: how Football Manager helped me cope with loss

    Ivica Strok steps out onto the Celtic pitch for the final time before he hangs up his boots for good, a testimonial match against his boyhood…

  • POEM: Nothing but trouble

    POEM: Nothing but trouble

    Last month poetry collective Richly Deserved and Tilly Mackintosh held a spoken word poetry night in aid of CALM. Poet Luke Norton performed his excellent piece…

Latest Articles

  • What I learned from my Dad’s suicide

    What I learned from my Dad’s suicide

    Paul McGregor and Tim Harvey both lost their dads to suicide. Here they reflect on how the loss has shaped their lives and influenced their approach…

  • Poems from Fathers Inside

    Poems from Fathers Inside

    This Father’s Day, as part of our partnership with Safe Ground, we’re shining a light on their excellent Fathers Inside workshop – a group-work programme for fathers in…

  • Shop with Amazon and support CALM

    You shop. Amazon gives. Addictive shopper? King of the last minute birthday present? You can now shop with Amazon at the same time as donating a…