WHILE 975 of West Ham’s loyal, passionate fans sang and danced with delirious joy in the AFAS Stadion in Alkmaar as the final whistle blew, a claret-and-blue explosion of colour and noise reverberated across the globe.
For only the third time in our 128-year history, West Ham are in a major European final. And the feeling is magnificent.
It is an incredibly proud moment for everyone associated with the club, after Pablo Fornals’ surging run and sublime finish in the final seconds crowned a memorable Europa Conference League semi-final victory — one that we will all savour.
As the team and the manager danced with the best fans in the world at the final whistle — well, those moments just said it all and it summed up how we are all feeling. Pure joy.
When we moved to the London Stadium in 2016, we dreamed of memorable European nights in front of the biggest sell-out crowds in English football.
We have had a delicious taste of it in the past two seasons — and we want more, more, more!
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Huge credit and praise must go to our manager David Moyes who, in the space of just three years, has led his team to two top-seven Premier League finishes, a Europa League semi-final and now a Europa Conference League final.
David has spoken many times of his desire to help build and grow our club, of the potential that we have to become even bigger and better.
After two remarkable years of success in the Premier League, a summer of substantial change last year presented new and unique challenges. Yet we now stand on the brink of a European final not savoured by our supporters for 47 years.
His success this year has also proven that patience, professionalism, longevity and having the courage to block out noise remain valuable traits in the modern game.
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Credit must go to David Sullivan, whose perseverance and determination to deliver as custodian of his beloved club for our fans has never wavered, and to Daniel Kretinsky for his steadfast belief in our dreams.
Whatever happens in Prague on June 7, this has been another successful and progressive season for West Ham United, another step forward in the right direction as we continue to build towards our vision of challenging at this level on a consistent basis.
A whopping 177 sides went into this season’s Europa Conference League and now there are only two left — West Ham and Fiorentina — for the final act in Prague.
Reaching a major European final puts us into a very select and elite band of English teams who have managed to achieve that dream in recent seasons.
Our all-conquering Under-18 academy squad have lifted both the FA Youth Cup and the Premier League U18 South title.
And off the pitch we continue to devote all of our energy into growing all areas of the club, including our women’s team, for the benefit of our local East London community and our millions of fans worldwide.
Witnessing the scenes of celebration, my thoughts also turned to remembering one very special man.
David Gold epitomised what West Ham stands for. Hard work, humility, personality and a touch of flair.
The loss of our beloved joint chairman in January was heartbreaking for everyone in the West Ham family.
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However, I know that he would be so proud to see his team 90 minutes away from unforgettable glory on the European stage.
And more than anything, he, like all the rest of us, are so, so happy for our supporters.
Source: Soccer - thesun.co.uk