Champions League Festival


Today i worked as a commentator and stadium announcer at the Champions League Festival in Hyde Park. I say worked, it was for the Bobby Moore Fund, a charity dear to my heart. Here’s me with BMF founder Stephanie Moore, Bobby’s widow and a truly splendid woman.

I commentated on a match between the Parliamentary Football Club and TalkSport. The MPs won it 11-7. They were surprisingly good, especially as Ed Balls and Angus MacNeil pulled out on the day. Something to do with the visit of Barack Obama, which is quite a good excuse I suppose.

Here’s the TalkSport team. I didn’t get a shot of the MPs as they were a little late arriving.

Andy Jacobs had a fine game in goal for TalkSport, keeping the ball out with every part of his body apart from his hands.

Gregg McClymont MP was the man of the match after a first half hat trick. He’s the MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East. He’s also the House of Commons pool champion!

The MPs had two number twelves in their line up, but as Bill Esterton MP is a lot taller than Dominic Berner it didn’t lead to any confusion.

Paul Hawksbee, Ian ‘Moose’ Abrahams and Sam Matterface all impressed for TalkSport. A last ditch attempt to rescue the game by throwing on ringer Graeme Le Saux, nearly worked, but the MPs were worthy winners.

I was happy to receive a medal from Stephanie Moore at the end. The Bobby Moore Fund does brilliant work to raise funds for research into bowel cancer, which took Bobby in 1993.


The queue to have your picture taken with the Champions League Trophy. I didn’t bother.


Two West Ham legends, along with Moose from TalkSport 😉

Jeremy Nicholas, London, UK

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End of Season Gala Dinner

I thought presenting at the end of season gala dinner, the day after we were relegated would be a tough gig. Actually it was a great night out and I met lots of lovely people. I’ve been feeling so down since West Ham lost at Wigan, that the last thing I wanted was a night out to be honest. But I’d promised I’d do the auctioneering in aid of the Academy.

You’ll have read in the papers that there was a bit of trouble. But let me tell you it was nowhere near as bad as it’s being made out. One chap confronted a player. He was swiftly ejected by West Ham’s security team.

Ben Shephard was an excellent host of the awards. He made everyone laugh when he tried to get the event back on track after the interruption by saying please sit back in your chairs, don’t throw them. Scott Parker got the loudest cheer of the night as he was named Hammer of the Year. David Gold gave a rousing speech on how we’ll soon be back in the top flight.The Boys of 86 entertained as always with stories of better days.

My wife had her picture taken with Thomas Hitzlsperger and Karren Brady and she won a signed photo of Billy Bonds in the raffle.
As she’s only been in the UK since 2002 she didn’t really know who Billy was, but there was never any doubt that I was having the picture hanging in my office anyway.

When I looked around that room at the 780 guests I thought not many clubs could put on an event as big as this. It was a special night and we must not let one incident spoil it.

Next week I’m working at the Champions League Festival in Hyde Park, doing the announcing for the Bobby Moore Fund.

But nothing will match a night with seven hundred odd fellow sufferers of West Ham United. We went down together and we’ll come back up together.





Jeremy Nicholas, London, UK

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My book

Google can be a scary thing. I just googled my book title and found it on Amazon already. I’m still writing it!

The book ‘Mr Moon Has Left the Stadium’ is a funny account of my life as the West Ham United FC announcer. It comes out on August 1st.

It has to be handed in to the publishers at the end of June. There’s nothing that quite galvanises the writer into action more than seeing that people actually expect to be able to buy it on a set date.

You can see it on Amazon here. I promise you the cover won’t look like that. It’s a quickly mocked up version by the publishers.
It’s also already on the WH Smith site and Waterstonesm. Even more scary it’s on Amazon Japan.

Jeremy Nicholas, London, UK

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Victory eclipsed by Mr Moon

I’m never one to moan about a fellow West Ham fan, but there’s one chap who is getting on my nerves. This Mr Moon fellow has been arriving and leaving the stadium during games for as long as I can remember.

There’s nothing more annoying than people arriving midway through games is there? You’re in your seat in plenty of time to enjoy the action but have to keep getting up to let others reach their seats. Inevitably this happens just as a goal is scored. The new arrival turns to watch it, but as they are standing up, your view is completely obscured.

At yesterday’s game with Nottingham Forest the master of the late arrival, Mr Moon turned up well into the second half as I was announcing a substitution. To many in the crowd it sounded like Mr Moon came on for the last few minutes of the game.

He’s not the sort of person you’d want to throw on to help protect a one goal lead in a cup tie, because he’s unreliable. In all the years I’ve been coming to West Ham, I’ve never known him stay for a whole game. He’ll often not turn up for five or six games in a row. Mr Moon has been to a few games recently but we’ve had so many home games in January.

True to form on Sunday he sloped off just a few seconds after the final whistle. He didn’t hang about to clap the players after a hard fought FA Cup win. Fair enough he might have worried about getting home with the tube messed up again but he could have stayed a few seconds longer to applaud Obinna the winner and the rest of the victors.

I think Mr Moon is getting too big for his boots. He’s on FIFA 11 now you know. Just like in real life at Upton Park, his arrival and departure are announced over the PA. It’s a recording that is triggered when he arrives. I don’t know exactly how it works. Maybe he wears some kind of electronic tag which is read by a sensor at the turnstile. It’s my voice that announces his comings and goings, so rather embarrassingly, I appeared to be interrupting myself during the substitution.

At the end of the game, when he legged it out of the ground with indecent haste, it interrupted the traditional singing of Bubbles which heralds a home win. If I knew what he looked like, or where he sits, I’d have a word with him. That’s the trouble with Mr Moon, no-one has ever met the guy. He’s a mysterious figure who’s been haunting the Boleyn Ground for years, rather like Inspector Sands on the Underground.

I suspect Mr Moon is not even a proper West Ham fan, he’s just a glory hunter.

So if you are reading this Mr Moon by all means come along to the game on Sunday against Birmingham. Why not bring Mrs Moon, we’ve got a special Valentine’s package on offer, see the club website for details. And young Master Moon can get in for a pound as it’s Kids for a Quid. Make a day of it why don’t you? But please, for the love of God, stay for the whole match and stop getting in the way.

Jeremy Nicholas, London 31.1.11

Speedy the Tortoise and his artificial leg

This week being Christmas week I’m sharing my favourite ever TV reports with you.

Behind today’s Advent calendar window of fun is Speedy the Tortoise. Sadly he lost a leg and his owners made a new one out of Lego. When that fell to bits they were stumped. Fortunately a neighbour who is an inventor came up with a new high-tech leg.

The feature has the feel of a Victoria Wood style spoof documentary, but I promise you it is genuine.

Watch out for a great wig and a marvellous moment when we wait for Speedy to walk out of frame, so we can move on to the next bit.

Enjoy

The pub full of Rooneys

All this week I’m putting a different favourite TV report on my site each day. It’s a sort of advent calendar without the chocolate.

This year, being a World Cup year, I did a lot of quirky football reports for the BBC.

I had a drink in a pub where all the bar staff were called Wayne Rooney.

The only one not called Rooney was the manager, who despite being a woman had changed her name by deed poll to Fabio Capello.

I love the shot of all the Rooneys sat in a line all claiming to be Rooney in a scene reminiscent of Spartacus.

Badges, badges, badges

Frank Setchfield from Loughborough has over 150 thousand badges. He collects all types except military and he specialises in button badges.
He has sporty badges, funny badges, ones with saucy slogans and political badges that have changed the world.

I interviewed him for my BBC series on Collectors. Here’s the report.