We were fortunate to speak to the Sydney Hammers who told us how, despite being continents away, their love and support for West Ham United is unmatched.
About The Sydney Hammers
The Sydney Hammers are the biggest supporters group outside of the U.K. (Europe if you ask the Scandinavian Hammers!). We have been in existence since 2009. We only really started to grow in 2011 when we found a regular spot to watch games at the Royal Exhibition Hotel. From there we have grown from 50 members to upward of 950. Our members mix between a range of expats from the U.K. and large Aussie contingent.
We have had some great nights at the Royal Exhibition. Memorable moments include the Playoff Final against Blackpool. There was 300 strong inside the pub. You couldn't move, the atmosphere was incredible. The Arsenal 3-3 last season was also special. You could swear that you were in a pub in East London. When we get a reasonable kick off time we get a really strong turnout.
We have been really unlucky this season with fixture times, so haven't got the numbers we would usually get. We always hope for the early Saturday kick off's (9.30/11.30pm). However, we've been restricted to 2am and 4.30am kickoffs....thanks Sky... Despite that, we still manage to get a handful of dedicated fans that turn up at the pub at silly o'clock every week.
The 16,500km distant doesn't deter us from representation at games, with a number of Sydney Hammers going over to get their matchday fix. We seem to have a great rapport with the club and are currently in the process of getting our flag displayed at every home game! Like back home, rivalry with other supporters is also rife. The less said about Chelsea and Spurs the better, but guys from Sydney Palace and Bournemouth are great lads.
Although a lot of people come to the Sydney Hammers just for the football, we are more than just a supporters club. A lot of members have come over from the U.K and Europe starting a new chapter in their life. The Sydney Hammers are keen to provide a sense of community and belonging in what can be a difficult transition period when moving across the globe. We have 2 futsal teams. As long as you're happy to have a laugh and a beer after the game, it doesn't matter if you're any good at playing - you don't have to be the next Lanzini!
We regularly organise social days. These have included BBQ's, family days, trips to watch Sydney FC, the T20 Cricket, 5 a side tournaments and Charity days.
We have a Charity day coming up on the 4th March, which is in aid of Dylan Tombides. We are aiming to raise $1500 for the DT38 foundation, who we are very closely aligned with. The day will involve a friendly 5 a side tournament, BBQ and West Ham pub quiz.
More information about the event and how to donate can be found here:
The Sydney Hammers are also quite closely affiliated with the other supporters clubs within Australia and New Zealand. Again, due to the late kick-off times, we have smaller supporters clubs in suburbs surrounding Sydney, these include The Manly Hammers and the Central Coast Hammers. We have a yearly national meet. This was kicked off by the Kiwi Hammers when the Hammers came out on their July 2014 pre-season tour. Thereafter, we have had national meets in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. We head to Adelaide in August 2017, with Perth pencilled in for 2018.