Lennox Lewis inspires West Ham match-winner Mo Diame

08:30 13 February 2014

Lennox Lewisat Upton Park.

Lennox Lewisat Upton Park.


Former Heavyweight champion gives pep talk to the players before victory over Norwich City

West Ham United vs Norwich. Upton Park. Diame celebrates goal.West Ham United vs Norwich. Upton Park. Diame celebrates goal.

»As inspirational speakers go, there are few better than the former World Heavyweight Champion boxer Lennox Lewis.

The East Londoner with the 
Canadian accent visited the West Ham dressing room before Tuesday night’s clash with Norwich City and after a battle against adversity out on the pitch, it seems to have done the trick.

West Ham midfielder Mo Diame was certainly inspired anyway.

“It was great to see him,” said Diame. “He is a boxer, so he told us we were just going out there for a fight like he used to, so it was really good.”

Lennox Lewisat Upton Park.Lennox Lewisat Upton Park.

Many thought Diame had seen his better days, others thought that he would have left in January, but he climbed off the bench on Tuesday night to help shoot the Hammers to victory over Norwich City.

The 26-year-old Senegal international replaced Matt Jarvis on the hour and by the end he had been denied by a brilliant save, crossed for the opening goal and then rounded things off with a goal of his own.

“It was great for me,” said the midfielder, who played wide on the left against the Canaries.

“I wanted to return well as I’d seen every game on TV and saw the team were doing well.

“I was just happy to be back and determined to do my best for them.

“I am focused on giving my best now and looking to play every game.”

West Ham have certainly had their fair share of criticism this season, but Diame thinks that they have finally turned a corner.

“It has been rough for us,” he agreed. “We started the season very badly, but we are getting focused.

“All the top players are back now and the squad is much bigger, even with Andy Carroll suspended. You can say we need Andy back, but every player coming back makes a difference and we all need to work hard.”

He certainly did that and he revealed that the free kick which led to the goal was something they had been concocting.

“It’s one that we work on in training,” he revealed. “Mark Noble has the first intention to play it quick to the wingers, so I was ready for that.

“He gave me the ball and I just crossed for ‘Ginge’, who put his head in there.

“For the second one, I was a bit lucky, but it’s a goal so I’ll take it.”

So will the West Ham fans who must have feared the worst for this game, especially early in the second half when Norwich piled on the pressure.

Diame came up trumps in the end, now he needs to find the consistency that made him such a champion last season.

Any ideas Lennox?


Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 21:50
Leyton Orient players celebrate after Jay Simpson scores again (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Sky Bet League Two: Plymouth Argyle 1 Leyton Orient 1

Gary Sawyer
West Ham United's Manuel Lanzini scores their first goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at White Hart Lane, London.

Hammers midfielder Manuel Lanzini was left exposed by Slaven Bilic’s decision to play two strikers on Sunday at Spurs

Dimitri Payet
Mark Noble v Tottenham

Hammers captain Mark Noble is suspended for Sunday’s clash with West Brom

Mark Noble
Yesterday, 15:30
Leyton Orient captain Mathieu Baudry celebrates opening the scoring against York City with his team mates (pic: Simon O'Connor).

The O’s skipper Mathieu Baudry could miss out against League Two leaders

Dean Cox

Most read sport


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Read more
Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

Read more
You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder