West Ham on a European tour
14:45 13 July 2015
Hammers fan Rick Fry was one of 450 intrepid supporters who made the trip to Andorra - he tells us his story
West Ham fan Rick Fry was one of the 450 Hammers who made the trip to Andorra last Thursday. Here is his account.
‘It is safe to say that I had never witnessed a football match in that environment before.
I was too young for the trip to Palermo nearly 10 years ago, so when the chance to go to Andorra in the Europa League came around, it was a trip I didn’t want to miss.
I have been up and down the country watching the Hammers over the last few years so I managed to get some tickets and myself, Dad Martin, who had gone to Palermo as well as my brother Marcus travelled out at 7.30am from Gatwick to follow the Hammers.
I met a couple of mates on the way out who had lost their ride from Barcelona when their driver had pulled out the night before, so we teamed up, hired a bigger car when we got to Barcelona and set off for the Andorran border.
It is something like three hours to Andorra and it was a faboulously scenic journey with mountains everywhere you look.
The town itself when we got there, was pretty empty. This is skiing country and it was out of season, so it was no diffculty in booking a nice cheap hotel for the night.
When we reached the ground there was certainly hardly any security as we went in. And the ground itself was quite incredible. It is in the middle of nowhere, cut into the middle of a group of mountains.
It was the strangest stadium I have ever been inside. There was an athletics track going round it and our fans were stuck on the curve behind the goal.
There were seats nailed into the stone terrace, but of course, we all stood up for the whole match to support the lads.
There was a stand which was pretty full of Lusitans fans and they had a drummer who did get a lot of stick from the West Ham faithful, though I don’t think they quite understood our sense of humour – or more thankfully, our bad language.
The least said about the match itself the better.
Sakho was getting niggled by a couple of defenders who knew he was the danger man and tried, successfully to rile him and his elbow was the result.
Elliot Lee took his goal well and his celebration was quite brilliant for the fans.
We sang for the whole game, going through our full repertoire as we eased to victory and then it was back to the hotel for the night with a stunning view.
We flew back the following afternoon and on our return we had a terrible time on the M25.
Just a few hours earlier we had been looking at the Pyrenees mountains with hardly a soul about and now we were back in reality.
It was certainly two very long days, so was it worth it?
It cost about £1,500 for the three of us to watch what was a fringe West Ham team play a side who were worse than most of the non-league teams we play in pre-season.
But then I have been to see West Ham play Rotherham twice in the league, travelled up the M6 and all it’s horrors, so to go to a country where I would never dreamed of going, to see the Hammers in Europe.
Was it worth it? Yes it was.