Blowing bubbles in India with top long-distance West Ham fan
You’d expect to find a West Ham United fan in a pub in Newham, but in a bar in the small Indian state of Goa?
Hammers fan Paul Cullen came across such a man and quickly became friends with him.
Paul, 47, was in a sports bar in the coastal village of Candolim eight years ago watching the Hammers play Liverpool surrounded by Reds fans.
He said: “I heard a guy singing Bubbles with an Indian voice, which was great.
“He joined me at the table and since then we have become best of friends.”
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His name is Joe Misquita and he is not just any old football fan.
He is also player-manager of his own team, which play in the Goan third division and wear the Hammers’ claret and blue kit – despite most of the squad supporting Manchester United.
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He has even shared words with Hammers manager Sam Allardyce on the telephone.
Joe said: “I started to support West Ham 15 years ago. A few lads came to Goa from the East End and got me the shirt.
“Of course, I knew that West Ham won the World Cup for England and I have been a proud Hammer ever since.”
Season ticket holder Paul, who comes from a large family of Hammers supporters, has developed such a close friendship with Joe that he and his wife Angela got married in Goa, with Joe helping out with the arrangements.
Paul and Angela fly out to Goa yearly, meeting up with Joe and sharing their mutual love of the Hammers.