The story of David Essex is a real rags to riches tale. From the humble beginnings in the East End of London, David has hit the heights as a singing superstar and an acting maestro.

He has attained 19 top 40 singles as well as 16 top 40 albums and more recently hit our screens as Eddie Moon in EastEnders. But whilst his career in the arts has blossomed, David's love for West Ham United has remained strong.

"I'm working all the time at the moment so I have to rely on score updates from the side of the stage," he explained. "We usually have matinees on Saturday so it becomes essential.

"Keeping up with the Hammers is just via word of mouth or through the radio. I certainly don't have the scores coming through to me via anything technically sophisticated."

Interestingly though, his first love in football wasn't the claret and blue of West Ham United.

"As a little boy in the East End, my first choice when I was four or five was Wolverhampton Wanderers - mainly because I liked their name and the fact they played in all gold shirts.

"I was a little rascal running around Canning Town, West Ham, with a Wolves shirt on."

It wasn't long until David grew out of the gold phase and realised he had Iron running through his blood. His relationship with the London club intensified and he became more than just a fan.

"Whilst I played for my school team I was scouted by West Ham. I played for the schoolboy team until I was about 14.

"There were great times with Bobby Moore and all those people. My first sessions were with Noel Cantwell and John Bond, who were left-backs, and they taught me how to kick somebody in the air and act innocent."

Aspirations of being a footballer soon fell by the wayside as David built up a passion for music and the arts.

"I went to a blues club in Soho when I was about 14 and, all of a sudden, I thought I wanted to be a musician.

"There was an offer to join Leyton Orient at one time when I was about 15, but by that time my focus was on playing the drums and being in a band."

The decision to turn his back on football paid off as he shot to fame recording singles like "Gonna Make You a Star" and "Hold Me Close". He remained a fan of the Hammers, though, and was happy to have a relationship with the club via the turnstiles of Upton Park - although he did appear as a talking head on a projector in the club's museum, which, in his words, was horrific.

David may not get to Upton Park very often these days but, like any other fan, he certainly still has an opinion on the goings-on at his beloved club.

"The team is very effective at the minute. I managed to see the Cardiff City match and they looked good but they didn't look stunning, so I think Sam Allardyce will probably have to think about getting two or three players in if we go up.

"It's a nice change in the Championship, as we actually win. I wouldn't mind if we stayed there but, obviously, everybody wants them to go back to the Premier League.

"You regularly see Championship sides turn over Premier League sides because the physicality and the spirit is so strong."

David's childhood memories of football, as a schoolboy for the Hammers, live strong and understandably he has an affection for grass roots football in England.

"I think the Championship, and The Football League in general, is more in touch with grass roots.

"I'm a fan of grass roots football, being a past schoolboy player. I also have twin boys, who used to be at the academy for a while. They were at Fulham and then West Ham."

Like David, neither of his sons became footballers, instead opting to pursue other opportunities as they grew older. One is an actor whilst the other is a chef in New England.

"It would have been nice if they became footballers because I spent a lot of time driving them around standing on freezing cold touchlines. Where the West Ham academy kids train has got to be the coldest spot in the whole world.

"I invested a lot of time in their football but, at the end of the day, it's down to them."

It seems that wherever he may find himself in the world, or whatever project he may be doing, something always brings David back to his modest beginnings in the East End of London and re-ignites his relationship with the Irons.

The Hammers will always remain local to him and will forever have a place in his heart.

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