DAGENHAM AND CHRIS
This is the fourth instalment of the ‘DAGENHAM AND ME’ series in which we explore fans’ and former players’ relationship with the club. This will be done over the Christmas period with interesting stories being told daily and debates will no doubt spark over Dagenham’s Ultimate XI! Behind door number 4 is supporter, CHRIS, enjoy :)
FULL NAME: Chris Bramley
Favourite player currently is Elliot Justham... Best keeper we've had since Tony Roberts.
I have been a season ticket holder in the past, but not since my kids have been born as I can't get to every game. I get to about one third to a half of home games these days but rarely manage away days anymore because I work for the NHS. Therefore I work some weekends but once my son is older, we'll be going to more games definitely.
I always stand under the seive when I go, I have done since I was a kid. Every now and then I'll sit for an occasion like my old man sponsoring the game or my boy being mascot.
I first started supporting Dagenham when I was about 4 or 5, a few years before we merged with Redbridge Forest.
I don't really have an earliest memory that is specific but I do remember the 5-4 FA Cup loss to Orient. The ground was pretty rammed and the atmosphere was amazing - I think I really fell in love with the club that night.
An interesting connection I have with the club is that my Dad was part of the original consortium put together to keep Tamplin out of the club. We had to keep that man out - look what he did to Billericay and now Romford.
My favourite game would have to be the FA Cup third round away at Charlton back in 2001. We passed it around like Barcelona as we took the lead thanks to Junior McDougald nodding in the opening goal - the away end went mental - it was class! Though the game went to a replay and we eventually lost it was still an incredible result at The Valley when it ended 1-1.
Also when we beat Plymouth in the replay at Victoria Road in front of 4,000 - what an amazing night that was. Junior and Danny Shipp made it onto the scoresheet in that one to make it a memorable occasion as we progressed to Round 4.
My favourite Xmas game was when I was mascot against Woking on New years day for my 8th (I think) birthday; the pitch was covered in snow so they used the old school bright orange ball. Gary Blackford was the player who was proper impressed with my shiny new puma king football boots!!
Favourite Christmas song, it's gotta be Stay another day by East 17. Anyone who says anything else is just wrong.
Now back to the football, I started off as a boy supporting a non league club... I was the only kid in my school who supported dagenham. I never understood that nobody else in a school in barking supported the daggers - just didn’t make sense. Now it's 30 years down the line and I take my boy with me (not every game as he is only 4 and doesn't quite get it) but he has been mascot twice and especially the second time, he absolutely loved it.
Seeing as I was mascot, to have my son, all those years later, run the ball from the half way line, and get cheered by the TBS stand when he scored... Ah it was incredible. Brought a tear to my eye that did: I was chuffed.
The best manager over the years is without doubt John Still for the success he brought us; although I firmly believe that the foundations for that success was laid down by Gary Hill. The players we had in the Ryman league Paul Cobb etc. were the start of what it means to be 'a Dagger' !
Also have to mention Ted Hardy for getting us to the FA trophy final, I was 7 and went to the game and cried when Tony Rogers got sent off 😂.
From favourite manager to player and I can’t pick just one so I'm going to say Lee Matthews and Anwar Uddin. Matthews was beautiful to watch, very classy player and Anwar was the best captain we've ever had. The definition of a Dagger without doubt.
Can I also give a shout out to Mr Angry himself Ashley Vickers? 😡😂
The best away day has to be Norwich in the FA Cup. Only time we've ever made it to the 4th round and we came within a whisker of knocking them out at Carrow Road.
Here is my ultimate Daggers XI and I’ve literally named my favourite 11 players here...
It was a tough choice as there are so many incredible players who have graced the hallowed turf of Victoria Road.
Thanks for reading,
That was ‘DAGENHAM AND CHRIS’