DAGENHAM AND IAN
This is the eighteenth 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 debate will no doubt spark over Dagenham’s all-time XI! Behind door number 18 is supporter, IAN, enjoy :)
Full Name: Ian Woodward
I was a season ticket holder up until two years ago when I moved to Norfolk therefore I can’t get to as many games. When I was a season ticket holder and when I occasionally get to Victoria Road I go in the terraces on the halfway line.
I first started supporting Walthamstow Avenue in 1980 prior to the merger with Leytonstone/Ilford who later became Redbridge forest. Then, of course they merged with Dagenham in 1992 and though I didn’t support Redbridge or Dagenham & Redbridge in the early years I soon did around 1995.
My earliest memory is not my first game as that I simply cannot recall but nonetheless my earliest memory is an FA Cup qualifier against Burton. One of my three favourite game is in the same competition though a few rounds and years later and it took place at The Valley. Premiership Charlton Athletic were the hosts and it was a fantastic game which nearly saw us pull off one of the biggest shocks. However, it ultimately came down to an extra time winner in the replay to seal it for Charlton after they had equalised at The Valley - denying Dagenham.
My second and third favourites are so often talked about in the same breath and they were probably the most historic clashes in the club’s history – the play-off semi and final. The first leg of the semi-final against Morecambe saw the visitors condemned to a 6-0 defeat therefore putting the Daggers into the final before the second leg was played.
That leads me nicely onto the play-off final victory over Rotherham and I am sure everyone sees the reasoning behind this – arguably the best day in Dagenham & Redbridge’s history. It sealed our place in League One: the third tier of English football!
The man who took us to Wembley – John Still – would be my favourite Daggers manager and for my favourite player, he didn’t play in that side but it would have to be Jason Broom – a fantastic servant at the club.
My favourite away days, I have three including Charlton and Wembley but the one I am yet to speak about is Weymouth. Weymouth away maybe wasn’t the best in terms of the game itself as we ultimately lost but spirits were high amongst travelling supporters. It was the first away game since we had won the conference so it was great to be amongst all the delighted daggers.
Not much has changed during my time as a dagger though there were some periods of not going since moving out of London but I get to around 10 home games (a lot less than I used to) a season with a few away ones here and there.
Finally, I have compiled my Ultimate Daggers XI from over the years:
Thanks for reading,
That was ‘DAGENHAM AND IAN’