DAGENHAM AND JOEL
This is the eighth 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 8 is supporter, JOEL, enjoy :)
FULL NAME: Joel Stevens
FAVOURITE PLAYER(s) CURRENTLY: Matt Robinson
I am a season ticket holder and attend most home games (miss one at the start of the season because the damn kids want a holiday)! I stand at the back of The Sieve on match-days just to the left of the tea bar; I have been going since the 1984/85 season.
My earliest memory is a 2-5 defeat at home to Brentwood Town in the Capital League. A mass brawl on a muddy pitch and a drunk steward slipping over in the mud at half time as he walked across it. What’s not to love about that - non league at its finest.
From 1986-1988 I was a ball boy over the Daggers and for the past 3 seasons I’ve been doing the Daggers Podcast with Tel. Also in the early 2000s I used to claim that Tim Cole was my dad, even though I’m actually 3 years older than him. I used to shout “Come on dad” whenever he was on the ball.
My favourite ever game would be just prior to the merger, about 1990 or 1991 Essex Senior Cup Quarter Final vs Wivenhoe Town (a) a 2-1 win. Getting drunk in their clubhouse before the game and then walking down country lanes to get to the station before the last train left. Then also having to jump off the moving train at Romford as it wasn’t stopping there and my mates attempt of jumping off the train that led to him rolling into a post. Very amusing for me.
My favourite post merger for Dag & Red, it has to be the FA Cup 1st Rd match vs Leyton Orient in 1992/93 that finished 4-5. A game that had everything and summed up what the FA Cup was about back then.
My two favourite Christmas games were from the 2011/12 season when in the space of four days we beat Barnet at home 3-0 on Boxing Day and then on the 30th we beat Gillingham at home 2-1.
My favourite Christmas song is Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin Stevens - a great tune!
When I began watching Dagenham I didn’t take it seriously as it was just going to see my local club play when West Ham was playing away. Not long after that I was going to the Daggers more than West Ham and then by 1989 I was pretty much going to every game home and away. It’s changed a lot in my time over there. Some for the better and some for the worse but I know I wouldn’t change a single moment of the rollercoaster that my little Daggers have taken me on.
Best manager would be Ted Hardy. When he came back to the Daggers in 1996 we were on our knees. Ted rebuilt this club from scratch and laid the foundations that were taken on further by Garry Hill and John Still. Without Ted at that time we could be playing much lower down the pyramid. That’s why I believe that a statue of Ted should be made and placed outside the ground where the red buildings used to be. #StatueForTed
My favourite players would be Paul Goyette or Les Whitten for Dagenham FC and Paul Benson for Dag & Red.
Best away day was Barnet in 2003/04. Winning 4-2 and Janney’s chip. Always good to get one over Barnet at their place. Didn’t see it that often.
Here is my Ultimate Daggers XI:
Thanks for reading,
That was ‘DAGENHAM AND JOEL’