The Cockney Rejects: Part Three
Filed: Friday, 6th April 2012
By: Staff Writer
Later this month a special preview screening of the new Cockney Rejects film, 'East End Babylon' - a documentary based on the seminal East London band - will be aired at the Koko club in Camden, before going into cinemas later in the year.
Ahead of West Ham United's Championship clash with Reading last weekend, singer Jeff Turner and lead guitarist Mick Geggus pitched up at the East Ham Working Men's Club to take KUMB's questions about the film, the band and West Ham United.
In the final part of our three-part Q&A, Mick and Jeff talk to us about their love of West Ham United, the club's proposed move to Olympic Stadium and Sam Allardyce - amongst other football related musings. Firing the questions on behalf of KUMB was Andy Slight...
KUMB: Who were you favourite West Ham players when you were kids?
JT: I started going around '72 and for all the good players we had like Bobby Moore, we had sh*t like Dudley Tyler and people like that! For me it was Bonds, it was Brooking and from [the age of] 15, 16 upwards my favourite player was Alan Devonshire. A fantastic player. But looking at people like Brooking now, what would he be worth? 40, 50 million? He was that good.
MG: He'd have to be, he was the Zidane of his day. People like him, [David] 'Psycho' Crossy - great players. Phil Parkes - a big-up to Phil, he was a legend.
JT: And we were in the Second Division too when we signed him from QPR, weren't we?
KUMB: And who do you rate in today's squad?
JT: I think there's two players who could possibly cut it in the Premier League. I'd say Robert Green - and I know people say he made a mistake [for England] but so what, he's been a terrific 'keeper - and Mark Noble. Kevin Nolan's disappointed me, I've got to say. He might have scored a few goals but I just can't see it. In the Premier League I think they'd have to get rid of 90 per cent of that team. That's me personally. [James] Tomkins I'm not sure of either, I've got to be honest.
MG: I'd go along with that, Noble and Greenie for sure. They've both secured their place with the West Ham greats. Especially Greenie; he's up there with Phil Parkes, he's up there with Dicks...
JT: And Alan McKnight!
MG: But he hasn't signed a [new] contract yet, it's in front of him - but who can blame him if he went? He's stayed loyal to this club and he should win a Cup or two. Unfortunately he's not going to win it with us, is he?
KUMB: How often do you get to live games these days?
JT: I've been about six or seven times this season. It's obviously harder getting over than it used to be, but every time I come over here it's not good. I've been to the Bristol City, [Crystal] Palace, Watford games; I came over here when we struggled against Barnsley and Coventry. One good half we played, against Leicester. We were great in the first half but as usual in the second half, we went to sleep.
JG: Yeah, I get over here as much as possible - every time I can get in for nothing! Get in and nick a breakfast before the game an' all!
KUMB: What do you think of Sam Allardyce?
MG: [shakes head]
JT: Well you see the Boleyn pub? Pub team, pub manager - that's what I think he is. He's never really suited us. I know he's a big name and he's got this knack but how negative can you get, [by] keep playing one up front? It seems to me that he wants to blag a 1-0 win. We're West Ham; I know we're not Liverpool or that but it was in the paper yesterday that he was saying at times we've played like Swansea. F*cking Swansea!? Not Barcelona, I'm really proud that we've played like that [all season]! That's it's now; yeah, fantastic!
MG: It's like the Avram Grant school; caution, caution, caution. Let's have it straight, let's have what the fans want. Let's get our f*cking man over here, you know who I'm talking about - Paolo Di Canio. Let's get a man with passion in.
JT: A little bit of passion at least, even if he falls on his sword it doesn't matter. Allardyce is saying that the fans are deluded. Reality check mate, who's deluded? He's saying that's good football? Absolute rubbish mate and it has been over here for years and years, even under [Gianfranco] Zola. You go back to [Alan] Curbishley; it's been crap, super crap.
MG: The last one who done anything was old chocolate [Alan Pardew], wasn't it?
JT: Pardew yeah, without a doubt. At least it was entertaining under him, you know what I mean? So it's what we've got to get back to.
KUMB: And are West Ham going to achieve promotion this season?
JT: I don't think automatically, I have to say. I really hope that I'm wrong. As much as I love the club, do you know what my biggest fear is? It's getting stiffed in the play-off by those Brummies because they've always got a hoodoo [on us]. Or getting beat by Middlesbrough or Blackpool. That's the way it always goes. So we've got to go up automatically or you can see the writing on the wall. You really can.
But that's West Ham; every time in our lives they've had the chance to go a little bit higher - and you think, "we can be three points clear", or "we can be in the League Cup Final" or whatever - you know they're going to mess up. They always do. Reading's form has got to fall somewhere, I'm hoping they've peaked. So we'll see. My answer to that - I don't know about yours, Mick - is I hope so, but I think it'll have to be via the play-off route.
MG: I'm just nervous, it's all too much. You get the butterflies going big time.
KUMB: What are your thoughts on the Olympic Stadium? Should we leave the Boleyn if the opportunity arises?
MG: No. 100 per cent no, no and no again. We've got a perfectly good ground over there, we can build up the East Stand and put another five, six thousand people in there and we've got a world-class facility. If you kill that, you kill what's left of the East End. Our pubs are going at a rate of knots, well they'll all be gone then. Our pie and mash shops will be f*cking shut, our fish and chip shops will be shut. These places [supporters' clubs] will be shut. And they want us to go over to that bloody monstrosity over there which has got nothing to do with any of us heritage-wise? It's a f*cking eyesore, it's horrible.
JT: And it's near Hackney, anyway...
MG: What are going to do, go in there and pay £15.90 for a bit of Gordon Ramsey fish and chips? It's going to f*cking kill what's left of the East End, stone dead.
JT: If they've got 60,000 or whatever over there we're never going to fill that so all these divvy teams like Southampton or whoever they're playing, when they come to our [place] it'll be their big day out, the Olympic Stadium. They'll be getting 15,000 away supporter tickets, we'll be crushed, mugged off. There'll be no atmosphere. If they move there, I will never ever go there again.
MG: We grew up here, we grew up on these terraces. They can't take that away from us, the f*ckers.
JT: Karren Brady was in the paper saying, "the Olympic Stadium deserves to see world-class football" - is she having a f*cking giraffe, or what!? I was eating a sausage sandwich, spat all the f*cking sauce out! You f*cking what, world-class football!? F*cking when!? F*cks sake...
MG: I don't want anything to do with it, it's got no soul.
KUMB: Is the Bubbles remake you had planned to do with young Jonjo Heuerman still on the cards?
JT: I don't know, it's just finding the time. We know that he did the walk and all that but other things took over. Good luck to the lad. If something comes about after this year, we wouldn't say "no" and we'll sort something out with him. Definitely, yeah, without a doubt.
KUMB: Much has been made of the booing at the Boleyn Ground of late; what are your thoughts on that?
JT: What a load of b*llocks. If you've paid your money you can f*cking boo anyone you want.
MG: Say what you want, exactly.
JT: What do they expect people to do? "Oh, you've got to get behind the team..."
MG: They're paying £40-odd to get in there. That's dearer to get in than many Premier League clubs. You've earned the right to boo, you've paid for the right to boo.
JT: They're such wimps now, these football players these days.
MG: I was there a few weeks ago for that dreadful draw against the mighty Doncaster and there's that f*cking old ponce [David] Sullivan out on the balcony afterwards waving at people. What's he waving at? They should have been pelting him with rotten tomatoes! Dreadful attitude. And what's all this signing autographs!?
JT: We've all played football and you know if you've been sh*t. You know if you don't produce the goods that you're going to get booed off. Listen - if I was on 30, 40 grand a week they could drag me round on a tank in chains with people hitting me with whips. A bit of booing? F*ck me...
MG: They've got to grow a spine haven't they, get some skin.
JT: Allardyce is on planet Zog mate, he aint on our planet. When he's saying we're "deluded"... you know what I mean?
KUMB: Finally, what was it like playing at the Boleyn ahead of Kevin Mitchell’s fight with Michael Katsidis in 2010? A dream come true?
MG: Magic. It was our dream come true.
JT: It was blinding, because Kev's a top boy and it was fantastic. I've got to say though that the only disappointing thing was when Kevin lost. We've had our hearts broken so many times by West Ham but that was one of the worst sporting results I've had to endure, because the place just fell flat. And he wasn't right, Kevin - I know that.
MG: No he wasn't.
JT: He wasn't right. I'm not making excuses, but if he had won that...
MG: ...it would have been the best night ever.
JT: And I'm not just saying it, but [even] more than playing there because he's a good kid. It was pretty emotional, you know? But it was great to have been able to play that stadium and [to] have been there. They can chuck me in a box tomorrow now, I've done it.
MG: Well it aint over yet mate, let's hope we can do it again.
JT: That's right... When we win the Blue Square Premier!
Our thanks go to Jeff, Mick and the director of East End Babylon, Richard England, for taking our questions. Don't forget you can still book tickets to the preview showing of 'Babylon' by visiting the Cockney Rejects' new website at thecockneyrejects.com.