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Hammers have enough for safety says Cottee

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 April 2018

Tony Cottee (Pic: Gary Haines)

Tony Cottee (Pic: Gary Haines)

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Former West Ham striker Tony Cottee believes his old club will survive in the Premier League this season, as they head into the final four matches of the campaign.

Tony Cottee (Pic: Gary Haines)Tony Cottee (Pic: Gary Haines)

The Hammers find themselves six points above the drop zone as they prepare to welcome champions Manchester City to London Stadium on Sunday.

But Cottee feels their 35 points might already be enough for safety, saying: “Personally I think they could probably lose every game and probably stay up.

“There’s still probably seven, eight, nine teams in that relegation scrap, but West Ham will be fine. They’ve had a really, really difficult season but they’ll be fine.

“They will stay up and I’m 99.9 per cent certain they’ll be in the Premier League next year.

“It wasn’t particularly nice, what went on with the Burnley game. I understand the frustrations of the fans, they’ve been very frustrated. I’m a fan myself. I’m frustrated. So the fans who paid their hard-earned money, they wanted to protest.

“On the field they’re heading in the right direction so hopefully they can take that on and get the points necessary. But it’s certainly been a good effort since they went to Miami.”

Cottee was speaking at a charity event for Prostate Cancer UK, in which he hosted a Q&A with former Hammers boss Harry Redknapp.

Former defender Kenny Brown, Hollywood star and Hammers fanatic Ray Winstone and Sky Sports reporter Bianca Westwood were also at the event at the Paris Grill in Fenchurch Street.

The event was arranged by London Stadium season-ticket holder Gary Pettit, the 48-year-old having survived prostate cancer and championed the charity’s work in recent months.

“I’ve known Gary for a long, long time and obviously I know he had problems with prostate cancer recently and I’m really pleased that he seems to have come out the other side of it,” said Cottee, who has long supported the charity’s work.

“When you see the stats about one man dying every 45 minutes it’s frightening. Forget about football terms, in life terms it’s a shocking stat.

“Only last night I was at a function, I was talking to a friend of mine and he’s just had a prostate cancer scare and luckily they got to him quickly. So, that’s important, that you get to it quickly, you have your tests and your check-ups and everything. If you have any of the symptoms or any of the signs, then just go and see your doctor and get it checked out. It’s so much better to do that.”

Cottee has also backed the charity’s Football March for Men which takes place on Sunday July 22, with West Ham’s London Stadium one of four starting points in a convergence event that ends at Wembley.

London Stadium will be the backdrop to the East London leg of the march, the route also visiting National League Leyton Orient before popping in on North London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. Indeed, Spurs fans will get a glimpse of the new-look White Hart Lane before the day ends at their current borrowed base, Wembley.

The Hammers are among 15 clubs in London and the South East involved on the day and Cottee, who walked alongside Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling during his March for Men for Prostate Cancer UK in 2016, added: “Prostate cancer affects so many families in the UK and this is a great charity to get involved with.

“I think the West Ham fans are always keen to back any project that involves helping other people, really. You know, there’s many, many causes, great causes, as we know, out there and the West Ham fans have always been fully supportive of what goes on.

“I’m sure the West Ham fans will get behind it. Once one person mentions it, then another person will mention it and there’ll be a huge support behind it, I’m sure there will, because it links West Ham and Wembley. The fans associate with Wembley, even going back to the great Bobby Moore lifting the World Cup back in 1966 and there have been many experiences that the club has had over the years at Wembley. It’s a venue that sits well with the West Ham fans. So, walking from West Ham to Wembley, I think that’s something a lot of fans will be up for.”

Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. For the first time, the number of men dying from prostate cancer every year has overtaken the number of women dying from breast cancer, making prostate cancer the third biggest cancer killer in the UK.

One man dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes, but fans are fighting back to make prostate cancer a disease that the next generation of men do not fear.

To sign up for the March for Men or find out more information go to: www.prostatecanceruk.org/footballmarch.

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