It was announced on Wednesday afternoon by West Ham United that they will be travelling to face off with local team Dagenham & Redbridge in a fundraising friendly in March.
The Daggers, once a stalwart of the Football League, having fallen into the National League in recent seasons, sit 11th in the division, enduring their second campaign in non-league.
But, off the field, the East London side are struggling with serious financial problems and are looking to raise as much money as possible to avoid the possibility of the team going into Administration.
As part of the #SaveTheDaggers campaign, this will be the purpose of the exhibition game, with all proceeds from the gate and other profits from the evening going to Dagenham & Redbridge.
The venue for the occasion will be the Chigwell Construction Stadium, a familiar site for some Hammers as it is the home ground of their Premier League 2 side, apart from the three matchdays they enjoy at the London Stadium.
The date for the friendly has also been announced as Wednesday 21 March with a kick-off time of 7:30 PM GMT and 1,2000 standard tickets priced at £15 for adults and £10 and £5 for concessions available, as aforementioned, all proceeds going to the cause of the night.
With a three-week lay-off from Premier League action after their home clash with Manchester United was rescheduled due to the visitors’ participation in the Emirates FA Cup, their final encounter before the fixture will be against Burnley at home, with an International Break in the offing after.
A strong starting line-up is expected from the Hammers, which could include the likes of England International goalkeeper Joe Hart, International captains Winston Reid and Cheikhou Kouyate, European Championship winners Jose Fonte and Joao Mario and Hammer of the Year contenders Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini.
As well as the friendly, the Daggers are also looking to raise as many funds as possible in this weekend’s National League home encounter with Chester city, picking the date especially as many of the other London clubs are away from home.
Dagenham and West Ham have never before met completely, though pre-season encounters between the two have been a regular occurrence, including before the beginning of the 2017/2018 season.
Irons Chairman David Sullivan is a man who feels passionately about the cause of helping out the club’s neighbours and had this to say to WHUFC.com about the fixture,
“As soon as we heard that Dagenham & Redbridge were in need of financial assistance, David Moyes and I didn’t hesitate to offer our help by sending down a team for a fundraising friendly with our neighbours.
“We’ve always enjoyed a close relationship with the Daggers and are looking forward to this match, not only as a means of raising important funds, but also because it will be an enjoyable evening of football.”
Meanwhile, Daggers Chairman Paul Gwinn was more than thankful to the English Top-Flight side for their support in helping to save the club from an ugly fate in his own statement,
“A massive thank you goes to West Ham United for agreeing to the match on 21 March. The support we’ve received from David Sullivan and David Moyes is hugely appreciated. It really will help save our club and I couldn’t have asked for more.”