Twins, but football rivals

IDENTICAL twins they may be, but brothers Jim and Henry Hammond are promotion rivals when it comes to following their local football teams.

IDENTICAL twins they may be, but brothers Jim and Henry Hammond are promotion rivals when it comes to following their local football teams.

The 79-year-old brothers are both avid supporters of sides that play in the Ridgeons League First Division who happen to be vying with each other for promotion this season.

Jim, who previously lived in Brettenham, moved to Hadleigh seven years ago and supports Hadleigh United while Henry, who has lived in Holland-on-Sea since 1988, is a keen follower of FC Clacton.

The two clubs have clashed twice in a fortnight - FC Clacton winning the first encounter 3-2 at their Rush Green Bowl ground before Hadleigh exacted their revenge at the Millfield with a 4-2 victory last Tuesday evening, when Jim sponsored the match ball.


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Jim, who sat on the club's fund-raising committee for a short while, said: “I watch every home game, but I don't go to many away games because I usually watch the reserves instead when they are at home.”

Henry said: “I have followed Clacton for 15 years and go to all the home games, where I watch from the 'Bus Shelter' stand, and also some of the away games.”

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The brothers, who were brought up in the Gidea Park area, were keen sportsmen in their youth - both playing football and enjoying fresh water fishing while Jim also played table tennis.

They are both lifelong West Ham United supporters and used to be regular visitors to Upton Park to watch the Hammers and their favourite player, the late Bobby Moore, England's 1966 World Cup-winning captain.

But these days they follow the local non-league scene where their sides are embroiled in a battle for promotion which will see three teams going up to the Premier Division.

Jim, whose Hadleigh side sit second in the table, said: “We follow how each other's team is getting on. I would like to see us both get promoted this season.”

FC Clacton are currently seventh and Henry added: “We have dropped several points in recent matches, but if we win our games in hand then hopefully we will still be promoted.”

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