The West Ham Way are deeply saddened with the news of the passing of Claret & Hugh founder Hugh Southon.

The former sports journalist and ghost writer founded the West Ham fan site back in 2013, having previously worked for the likes of The Sun, Daily Express, Star, Sunday Mirror, News of the World, Sunday, Daily Sport and the Guardian.

Our co-founder and club insider ExWHUEmployee has provided an emotional tribute to Hugh, for whom he has known and worked alongside for many years.

“Hugh Southon is someone I’ve known from the very first day that I decided to create this “Ex” profile,” stated Ex. “He was the number one source of West Ham news and someone who always showed his passion for the club through his writing.

“As my account started to develop Hugh and I would regularly swap news and stories in the hope that together we would be able to piece together accurate and informative articles for West Ham fans.

“At times we clashed, I guess there was always an element of rivalry between us and on occasions, I found him difficult to work with. However, over the 12 years or so that I’ve known him we always patched up our differences and had been on good terms for a number of years.

“Both of us at times are subjected to a lot of negative comments across many of the social media platforms and in particular on certain forums and it would really affect me. Although deep down it did with Hugh too, he was much more resilient than I, especially in the earlier days, and I learnt a lot from his ways of dealing with that unpleasant side of what we do.

“Hugh was almost 80 and at that age many would have stopped the role years ago, Hugh was different. Not only did he have this thirst and passion to report accurate West Ham news for fans but the revenue he made from his site was used to support his children and grandchildren.

“In fact, my very last conversation with him revolved around how much he cared about his family and still providing for them in his later years. For many years Hugh was also the sole provider for his very ill wife.

“Hugh was a ghost writer for Bobby Moore for three years and anyone that Sir Bobby trusted and recognised and gave that much respect to, surely should be given the same from West Ham fans. Transfer windows will not be the same without our regular chats Hugh and I will miss you a lot.

“I trust that you are in a better place now and I will always be grateful for the support and respect you showed me during the years that I knew you!

“Rest in peace Hughie!”

All of us at The West Ham Way send our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of Hugh at this sad time.