The claret and blue strip pays homage to the band
The new version of the home kit has the letters IMFC (which stands for Iron Maiden FC) alongside the club’s crest. The band’s name also runs across the shirt where the sponsor would be.
Iron Maiden bassist and songwriter, Steve Harris, has been a Hammers fan since 1965 and was the driving force behind the partnership.
“I went to see West Ham play against Newcastle when I was nine and my mate was 10,” he said. “We jumped on a bus and went to the game, and they won 4-3 and that was it. I was hooked!”
West Ham’s licensing manager Tracey Stratton said that the collaboration made “perfect sense”. She recalled how one weekend last summer their club shop was full of rock fans from around the world. They then realised that Iron Maiden were playing two sold-out shows at the O2.
The kit goes under the name Die With Your Boots On – the title of one of the band’s songs.
West Ham’s Argentinian defender Pablo Zabaleta said of the new kit: “Iron Maiden are a huge icon back home in South America and it’s great for fans of West Ham and the band to be able to show their support for both.”
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Iron Maiden, who Harris formed in 1975 in east London, are currently on their Legacy of the Beast world tour.
Harris had originally wanted to be a footballer and even played for West Ham’s youth team as a teenager. However he said 14 was the “wrong age” and he succumbed to the lure of beer and music.
“It was great, but 14 is the wrong age really,” he told Kerrang! magazine in 1992. “Because all I wanted to do was start having a few beers and meet a few birds – which doesn’t mix with playing football. They want you in bed early and all that stuff.”