The man described as ‘the voice of Craven Cottage’ has retired from his role as matchday compère at Fulham Football Club.
David ‘Diddy’ Hamilton, the former Radio One DJ and television personality, hung up the microphone at his beloved Fulham last month after 18 years as stadium announcer.
During that time, David, who lives near Billingshurst, said the club enjoyed a ‘period of non-stop success’, including three promotions and a run to the Europa League final .
David, 75, has been a Fulham supporter since the age of nine and was a director at the club during the 1970s.
He said: “Jimmy Hill was the chairman when somebody left and he asked if I would do it - by the end of the season I was celebrating the first of three promotions.
“It was a period of non-stop success. Mohamed Al Fayed said ‘we will get the club into the Premiership in five years’ and they did it in four.
“When I was first there we were in the old Third Division and there were weeds growing on the pitch!”
Fulham’s 4-1 triumph over Italian giants Juventus in 2010 was a highlight for David.
He said: “There was an atmosphere I didn’t think I would ever see at Craven Cottage, there were tears in my eyes because it was so moving.”
A close friend of David’s, Al Fayed - the eccentric former chairman and previous owner of Harrods Department Store - brought a memorable moment to the club through his friendship with the King of Pop.
David said: “I introduced him as ‘the one, the only, Michael Jackson’.
“He came out to polite applause and walked around the pitch underneath a Fulham umbrella.
“The crowd must have thought it was a lookalike - when they realised it was Michael Jackson the polite applause turned into an ovation.”
David admitted ‘it seems the right time to move on’.
The club have awarded him season tickets for life.
David remains active through radio and internet projects, and has written a book ‘A Fulhamish Tale’, available from Amazon.
Fulham paid tribute to him in a matchday programme, featuring comments from club legends including George Cohen, a member of England’s 1966 World Cup winning side.
He said: “Even though he’s slightly older than me we’re great friends and we get on really well. I’ll miss seeing him on the touchline terribly.”
David was described as the ‘voice of Craven Cottage’ by new chairman Shahid Khan, and was commended by ex-Fulham boss and current England manager Roy Hodgson.