East London institutions Iron Maiden and West Ham United have joined forces together to launch a new football kit.
Dubbed Die With Your Boots On in homage to Iron Maiden’s 1983 ‘Piece of Mind’ track of the same name, the kit is the brainchild of Iron Maiden bassist, founder, sole constant member and West Ham superfan Steve Harris.
Steve was involved with the design process for the Die With Your Boots On home kit alongside West Ham United and he says he’s delighted with the results.
“I think it’s brilliant,” Steve enthuses. “I really love that version and colour of the crest, and that old classic kind of kit. It’s a modern shape but with a retro design, and I like that. Up the Irons!”
Steve officially launched the kit today (Friday 29th November) alongside West Ham and Argentina defender Pablo Zabaleta, who said: “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!”
Iron Maiden fans at London's The O2 in 2018 © John McMurtrie
For Steve Harris, collaborating with his beloved West Ham United is a dream come true.
Steve, of course, has been flying the flag for West Ham on stage since Iron Maiden’s inception, with his bass guitar emblazoned the club’s iconic logo.
Commenting on attending his first West Ham match 55 years ago, Steve said: “I went to see West Ham play against Newcastle when I was 9 and my mate was 10. We jumped on a bus and went to the game, and they won 4-3 and that was it. I was hooked!”
Steve also says seeing fans adorning West Ham paraphernalia at Iron Maiden concerts is always a very special experience: “When I’m up there playing and I see fans in the audience wearing West Ham stuff it gives me goosebumps.”
Tracey Stratton, Licensing Manager at West Ham, said she’s aware of the fan phenomenon, and last summer when Iron Maiden were playing London’s The O2 on The Legacy of the Beast Tour, the club shop enjoyed a spike in visitors.
“One weekend last summer our club shop was inundated with rock fans from all across the globe, and we realised that Iron Maiden were playing two sold out shows at the O2,” Tracey Stratton said.
“It makes perfect sense to launch this collaboration, and with Steve’s passion for it and attention to detail it has been amazing.”
The Die With Your Boots On West Ham United home kit is available to order from Iron Maiden’s official website now and West Ham’s online store.
A limited number of shirts will also be made available in the West Ham store at the London Stadium upon release.
Steve Harris and Pablo Zabaleta © John McMurtrie