Triskaidekaphobia is a morbid fear of the number 13. The number 13 has many reasons for people to believe it is unlucky. Many relate it back to the “Last Supper”, and there are examples of the bad fortune relating to the number, such as the arrest of the Knights Templar, and Apollo 13. Quite probably there are reasons to believe that almost any number is unlucky, but 13 seems to be the most popular of them, and properties in many roads and blocks of flats often don’t have a number 13.
But 13 has often been a lucky number for West Ham. West Ham have a good record in matches played on the thirteenth of the month, and in the month of August this is a particularly true fact. We have had a number of victories on this date in history, perhaps the most notable that I can recall being a 2-1 win over bitter rivals Tottenham in 1997. Goals from Berkovich and Hartson, two of our players who didn’t always see eye to eye, led to the victory in what was our second match of the 1997-98 season, both resulting in wins.
In fact we have never lost a competitive game played on August 13 in our entire history. So for any superstitious fans, we can thank the TV companies for the re-arrangement of our opening game this season at Old Trafford. Many believe that the odds are stacked against us today, but history shows that we are unbeatable on this date. So if you are looking for a reason to believe we will do well in today’s game this may be it. Let us hope that we keep up this amazing record.