EXCLUSIVE: Wolves star Craig Dawson will get his Europa Conference League medal in the mail if West Ham clinch European glory in Prague…he’ll be cheering on his former club in front of the TV after playing their part in the Euro hammers campaign
West Ham will receive 40 medals on Wednesday, whether as Europa Conference League winners or runners-up. Whatever happens, the word inside the camp of the finalists is that one will be sent to Craig Dawson, who left for Wolves in January.
Dawson hasn’t heard anything official from his former club. But for this titanic centre-back, all that matters is that the West Ham squad, staff and supporters celebrate a night to remember in the Czech capital.
“It was actually a Wolves fan who told me I would get a medal,” Dawson, 33, told Mail Sport ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Fiorentina. “But I don’t know if that’s the case or not. I just hope they do it, win it and achieve something special together.
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to be in Prague cheering on the guys. Instead, I’ll be glued to my TV screen at home with my football-mad son trying to stay awake and watch it! »
It will be worth letting bedtime slip once if it means watching West Ham win a European trophy. Dawson, who featured in four of their Conference League group games earlier this season, including scoring a winner at Silkeborg, adds: “There will be tired bodies and tired minds after a long season, but knowing what band like me, they’ll give that’s all they got.
Craig Dawson has featured in four of West Ham’s Conference League group games
West Ham take on Fiorentina on Wednesday night in the Europa Conference League final
Dawson will receive his medal in the mail and cheer on his former club from home
‘It was sad to leave. Very very sad. I loved every minute of my stay at West Ham. But the opportunity arose to come to a historic Wolves club and it was the right time for me to return home to my family.
“You know how it is in football – you’re told the deal is done and you get your stuff in a box a week later and that’s it. You can’t say goodbye in person. I called just about every player, every staff member, the kit man, the security guy and the ground staff.
Dawson couldn’t offer his heartfelt thanks to the fans in person, but now says of the support: “This is a special club.” When I signed, there were “Why did they sign it?” But I like to think that over time their views have changed. It was a pleasure to play for them. They made me feel loved.
This includes giving him a nickname “Awson’s Balloon” which always makes him laugh.
“It’s crazy,” Dawson continues. “West Ham fans are everywhere. There are many of them. When I signed I knew it was a great club, with a great history, with a great fanbase, but you don’t realize how huge that is until you’re in that bubble .
The 33-year-old signed for Wolves in January
Dawson will cheer on the Hammers in front of the TV with his football-mad son
He’s grateful that Wolves fans have welcomed him too, and ‘massive’ is a word that has become synonymous with West Ham during Dawson’s time there, with supporters chanting it in any European city. they conquered.
Although he is now estranged from the Hammers, it is clear he left on good terms and retains a great love for the club where he spent three memorable years.
Together they reached the semi-final of the Europa League in 2022. After that crushing defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt, June 7, 2023 was a date circled in their calendars to aim for.
“As a group, they decided to take the pain of the previous season and use it,” Dawson explains. “At the start of the season it was something they intended to achieve. The credit has to go to the guys who did it and they want to earn it now.
“It was the highlight of my career to play in those games and then we had this disappointment. It’s going to be tough against Fiorentina but West Ham can use their experience to their advantage. They have the quality to write history.
Dawson’s role in this story should not be forgotten. His locker was emptied and mailed to him after he left West Ham. Hopefully a Conference League winners gold medal will then be mailed to him.