In the penultimate game of the 2000-2001 season, Paolo Di Canio kissed his badge after scoring against Southampton in a 3-0 win. West Ham had been on an awful run at just the wrong time of the season, losing 6 of their previous 8 before this game. They managed to avoid relegation though…
The following season, Di Canio took off his shirt and kissed it after scoring an injury time penalty in a 1-0 win over local rivals Fulham.
Di Canio stayed at the club until they were relegated in 2003 although when he retired from football five years later claimed he wanted to return to West Ham as a manager.
“My dream would be to manage in the Premier League because English football is the best in the world and my dream in particular would be to manage at West Ham – that would be perfect,” he said. “I spent four seasons there and I would love to go back and win something with them. The fans are fantastic there and the atmosphere at Upton Park was always so special. Every weekend I watch all the English games on TV but I always look out for the West Ham score, I have a special place for them in my heart.”
Di Canio now manages in England, like he wanted, but with League 1 Swindon, not West Ham. Yet.