Football-mad drivers bid for WE57 HAM number plate

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LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters) It is the ultimate status symbol for a West Ham fan with a fat wallet and an ego to match - the personalised car number plate ''WE57 HAM''.

The plate is up for auction later this month with a reserve price of 4,000 pounds (,152), small change for most Premier League players.

''We know what a large and passionate support there is for West Ham,'' said Damian Lawson, of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the auction's organiser.

''Because the number reads so well we think it stands a real chance of topping the table of football plates.'' Bidding will have to be fierce to beat the record for a football-themed plate. The DVLA sold ''AR53 NAL'' for 36,000 pounds in 2004.

Private sales of plates such as ''1 UTD'', for Manchester United, have reportedly fetched even bigger sums.

After losing their last two games, gloomy Hammers' fans may, however, be more tempted by Lot 835: ''LOS 3R'', which has a reserve price of 900 pounds.

Here are the 10 most expensive football plates sold by the DVLA: 1 - AR53 NAL (36,000 pounds) 2 - V1 LLA (35,000 pounds) 3 - ALB 10N (19,000 pounds) 4 - DER 8Y (14,500 pounds) 5 - S41 NTS (11,500 pounds) 6 - PRE 570N (9,400 pounds) 7 - 1 WBA (8,400 pounds) 8 - W1 GAN (7,700 pounds) 9 - EVR 70N (6,400 pounds) 10 - S9 URS (4,600 pounds) REUTERS BJR RAI1006

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