In light of the success of securing the Olympic Stadium for the 2016/17 season I thought I would pay a tribute to the place that has been the meeting ground for thousands of claret and blue fans, for generations. A tribute to a stadium ‘The Boleyn Ground’ a place we have all called home for years, despite our various backgrounds, social hierarchy, religious views or age. A place where cockney tongue echoed in harmony singing ‘Bubbles’ and creating a history we can all look back on and feel proud; the fortress that was commonly known as Upton Park.
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Since 1904 fans have been turning out in their numbers to cheer on our beloved Irons at the Boleyn Ground. Fans have been privilege to watch players such as the greats’ Bobby Moore, Alan Devonshire, Paolo Di Canio, Trevor Brooking, Vic Watson, Carlos Tevez and co, strutting their stuff and providing fans with memories that we can all look back on and be thankful for.
Upton Park has been a place of some historic moments in West Ham United’s history. It has been the location of that memorable Di Canio volley, the walking ground of the only captain in English past times to lift the World Cup, the home of the ‘Academy of Football’ producing a series of top quality players over the generations. To finishing third in 1986 season, to beating Spartak Moscow 2-0 in the European Cup Winners Cup 1976, the scene of our extra time European Cup Winners Cup final win over Castilla in 1980, and finally the touching tribute to the passing the legend himself, Bobby Moore.
Upton Park, located in Green Street, London, was constructed at the cost of £16million, after Henri Pillipe Tiite Parker came up with the extraordinary design. The cost sounds crazy when you consider the fact we got the Olympic Stadium for £15million and that was constructed at over the cost of £537million.
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The Boleyn is a stadium that has and always will have a place in our hearts, but I am all for the move to the Olympic Stadium where a new era will begin and its own history will be created. The Boleyn will never be forgotten or replaced, but change was needed and hopefully our fortunes will soon
I remember my first game against Coventry City when I was only a little boy and that was 0-0 draw that evening, but the atmosphere and sensation I had engulf my body was electrifying. I have always said my Dad persuaded me to be a West Ham fan by surrounding me with our colours and merchandise. But in actual fact, since that first day I knew I would always be a West Ham fan. I felt a connection with every other fan that day and as loud and terrifying as it was I couldn’t have felt more at home.
When teams come to Upton Park they already know the noise is going to be electric as our fans are always vocal in their numbers. Which made me think; just imagine this with an extra 20,000 fans and a closed roof – loud, right? So all I have to say is it’s going to be hard leaving such a historic place and part of our history, but sometimes things need a change from time to time and this is one them.
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