Favourite Memories Of Upton Park

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Upton Park StadiumWhether you are for the Olympic stadium or not, the news has now come that we will be leaving Upton Park or as most fans will call it, ‘Home’! Over the years that I have been watching West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground good memories are not few and far between. Even if history says they should be. In this article I would like to share a few of my fondest memories of games down the years so here goes…


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My first ever match at the Boleyn


Like most fans the memory of my first game at Upton Park is still fresh as ever.

It was Sunday the 8th of May 1994, my dad had been promising to take me to a game for a while and being only 6 years old you can imagine the excitement. It was a testimonial match for none other than Tony Gale against the Republic of Ireland.

I remember wanting to wear my colours so much, that I even opted to wear my scarf regardless as to whether we were having a heatwave or not.


I remember standing in the chicken run. We were so close to the pitch then that I even managed drop my t-shirt onto the green grass my heroes were playing on. Just writing this has sent a shiver down my spine and the first time I heard the roar of a packed Upton Park will never leave me. Thanks Dad.


Loudest I’ve heard it


Some may argue that there have been a lot bigger and a lot louder occasions than the Division One Play-off semi-final, But from a personal perspective this the most amount of noise I have ever heard from our fans at our famous old ground, and that takes some doing. Having lost the first leg 1-0 to the Ipswich Town we all knew we had a major task on our hands but together as one, we could do it.

We went in at half time at 0-0 and had left ourselves a real task in the second half. We hadn’t scored in what was now 135 minutes against Ipswich and we now needed 2 in 45.

West ham came out firing on all cylinders and the crowd were absolutely deafening. I was in the Bobby Moore upper and had a great view of when Matty Etherington let fly from just outside the box. A sea of claret and blue erupted all around the ground people celebrating like crazy. I thought that was loud until the love of our lives Christian Dailly managed to somehow score a deflected goal, injuring himself in

the process. West Ham were going to Cardiff and everybody in London must have known about it.

Although things never quite worked out that year the noise level reached in the stadium that night was quite phenomenal.


Favourite goal


There have been some quite remarkable goals scored at the Boleyn over the years. There’s also been a lot scored against us if I’m honest, but one that will always stick in my mind was Carlos Tevez breaking his duck against Tottenham Hotspur.

Tevez had done everything other than score and I can remember the lift he gave the crowd every time he got on the ball. Mark noble had put us 1-0 up and when Carlos Tevez stepped up to take that free kick, I just knew he was going to stick it away. Up he stepped and bang, in it went, for a second time in the first half the West Ham fans were on their feet.

Not only were they on their feet some were lucky enough to celebrate the little Argentinian’s goal with him personally. It was probably more relief than anything as he threw off his claret and blue shirt and jumped into the fans situated in the West Stand.

Again things didn’t work out as planned in that game, but the emotion generated when that goal was scored was second to none.


Finally old enough to go into the Boleyn pub


One thing that I couldn’t wait to be was 18 years old and to be able to go into the Boleyn pub and sing all the terrace chants with all the other West Ham fans. Me and a few pals were at the age where we were going to games but couldn’t get into pubs as we were underage. We used to just sit with a burger on the Bobby Moore statue and gaze into the Boleyn Pub wishing we were older.


3rd of January 2005, finally I get to show my I.D to the bouncers on the door and get involved in what I felt like I’d been missing out on. In we went, waiting to show our I.D but was never asked, typical! We had a few pints before making our way to the ground only to lose 2-0 to Sheffield United but at least we could drown our sorrows.


Beating Man Utd on my birthday


As West Ham fans we don’t expect too much, but we do expect the odd surprise here and there and to be fair we get them. Beating Man Utd in the cup 4-0, beating Chelsea 3-1 this season after being a goal down, maybe even getting our first win of the 10/11 season against Spurs courtesy of a Freddie Piquionne goal. These are all incredible results but the one that stood out for me was when we came from behind to beat Man Utd 2-1. Cristiano Ronaldo had put the visitors ahead after just 7 minutes and it looked like being one of those horrible days at the office for us. 1-0 they led at half time and soon into the second half Ronaldo stepped up to take a penalty, only to drag it wide of the left hand post. At that point every West Ham fan in the ground began to believe we could get something here and sure enough we did. Two goals from two centre half’s in Matt Upson and Anton Ferdinand ensured the points stayed in East London. Not only were we ecstatic that we had beat the champions, it was also my birthday, what a day!


By Adam Cooper

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  • Dave salad says:

    A very good read. Hopefully the start of something good for you mate. Its nice to read about your best memories and fingers crossed you will get to write a good few more.

  • Bill unwin says:

    I make you right that game against Ipswich always sticks in my mind for being the loudest. That was a good read mate brought back some memories of my own. Coyi

  • Mark Harvey says:

    Brilliant mate, you can really feel the passion you’ve got for the club, well done

  • Rory Manning says:

    Very good read mate. Well written and passionate. Look forward to your next one. Coyi

  • levs says:

    I remember standing in the north bank in the fa cup quarter final against Everton. It was a week night and we won 2.1. The crowd was electric. What a night. I think cottee scored for Everton.

    • Adam Cooper says:

      There been some amazing nights under the lights over the years as much as i believe the move will be a good thing in the long run, it will be a sad day when we leave!

  • Cloutty says:

    My First game: 3-2 win away at Arsenal February 19th 1977 followed by a 1-0 home defeat By Chelsea shortly afterwards.

    Loudest I’ve heard it: during 4-0 home win against Politecnica Timosoara in the Cup Winners Cup

    Best Away team: Dynamo Tblisi took us apart 4-1 at home and they were brilliant, two weeks later we went over there and beat thenm 1-0 with Stuart Pearce getting the winner.

    favourite Goal: David Cross scored too many to mention including four at the Spuds in an evening game but, Jimmy Neighbours winner in injury time in the secong leg on the league cup semi v Coventry or Ray Stewarts extra time pen in the home FA cup quater final against Villa have to rival Paolo’s bycycle kick against Wimbledon.

    My best memory is sitting on top of a bus shelter on the Stratford one way system to see the boys bring the cup home in 1980 only to see the whole thing colapse just as the bus passed by due to everyone jumping on.

    Best pub: Was the prince of wales end of seaon with Bubbles on the mic singing his heart out !

    I will miss the Boleyn but, times have moved on and from next season parking around the ground is residents only and they do not want us there any more. Will miss the Stanley, the Black Lion, the Greengate, the Boleyn, the Queens, The Denmark, The barking dog, The Millers tap and all the others but, we have to move on.

    I just hope that we do not turn into a Chelsea and lose everything that makes us special, West ham has always been about belonging, it does not matter if you are black/white/a skin/a casual/or whatever, we all look after each other and always have done….long may it continue !!


    • paulvw says:

      Sorry to correct you,but it was David Cross who scored away at Dynamo Tblisi,but would agree with you that was the best side i ever saw at upton park,,,,,,,can remember standingi n the west side and everyone applauding them off the pitch.
      and whatever happend to “SWAYING” when singing bubbles,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • Jack Collins says:

    Well done cooper. Good read.

  • Errol Buckeridge says:

    Well written article Adam,some great memories.

  • paul hawkins says:

    My best WH moment 68-69 season liverpool at home being 1-0 down only to level thanks to a wonderfull dumy from brooking to let sissons smash home from 3yds also watching bobby bring the team out of the tunnel an then watching hurst as he did every home game bang the ball high into the north bank before the start that is

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