Fans of English Football may be acutely aware that East London club West Ham United are about to bid farewell to their home stadium of 112 years, the Boleyn Ground, at the end of this Premiership season.
Originally formed as amateur club Thames Ironworks in 1895, West Ham are as close to a local club as you’ll get anywhere and the club is embedded into the community and vice versa. Boleyn Castle used to stand on the site of the stadium, hence the two different names of the Boleyn Ground and Upton Park.
The reason for the move is because the club are heading a few miles up the road to the Olympic Stadium at Stratford where capacity will grow to 60,000. It’s a move that will bring the club into the modern era when it comes to Stadia and bring in more revenue.
Opinion is split on whether or not the move is good or bad but I believe whilst the Boleyn will be missed for its history, character, uniqueness and intimidation factor, the move will bring the club into a new era where they can hopefully kick on to higher ground. I will miss the atmosphere, walking down Green Street and the customary pre match pint in the Queens.
When the stadium is dismantled it will make way for a housing estate where there will be a memorial to the ground where the centre circle would have been. It is hoped that the development will revitalise the area.
West Ham’s final game kicks off tonight at 7:45pm GMT against Manchester United. You can be sure of two things; there won’t be a dry eye in the stands and it’ll be rocking!