When the news filtered through that we had agreed the sale of our beloved Upton Park to Galliard Group today, a little piece of me died inside.
Not because I don’t want the move to the Olympic Stadium to happen, because I do, but because the move away from Upton Park has now become more of a reality.
We are actually moving away from our home. To pastures new. To hopefully find those fortunes that have been hiding from us for so many years.
The Bolyen Ground will of course never be forgotten. There have been memories had in there that the Olympic Stadium will never be able to emulate. We’ve had the pleasure of seeing some of England’s greatest players learn their trade on that very piece of turf we have worshipped for our entire lives.
Those electric nights under the lights.Those last minute winners. Those Play-off semi-final victories. Those wins to earn promotion. Those atmospheres of sheer joy and delight as the whole crowd pull together to create a noise few football stadiums in England have ever experienced.
They say Old Trafford is the Theatre of Dreams. No, the Boleyn Ground is the real Theatre of Dreams. No glory hunting. No real expectation of victory and success. Just plain old East End passion and love for a club, no matter what league it’s competing in.
It is a stadium, a home, with so much heritage. And within just four years it will be demolished and rebuilt as a residential estate and retail village.
But as we stand aside and begin wishing our farewells to our great home and begin looking forward to a what we hope will be a bright future in our new one, it is a relief that Galliard Group have agreed to honour the late, great Bobby Moore in their new development.
They will be creating a statue of England and West Ham’s greatest footballing talent, as well including artwork to celebrate the club’s unique heritage, which will be situated within the gardens and grounds of the new village.
So although a little piece of West Ham will die as we complete the move, the club’s best days and all the memories that came with it at the Boleyn Ground will live on forever.
This is the start of a new chapter in the club’s history, one that I believe could bring us the success we have always craved and deserved.
Earlier, I asked this website’s 6k+ Twitter following to tweet us their greatest memories at Upton Park, and it was brilliant to have all those memories flooding back as I read them.
Here’s just a few that stood out for me. A real diverse range of eras as fans of all ages remember the goos times…
@WestHamWorld Julian dicks screamer v man city. May have been a 4-2 win, was on the season review video celebrating with my great grandad
— Jimmy Jacob ⚒ (@MrJacob10) February 10, 2014
@WestHamWorld Standing in the old chicken run (woodern) with me dad for a night game and the excitement of waiting for the team to come out
— mick holdsworth (@cockneyangel) February 10, 2014
@WestHamWorld May 93 2-0 to Irons v Cambridge up to the Prem the atmosphere was brilliant. IIRC Oldham lost last minute the joy
— leebar (@leezippyb) February 10, 2014
@WestHamWorld Harewood v Arsenal in the 2006, oh my word
— Steve Sturdy (@SteveSturdyy) February 10, 2014
@WestHamWorld the win against Chelsea when paolo came on to get the winner2003 , great atmosphere that day, still got relegated though!
— Bowski (@AlexChant1) February 10, 2014
@WestHamWorld last game on the north bank before going all seater
— lee (@LeeLeethal2011) February 10, 2014
@WestHamWorld For me beating Spurs 2-1 to stop ’em getting CL, atmosphere was insane.
— Kwame Boakye (@KwamsMoriarty) February 10, 2014
— Chaz Brooks ♫ 父 (@chazbrooks) February 10, 2014
@WestHamWorld I have 3. Paolo’s goal v W’don. Trev’s last game and seeing 17 yo Laurie Cunnigham’s senior debut for Orient in Texaco Cup.
— Steve (@HammerForLife) February 10, 2014
@WestHamWorld The 2-0 (2-1 agg) win over Ipswich in the 2004 play-off semi final second leg. Never seen an atmosphere like it. Incredible.
— JT Gambardella (@jackgambardella) February 10, 2014
@WestHamWorld Freddie Sears vs Blackburn, 4-0 vs United, Pardew and Wenger
— Callum Carthy (@CallumCarthy) February 10, 2014
What is your biggest memory of Upton Park? Let us know in the comments section below. Or, if you’d like to write about it then get in touch and we’ll happily publish your Upton Park memory.