West Ham United have now moved from their home in the East End to the Olympic Stadium but many fans of the club will miss the old Boleyn Ground where they have faithfully followed their club for decades.
The following text is taken from the book, Football Grounds, and was written by Cassandra Wells.
“West Ham United began as Thames Ironworks, a team set up by Arnold Hills in 1895. Hills was a shipyard owner and the club’s nickname “the Hammers”, refers to the tools of shipyard workers. The team originally played at Hermit Road in Canning Town before eventually moving to Upton Park in 1904, four years after renaming themselves West Ham United. The club’s ground is actually called the Boleyn Ground, named after a 16th century house that stood next door to the ground. Attendances climbed and in 1913 the new West Stand was built, which was extended in 1925 to a two-tier structure. At this time the South Stand was covered, as was the East Stand. During WWII the South Stand was severely damaged when a V1 bomb landed on the ground. The 1960s brought sweeping changes to Upton Park, beginning with the covering of the North Bank. Another bay was added to the West Stand and the East Stand was completely rebuilt, significantly raising the Upton Park capacity, so much so that a record 42,322 fans saw the Hammers take on Spurs in a First Division derby in 1970. As with many other clubs the ground had to reduce its capacity following the Taylor report. In 1991, the club bought land behind the West Stand, which they rebuilt and expanded. However, the club was in financial difficulties and in November 1991 launched a disastrous bond scheme. Boycotts and pitch protests followed and gates dropped below 16,000. To try and lure fans back, the club slashed the price of season tickets and eventually began redeveloping the South Stand (now the Centenary Stand) in 1993. The Bobby Moore Stand opened in 1994; the new millennium brought further redevelopment to the Dr Marten’s Stand and East Stand, raising the capacity of the ground to 35,146. Plans for further development have now been put on temporary hold as they look to move to the Olympic Stadium”