The John Lyall gates have been quietly removed from the Boleyn Ground today without fuss or a ceremony and craned away. ClaretandHugh understand the gates have been removed early to fit into a construction phase of the new club shop at the former Olympic Stadium.
The unannounced early removal will disappoint fans hoping to have their picture taken next to them at the last few games of the season.
The gates were originally constructed after West Ham used the £25,000 fee from the 1956 transfer of free-scoring winger Harry Hooper to buy the land that now makes up the main Boleyn Ground car park, with the new gates built at its entrance.
In December 2009, the gates were renamed in honour of John Lyall, the Hammers’ legendary manager who had died three years previously at the age of 66. After a playing career cruelly cut short by injury, John Lyall joined the Club’s coaching ranks in the 1960s under Ron Greenwood. He would go on to succeed his mentor as manager in 1974, leading the Hammers with distinction for some 15 years, always insisting that his teams played football in the ‘West Ham Way’.
The club had originally announced a plan to invite the Lyall family for the removal of the gates but ClaretandHugh have been told that the family agreed to be present for the unveiling at their new home instead.
The club will install a temporary solution for the remaining match days of the season.