The ‘old lady’ rock n rolled and it suddenly hit me


upton-park2I really don’t think any one of us is going to know just how bad it’s going to feel until we have moved on.

It hit me hard last night as the old lady rock n rolled to one of the best games of football most of us had seen at the ground for many years.

I understand that we have to move on. I really do. I accept it and understand that nothing stays the same forever – that doesn’t stop us wanting it to though does it?

A quick look down the Premier League table shows that the likes of Arsenal, Leicester, Saints and Sunderland have gone through the agony of waving goodbye to their old grounds.

Upton-Park-station-001But somehow it feels different with Upton Park – the place is unique with the close proximity to the players and we don’t talk about “Upton Park under the lights” for no reason do we?

The Mail’s Rob Draper poses this question in his match report this morning when he says: “Will the roar of that crowd shake the expensively-constructed new stands as it does at Upton Park, so that visiting teams with their multi-million pound squads visibly wilt under the glare of the rickety floodlights?”

The answer is of course No but given the team and squad that’s being built at our club that in itself is not going to matter too much because we are showing every sign that we can indeed join those clubs.

Boleyn_Ground_Upton_Park_4What Rob has forgotten is that we have of course gone to the major clubs and beaten them on their own manor but the fact remains: “We are going to miss the Upton Park so badly – it’s going to be like cutting an arm and a leg off.”

Sorry to throw such an emotional moment into our celebrations but I had a very weak moment when I suddenly realised it will soon be gone forever.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • jaybs says:

    What an early evening, the floodlights even add more to the atmosphere, it is the area as well pre-match, Green Street, oh for those days of Bobby Moore’s Shop one more! my stomach was churning yesterday, shows how bad I arrived for a 3pm kick off, but it does not matter with everything around the ground.

    Yes it rocked inside once again, too many matches we can go silent, we are the extra man on the pitch when we get behind the boys.

    Still on Cloud Nine this morning, good to watch the Sky recording, and be able to see things closer and re-wind!

    We are going to have to work Hard to make the new stadium a Real Home but it is down to us Loyal Fans to do that!

  • OLD GEEZER says:

    I was thinking just the same last night. I went to my first game in 1958 and it is my second home. Great to have the last season that we are having though. New stadium is exciting but it will never beat The Boleyn for us oldies.

  • COYI247 says:

    I have had fantastic memories of the Boleyn since the early 70’s, standing on a milk crate in the Northbank. I got used to the new stands v quickly.
    If we play the sort of football like we did yesterday, then we will all quickly settle into the new stadium, and the Boleyn will soon become a treasured memory…like my childhood memories of the Northbank…
    Can I mention a petition to name a stand at the OS after the great Billy Bonds (or some other major way to honour)? ….Ooops I just did! There may be problems because contractually we can only name 2 stands, I think, but I strongly feel we must do something…BIG. Billy IS the spirit of WHU: Never say die; guts and determination: That spirit should hit all visitors to the OS: Fortress WHU! For supporters, massive pride, for opponents massive fear! I hope people will support the cause.

  • johnboy says:

    I’m with you geezer !! Its more than a second home to me , its in my history , its blood .
    Been counting down the games and its not a good feeling ! I don’t want to go but we are . I will like others have to accept it ! Talking about nights I remember bobby Moore’s testimonial v Celtic , not a competitive game but sheer fun under the lights , packed to the rafters and Celtic who turned up in their millions ? Great evening had by all !! Considering the era , my pals and I gave up the south bank that night and returned to the north ,you show Upton park station Hugh but the station for me was mile end where we all met before traveling ! Home and away !! History !!!!

  • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    Lovely post Hugh, there are not many stadium like ours for that intimacy and atmosphere, for me it was magnified even more with the terracing, in terms of the noise I think the OS will actually eclipse it having been their and experienced the acoustics but in terms of the intimacy of nearly breathing down the opponents necks, that will obviously not be there unless we are allowed at some point to rebuild the seating in a way that brings the front rows nearer the pitch, which is feasible as I mentioned in previous threads although unlikely unless we are ever allowed to buy the stadium.

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