West Ham United and the Boleyn Ground:
Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company formed a football team in June of 1895, which was designed to “wipe away the bitterness left by the recent strike”. The core of the team came from the remains of Old Castle Swifts Football Club, which had been declared bankrupt.
Upon entering the Southern League Second Division in 1898, the club turned professional and won the league at their first attempt, thereby gaining promotion.
In June 1900 Thames Ironworks was wound up but was reincarnated the following month as West Ham United Football Club. The nicknames of ‘The Irons’ and ‘The Hammers’ stuck with the club despite this change.
The club moved to the Boleyn Ground, originally called The Castle, in the 1904-05 season and it has been home to the Hammers ever since, although the club will move to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford in 2016. Work has begun to adapt the stadium, reducing its capacity to 54,000, building the world’s largest cantilevered roof and adding retractable seating to cover the athletics track.
Nowadays, the Boleyn Ground, often called Upton Park, has a capacity of 35,016. It has three relatively modern stands, with the West Stand, built in 2001, the most modern of all. Away fans are seated in the lower tier of the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand, at one end of the ground. Fans are seated fairly close to the pitch. Those on the far left of the away section may find their views obscured at times.
How to get there:
A journey by car to the Boleyn Ground from Birmingham will take two hours and twenty minutes, depending on traffic.
For directions, click here.
Use postcode E13 9AZ for sat navs.
As is usually the case in London, parking restrictions and ‘residents only’ schemes are in force around the ground and safe on-street parking spaces are virtually impossible to come by.
Parking is available at Newham University Hospital on Glen Road, E13 8SL, which is approximately fifteen minutes on foot from the stadium.
Parking is also available in a public car park next to The Denmark Arms, which is located at 381 Barking Road, East Ham, E6 1LA and which is also a fifteen minute walk from the ground.
Regular train services to London run from both Snow Hill and New Street Stations, taking from one hour and twenty-two minutes to two hours and fifteen minutes.
If you arrive into Marylebone, you should take the Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus, changing there for the Central line. Take the Central line from Oxford Circus as far as Mile End, where you can take either the District line or the Hammersmith and City Line to Upton Park. This journey will take approximately thirty-five minutes.
Fans from places outside of Birmingham may well arrive at Paddington. They too will need to take the Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus and travel from there to Mile End on the Central line before changing for the District or Hammersmith and City lines to Upton Park. This journey should take around forty minutes.
Those travelling into Euston should initially take the Northern line to Tottenham Court Road, changing there for the Central line to Mile End, where they can board a District line or Hammersmith and City line train to Upton Park.
The Boleyn Ground is five minutes’ walk from Upton Park tube station, which does get very busy on match days.
Where to drink:
The majority of pubs close to the ground are extremely partisan and therefore best avoided by away fans.
The Denmark Arms, which can be found at 381 Barking Road, East Ham, E6 1LA, is usually the safest bet for away fans but it has not yet been confirmed that away fans will be admitted this weekend. A range of ales is offered, although it can take an age to get served. Sport is shown on the big screens if you arrive in time to catch Saturday’s early game between Liverpool and Chelsea.
Another option is The Miller’s Well, a Wetherspoon’s pub, located at 419-421 Barking Road, East Ham, E6 2JX. It has the added advantage of opening at 8a.m. and customers can purchase two meals for £6.99.
Please note that a minute’s silence will be observed ahead of kick-off on Saturday to mark Remembrance Day. We would urge all fans, particularly those expecting to enter the ground close to kick-off, to be mindful of this and to show their respect.