Farewell to the Boleyn Ground

Even though we have no real connection to West Ham, my wife and I opted to spend Bank Holiday Monday visiting the Boleyn Ground one final time. The occasion was a specially arranged ex-pro / celebrity match between England and Germany called ‘Farewell to the Boleyn’ and was to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1966 World Cup. Even though it wasn’t a serious occasion, it did provide an opportunity to visit a traditional old ground one final time.

Having been to see a rugby league international at the remodelled Olympic Stadium there is no doubt that it is a terrific stadium and I will relish the first opportunity I get to visit for a football match there; however I can’t help but feel like I am going to miss the Boleyn Ground. As a friend of mine commented, it is sad to see another classical football ground go.

It was a shame that the old place wasn’t full, but I guess the real farewell comes in a couple of weeks’ time after the final game.

The result of the game didn’t really matter and afterwards we headed over to the Queens pub on Green Street for a few pints and a bit of a sing-song in true cockney style.

4 thoughts on “Farewell to the Boleyn Ground

  1. Do you know what the plans for the Boleyn Ground are? London must be jam packed with stadiums and I bet a smaller club could takeover and make some more history at the old stadium.
    Dylan Gerstley

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  2. It has been sold for housing and with West Ham having secured use of the Olympic Stadium at a low rental cost and without having to contribute towards construction cost, it will only enhance their financial firepower and position them as a very wealthy club. The move has been contentious with Leyton Orient, the local lower league club, worried about the impact on their attendances of a Premier League club moving onto their patch.

    Stadium developments in the UK, and especially London, tend to be driven by a desire to increase revenue streams, most specifically with regard to premium seats and corporate box income (think Yankee Stadium in New York!); so if the redevelopment isn’t on the same site, the land is either sold to generate funds, or as in Arsenal’s case used to generate an ongoing income through property leases. Equally the parochial/ tribal nature of English football means it would be highly unlikely any other team would want to take it on.

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  3. Having visited both West Ham and the new Olympic Park stadium, the transport links to the new ground are much better and all season tickets have now been sold, however I do think it is another case of football selling its soul…

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    1. There is no doubt that the transport links and facilities at the Olympic Stadium are far superior, but it really does feel like it is another case of footballing losing its culture and identity. The modern game is driven by and centred on money and profit and it feels like that is continuing to erode the very essence of the game we all fell in love with. I think I may put some thoughts together on this issue in the near future.

      Liked by 1 person

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