Leaving Our Home
Author: Matthew Kirk. Published: 27 November 2015 at 9:17pm
This is my second article for The West Ham Way and I struggled to decide upon a topic, then it came to me, it had to be the biggest thing in my West Ham lifetime, leaving our home, Upton Park.
I think like many supporters, I was very apprehensive about moving to the Olympic Stadium. I couldn’t imagine watching West Ham anywhere other than the Boleyn. It holds so many memories for our fans, from the legend that is Bobby Moore gracing the pitch to Adrian scoring the penalty against Everton last season. How can we leave that behind?
One of my fondest footballing memories from Upton Park was drawing with Manchester United back in 1995, meaning that we stopped them from winning the title. I was only 9 years old and remember sitting in The Bobby Moore stand with all our fans going crazy, it was a moment I will never forget. Even the journey back, sitting in traffic on the Barking Road was unforgettable, I can remember listening to the radio and hearing the Blackburn players singing Bubbles. Everything about that day was incredible.
There is something else that beats that memory though and that is our fans singing Bubbles. When Bubbles starts, I always feel as though I am part of something truly special. The moment the music stops and you hear the fans sing, nothing beats it, it never fails to give me goosebumps. I am dreading that final game against Swansea in May and the last time we ever sing…….Pretty bubbles in the air, UNITED, UNITED, UNITED! I know I will be crying whilst singing and to be honest I don’t think I will be alone. I know I won’t want to leave the ground and say a final goodbye.
For lots of fans it isn’t just about the fantastic footballing memories, it is also about meeting with friends for a drink before kick-off in The Boleyn, taking a visit to Ken’s Café or the legendary (and TheWestHamWay.co.uk’s partner) Rib Man, forming relationships with fellow fans and rushing to Upton Park tube station to try and beat the crowds! All of these things make the match day experience what it is and the thought of not doing it much longer genuinely hurts a little.
As much as I will be incredibly sad to leave our home, I can now start to image life after Upton Park. I know that we are moving onto exciting times and I hope we can create some new memories at our new home. No matter where our home is, we have the best fans in the world and I know we will create that magical atmosphere again and again.
What is your favourite memory at Upton Park, what stories will you tell your children and grandchildren and lastly, are you looking forward to moving to The Olympic Stadium?
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