On Saturday 7th May 2016, when the players have left the pitch and gone down the tunnel for the final time, when the last of the fans have headed home never to return, and when the caretaker shuts and locks the stadium gates…
…Upton Park will fall silent.
There’ll be no more tears of joy from grown men and children alike as the last-minute winning goal goes in to save us from relegation, there’ll be no more screaming at the ref as he fails to give a penalty that’d give us a chance to take the lead, and there’ll be no more chanting the names of our heroes as they give a lap of honour. There’ll be nothing…. Ever again.
Well, strictly speaking that’s not true; we can do all that the following season at the Olympic Stadium. But my point is we’ll never do it at Upton Park again.
So with that in mind I wonder, as we go into our last ever season at Upton Park, what will be your lasting memory of the place we’ve called home for the last 112 years? What moment will you tell your grandchildren about when they ask what it was like when West Ham graced the pitch at the Boleyn?
For me there’s one stand out memory that’ll stay with me until my dying breath, it tops all others and is THE thing I’ll miss most when we make the move to Stratford, and it happens before the game has even begun. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!
It’s the magical moment, right before kick-off, when the stadium DJ stops the music and you’re left with the sound of 35,000 passionate fans all singing in unison, belting out their best rendition of ‘Blowing Bubbles’ ,as one voice: “Fortunes always hiding…”; I know I’m speaking from a position of bias, but there simply is no better feeling. Being there in the crowd, being a part of that voice, feeling the hairs on your arms stand up, and singing like your X-Factor future depends on it! It’s a unique moment, it invokes a feeling that I believe is not replicated in any other stadium in the world with the exception of Anfield when the crowd sings ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. It’s a feeling of oneness, of unity, a feeling that we the fans are united.
There you have it, that’s my lasting memory of Upton Park. What’s yours? COYI!!!!