Friday 2 April 2010

West Ham United

I always try to be 'neutral' on this grounds photoblog, as it's not really about my dislikes & hatreds of clubs, it's about the venues! so all I'll say on this set of pictures from West Ham United is that I'm not really a fan of them as I'm from south of the Thames! Let's just say I won't be shedding any tears if they're relegated! ;-)

I've only been to Upton Park once before, almost seven years prior to this visit, for a shocking England defeat in a 'friendly' against Australia. I've not bothered to go to an England game since!

This time I was here for an FA Youth Cup tie, against Newcastle United, with only one side of the ground being open.

The photos actually haven't come out that well, as my camera doesn't always do good shots at night, but for some reason even the ones I took outside a few days later, in broad daylight, also came out blurred.

Apologies for all that, I hope it doesn't spoil your enjoyment of this set too much.

This is the tube station of the same name..but don't be a tourist & get off here.

This is the correct station.

Come out of the tube station, and turn right. After a few minutes you see the ground.

Continue past this for a couple of hundred yards & you come to a sculpture, called 'Champions', to commemorate the 1966 World Cup victory.

There is a better picture here, from the Newham Council website. the players are correctly listed as the West Ham United trio of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst & Martin Peters; the other is listed as Ray Wilson, but he did NOT play for the Hammers, as the piece states. He was an Everton player at the time.

Here are a couple of close ups from sctions of it.

This plaque tells you when it was erected, & that it was by Philip Jackson.

Across the busy road is the old famous West Ham pub, the 'Boleyn Tavern'.

It is situated on the corner of Green Street, the name of this throughfare 'immortalised' in the hooligan flick of the same name, loosely based on the Inter City Firm, the sequel of which was so poor that it went straight to DVD!

By the ground is a church, I thought the name rather apt, and you have to be extremely compassionate to anyone unfortunate enough to follow the Hammers! ;-)

On the sideroad by the ground is the Hammers Social Club.

Back to the main entrance to the ground, this was the side that was open for the Youth Cup match, as you will see when we get inside.

By the road are these club gates.

And a sign advertising the hotel in one of the stands, which the club runs.

Here is one of the blurry images, of the main entrance, try to notice the blue plaques, between the white pillars, either side of the glass doors.

These blue plaques were erected by the Heritage Foundation, & not by any organisation called Sports Heritage, despite that name being on them. While searching for the group responsible I found this interesting website of the same name. No connection to this set of photos, but a link worth looking at.
This one is dedicated to their former manager 'gentleman' Ron Greenwood, who went on to manage England.

Bobby Moore, who is still the only Englishman to lift the World Cup, who died of cancer, & now has a charity named after him.

And long serving manager John Lyall.

Further along was this plaque dedicated to their First World War fallen.

Just past this was their club store.

And beyond that the ticket office.

Another plaque, this one for the club museum.

Next up is a set of turnstiles, with engraved bricks on them.

Here we look back along the exterior. Is is me, or are those castles just too tacky?

Here we see some close ups of the engraved bricks.

The usual sign of banned items, usual at all big grounds.

There are also penty of banners outside with the current main shirt sponsors on them.

Another look at the main stand, before we head in, showing the car park in front.

The car park sign covered in plenty of visiting European stickers.

This was the turnstile that was open for the FA Youth Cup tie, admission a mere £3.

Here we are the other side, on the concourse.

Most of the food & drink areas were closed, no doubt this is packed at first team matches.

Only one open for business this evening.

It has it's own personalised sign.

A magazine advert, for Nuts magazine, & the Striker cartoon strip. High brow for this part of the world! ;-)

A warning sign.

Further along the concourse is shut, but they're ready for the next match!

Another warning to behave!

Now we're in the ground, at the corner where we came through the turnstile. To our left is the 'SirTrevor Brooking Stand', named after another of their former greats.

From this corner we look over to the Bobby Moore Stand, at the far end.

This is the main Dr. Martens Stand, named after their former sponsors the famous boot comapany, where the crowd will be, in the lower tier.

Still in this corner we see over to the far side, which is the East Stand, the old side that used to be known as the 'Chicken Run', in the pre-all seater stadium era.

Another look over the 'Sir Trevor' end.

Now we're going up our lower tier, & look over the pitch.

Before turning to our right, and looking down the seats, Bobby Moore Stand also in shot.

At the rear of our lower tier, along the side, are the executive boxes behind, with their posher padded seats in front.

Here we see the boxes, in a better context, regarding the size of the stand.

Back in the corner once more, we look down the touchline, with the seats at the front in shot.

Very blurred, but we're looking along the front of the Dr. Martens Stand, from the other end.

Now we're back in the Trevor Brooking Stand corner, another glance over the pitch.

Here we now have a (blurred) shot that includes the upper tier of the Dr. Martens Stand.

Behind us is a large picture of Sir Trevor Brooking, in the corner, partly obscured by the bright lighting.

Up above, in the same corner, is the scoreboard, just over half an hour before kick off.

Back pitchside, not too many of their fans read this earlier this season, against Millwall in the League Cup!

The open dugouts are at the front, on the halfway line.

From directly behind this area we look over the pitch to the stand on the far side.

A similar, but better, shot; with the club crest in view.

Moving back down toward the corner, we get a decent shot of the Bobby Moore end.

And once more looking at Sir Trevor's area, so he doesn't feel left out! ;-)

Back to Bobby's end, trying to cut out the glare of the lights.

A bit blurred again, sat down just before the game.

The players shake hands before kick off.

Game about to kick off.

Blurred once more, Newcastle celebrate another goal.

The game is almost over, a heavy home defeat, & even at youth team level they stream out early! ;-)

Time for one last look at the various stands, Sir Trevor first.

The main Dr. Martens side.

Across the Brooking end, toward the far side.

And finally, right down the pitch, toward the Bobby Moore end.