Untitled photo

The soulless goldfish bowl of Stratford

After 112 years at Upton Park - West Ham United moved to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. They now refer to it as the London Stadium and it is plastered all over with new style West Ham branding, stripping the heritage and Boleyn towers off the badge, using Bobby Moore as a marketing strategy and going on and on about Thames Ironworks in a cynical ploy to make us somehow forget the Boleyn ground existed.

During 2016/17 I persisted as a season ticket holder at the new stadiun, but was immediately unhappy. The 'fishbowl' type atmosphere made things unbearably hot in summer and we found ourselves sitting amongst snooty tourist fans telling us to shutup and sit down.  At the very first game, a snotty cow behind us started whinging at my mate Kane to 'will you please sit down' as Hammers ran out to a muted 'bubbles'. We were mixed in with other people wearing Man City and other teams' shirts and yelled at  by officials. None of the old ground crew from the Boleyn seem to have been kept and it's all security guards wearing huge military headsets yelling at us through megaphones.

The horrible running track around the pitch was covered with green tarpaulin and the depth of bullshit we had been told by Karen Brady about retractable seats that were apparently going to cover the running track was immediately apparent.  There was trouble galore with fans fighting fans and money being thrown at Gold and Sully as they sat in a 'nice' part of the stadium.

I still go to the odd game now and again but will never be a STH again. I have pretty much given up trying to take pictures. Unfortunately the over-bearing security in and around the stadium, accompanied with threats to expel genuine fans daring to take photos of other fans, no longer allow me to take photos of West Ham fans as I would wish. After being frisked by over-zealous security on the concourse outside Westfield and told I had to hand over my camera to them before being allowed anywhere near the outside of the stadium was the last straw, and when that happened, I lost all care.

Just another reason this stadium move sucks.

As three years have now gone by, I realise the depth of heartbreak I suffered with the loss of Upton Park. I feel devastated by it and can barely look at photos on Flickr of it being demolished. I look back now at photos taken, particularly on my wedding day at the game with Crystal Palace and feel particularly sad. Myself and other Hammers I know have been caused genuine depression by the loss of Upton Park and I know West Ham will never have a ground to call their own again in my lifetime.

GSB sold West Ham fans out. And Boris Johnson let it happen. We were lied to and robbed and all we have left now are memories and photographs.

GSB have turned West Ham into a business, rather than a football club, and they have claret and blue blood on their hands. They talk about 'family' and 'affordable' football yet price the average fan out of the match by charging £82 a ticket, and selling off half the big games to Sky so again, the average fan, has to endure a 5.30pm or a Sunday 4pm KO, only to then spend hours queuing at Stratford to get out of the area - how is that family friendly?