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Boleyn Ground
West Ham United v  Newcastle United
Premier League
  Saturday, January 18th 2014, 3pm
Diane Pringle
(Newcastle United fan)


West Ham has always been a club I wanted to visit, and with the move to the Olympic Stadium on the cards I decided to take my teenagers to the Boleyn ground before they leave.

Arriving at Kings Cross from Newcastle we managed to get to Upton Park without incident on the Tube. Both Newcastle and West Ham fans were mingling on the tube with no problems.

Green Street is something else. A complete multi-cultural melting pot, there are Sari shops next to kebab shops next to an Iceland.

We tried to get into the Duke of Edinburgh pub, but it was packed with Newcastle fans, spilling out onto the pavement. So we wandered along Green Street towards the stadium.

It's great to see a ground smack bang in the middle of a community. The Boleyn ground is right on Green Street with a primary school next to it. Wandering around the area we saw a queue for a pie and mash shop that actually made us double take! People queuing up the street for pies!

The ground is a proper old school one. The visitors entrance is down a residential street and round the back. There are about 4 or 5 turnstiles for away fans. Inside, the concourse is tiny! And I mean tiny! You cannot move for fans, we took 3000+ and it was elbow room only.

View From The Away Stand

The seating area is shabby, but even half way up the stand you are so close to the pitch and that is fantastic. There is also not much slope to the stand, you are literally on top of each other, which was fun when we scored, with fans almost piling on top of each other. We won the game 3-1, with two Cabaye goals and one from Remy.

We came out the ground and the fans were definitely less friendly than they had been before the game. There were a number of abusive shouts aimed in our direction and offers to take my teenage daughters and I out for a fight from grown men meant it's an intimidating experience.

The queue for the tube at Upton Park is crazy. Don't even bother. Walk along to either Plaistow or East Ham to get on.

A great day really and even the threats of a fight didn't dampen a great day out.


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