1. Why you were looking forward to
going to the ground (or not as the case may
I was in London on business and had the
opportunity to meet up with a colleague to
take in a game.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
Finding the ground was easy - Upton Park tube
station is conveniently situated around 10
minutes walk from the ground. Upon exiting,
just follow the crowds.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
Plenty of stalls, vans and takeaways selling
traditional 'football fare'. Personally, I'm
not a lover of pies, burgers or hot dogs...but
you can't beat the smell - it's all part and
parcel of the build up to a game.
The handful of home fans I spoke to were
friendly enough...but the significant influx
of eastern Europeans was very apparent -
English was the second language for all those
I decided to speak to.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground,
first impressions of away end then other sides
of the ground?
The facade of the Main Stand, as seen from the
roadside, is the single most impressive
feature of the stadium. When I think of my
favourite grounds they all have a special
quality that sets them apart from the
proliferation of homogeneous creations that
clubs now seem to occupy. West Ham's is a twin
towered frontage that mirrors the club badge
and frames the main entrance.
Inside, the Main Stand is equally impressive
and dwarfs the old East Stand opposite. I was
seated in the upper tier of the Sir Trevor
Brooking (Family) stand - quite steeply raked
but an excellent view and more than adequate
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game was a mediocre 1-1 draw. The home
fans' rendition of 'Bubbles' was pretty
stirring, but for a full house I found the
atmosphere during the rest of the game
strangely subdued. Worth mentioning that West
Ham have an affordable pricing policy for
televised games as this one was - my ticket
was just £20 for a good seat behind the goal.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground
after the game:
I had been warned of the congestion at Upton
Park tube station, but wasn't too concerned as
I was staying in Stratford and was in no rush.
Just as well, as I boarded my train 45 minutes
after the game had ended. Those in a hurry
could leave the game early or walk to another
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Enjoyed the evening; felt perfectly safe, with
low-key policing and stewarding. I suspect
that the experience would have probably seemed
a little different if West Ham had been
playing another London club though.