Football Ground Guide logo

Boleyn Ground
West Ham United
Stoke City
  Monday, November 19th 2012, 8pm
  Premier League
By John Rogers
(Stoke City fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
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 ground/car parking?
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 leg room.

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 station.

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.

Are you an away or general football fan who has visited the Boleyn Ground recently?
If so why not submit your own review of the ground and general day out?
Find out more about how to submit a review

Return to the Bolelyn Ground West Ham United page

Football Ground Guide Index