1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground (or not as the case
I live in London so there are a large number of
football clubs in easy travelling distance. I have
enjoyed my visits to Upton Park over the years as,
despite the ground changes in recent years, it is
still an old-fashioned ground with the fans close
to the pitch.
And in a couple of years I could be travelling to
the Olympic Stadium to watch the Hammers.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
The last time I went to Upton Park Transport for
London were carrying out track improvements over
parts of the District Line, so it was a long and
circuitous journey. It would appear these have
been put on ice until after the Olympics, so
today’s was a straightforward trip from West to
3. What you did before the game itself:
pub/chippy….home fans friendly ?
I’d bought a sandwich with me, which I ate at the
back of the East Stand before I went in. I noticed
that stewards were confiscating bottle tops,
though whether this was a case of keeping out
offensive weapons or forcing fans to buy inside I
couldn’t be sure. Aston Villa coaches were parked
behind the same stand so there were plenty of
Villa fans milling about which no home fan seemed
to pay much attention to. It will probably be
different when Chelsea or Tottenham come calling….
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the
Upton Park has been extensively refurbished in
recent years, but the walk to the ground from the
Tube Station is still reminiscent of many past
visits. There is a hot dog stall whose aroma hits
you thirty yards away and is a sure sign that you
are nearing the stadium. I was sitting in the East
Stand which now looks out of proportion to the
rest of the ground.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, facilities, etc…
This was West Hams first game in the Premiership
after a year away. Villa were also new stewardship
after the disaster of Alex McLeish’s grim reign.
The game was played in the highest temperatures of
the summer, but this could not excuse the lack of
sustained decent football. The Hammers just about
deserved to edge it 1 – 0.
The home fans seemed satisfied and the away ones
could at least sing “We’re passing the ball” in
6.Comment on getting away from the ground after
The fan I was say next to kindly offered me a lift
to East Ham Station after the game so I was spared
the normal long crawl into Upton Park station.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
It certainly didn’t feel right to be watching
football under such high temperatures, but weather
aside, it was a very enjoyable re-introduction to
football. Saturday afternoons now have a reason