1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground (or not as the case
I was in London on business and had the
opportunity to meet up with a colleague to take in
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
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
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the
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 homogenous
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
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.