Monday 29 July 2013

Around the grounds: Boleyn Ground, West Ham

Today's Barclays Premier League stadium profile takes in West Ham's home ground

  • West Ham United first moved to the Boleyn Ground in 1904

  • The stadium had to be extensively developed after suffering damage in the Second World War

  • West Ham United will move to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford in 2016

  • The Boleyn Ground boasts a 35,000 capacity

Premierleague.com profiles all 20 Premier League venues, continuing with West Ham United's home ground, the Boleyn Ground.

In profile: Boleyn Ground

Capacity: 35,016
Year built: 1904
First League match: West Ham United 1-1 Lincoln City, 30 August 1919

History

The Hammers moved to their current home in 1904, having played at the Memorial Ground in Canning Town since their formation in 1895. The Boleyn Ground, in the heart of east London, is named after the Boleyn Castle that stood next to the ground. The castle was supposedly home to Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII.

The stadium is also known as Upton Park and is a few minutes away from Upton Park underground tube station. The ground got its first taste of League football in 1919, when West Ham took on Lincoln City in the old Division Two. The Hammers have played in the top two tiers of English football ever since.

The Boleyn Ground was developed in 1919 and then in 1925, when a new East Stand and West Stand were built, raising the capacity to around 40,000 spectators. Despite being badly damaged in the Second World War, the ground was rebuilt and developed further, with the highest ever attendance of 42,322 recorded during a match with Tottenham Hotspur in 1970.

In the early 1990's, the ground was converted into an all-seater stadium and it now holds just over 35,000.  The Hammers are about to embark on their second consecutive season in the Barclays Premier League and their 18th in the competition overall.

Earlier this year it was announced that the iconic Olympic Stadium, centrepiece of the London Olympic Games last summer, will become West Ham United's new home from 2016 after the club were granted a 99-year lease.

  • Feb 2000: Steve Lomas gave West Ham the lead against Manchester United

  • Feb 2000: But Man Utd came out on top 5-3, with David Beckham scoring the last goal

  • Mar 2002: Frank Lampard scored the winner as West Ham beat Bradford 5-4

  • Mar 2002: Earlier, Paolo Di Canio wrestled the ball off Lampard for a penalty at 4-2

Three of the best: Classic Premier League matches at the Boleyn Ground

12 Feb 2000: West Ham United 5-4 Bradford City
West Ham United came from 4-2 down with 25 minutes left on the clock to edge Bradford in a pulsating encounter. After four goals were shared in the first period, Jamie Lawrence scored a quick-fire double following the half-time interval to give the visitors a two-goal cushion. Italian playmaker Paolo Di Canio wrestled the ball off fellow Hammers midfielder Frank Lampard in a memorable exchange before scoring from the penalty spot to give Harry Redknapp's side a life-line. Joe Cole made it 4-4 with 20 minutes left before Lampard got his chance to get on the scoresheet with a spectacular winning strike seven minutes from time.

16 Mar 2002: West Ham United 3-5 Manchester United 
Although West Ham did not prevail on this occasion, this fixture with Manchester United will live long in the memory of the home fans as the defending league champions came from behind twice to win an eight-goal thriller. Steve Lomas gave the Hammers the lead with a header that crashed off the underside of the bar from 18 yards before Paul Scholes levelled the scores with an excellent strike. Three minutes later, Frederic Kanoute stroked in a second but Man Utd quickly replied once more to make it 2-2 after 23 minutes. Paul Scholes gave the visitors the lead after the break before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stretched the lead for Sir Alex Ferguson's side. West Ham striker Jermain Defoe pulled a goal back but David Beckham wrapped up the 5-3 win in an end-to-end battle.

1 Dec 2012: West Ham United 3-1 Chelsea
Newly-promoted West Ham moved up to eighth in the table with a remarkable second-half comeback to defeat Chelsea. The Blues, under the guidance of interim manager Rafael Benitez, produced a superb display of free-flowing football in the first half, culminating in a Juan Mata goal on 13 minutes. But West Ham capitalised on missed opportunities from Chelsea and Carlton Cole headed the home side level just after the hour mark. Sam Allardyce's side asserted themselves in the second period and a powerful strike from Mohamed Diame gave them the lead before Modibo Maiga wrapped up a fine victory.

  • Dec 2012: Goals from Cole, Diame and Maiga helped West Ham beat Chelsea 3-1

  • Dec 2012: Juan Mata gave Chelsea the lead, but West Ham came back impressively

For a 3D tour of the Boleyn Ground and a video profiling West Ham United and their home ground, click here >>

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks at the history of West Ham's home ground, the Boleyn Ground
  • West Ham have been at the ground since 1904 and will move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016
  • We pick out three of the best Barclays Premier League matches at the ground, including an impressive win over Chelsea in the 2012/13 campaign