Search

A fan’s thoughts on West Ham’s first night at the London Stadium

PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 August 2016 | UPDATED: 16:27 05 August 2016

West Ham fans descend on the Olympic Stadium in Stratford for their first home game

West Ham fans descend on the Olympic Stadium in Stratford for their first home game

Archant

One West Ham fan shares his first impression of the club’s new home.

Any true West Ham fan will admit to feeling extremely nervous at the thought of Thursday night’s game.

It wasn’t just the sentimental side of things - I’ve never known an atmosphere like an Upton Park game under the lights - there was also the very real fact that we faced starting our tenure at the London Stadium in disgrace if we suffered a second successive early Europa League exit.

But any lingering doubts I had about our impressive new home were dispelled within 90 seconds of me taking my seat in the East Stand, when I heard the person sitting behind me say: “Apart from there being no beer, this is much better than I thought it would be.”

If UEFA regulations on alcohol are our biggest worry on the opening night at a 54,000 capacity stadium, we’re probably going to be alright.

The other worry a great deal of us Hammers had was that some integral part of the club’s character would be lost somewhere during the move.

Thursday night did an awful lot to assuage those fears. The hoardings around the ground proudly proclaim our history, from the foundation of Thames Ironworks FC in 1895 to our victory in the 1980 FA Cup.

The club’s owners have also taken pains to ensure the place feels exactly how the fans want it to, like an expanded Upton Park - keeping two stands named after club legends Bobby Moore and Sir Trevor Brooking.

To get to my seat I even had to walk under a giant claret and blue shirt bearing the name and squad number of club captain Mark Noble. You couldn’t have stood in that concourse and thought you were anywhere other than the home of West Ham United.

There were some grumblings during the game that not everyone was rising to their feet every time someone struck up a song, but compared to our Europa League qualifier against FC Lusitanos last year, the atmosphere was positively electric.

The times are defintely changing at West Ham: a new badge, a new stadium and the dismissal of former academy head Tony Carr during the Summer all giving fans cause for concern that some unquantifiable part of our club was being lost.

But having been there on Thursday night, hearing 53,914 fellow Hammers chanting ‘Bubbles’ at the top of their lungs, it’s safe to say our future is bright.

We’ll always remember Upton Park fondly, but there’s no doubt West Ham have just started an exciting new chapter in our 121-year history.

Latest East London News Stories

23 minutes ago

Neighbourhood activists are campaigning to protect the last bits of green space left in Spitalfields to stop encroaching developers getting their hands on it.

17:40

Hundreds of pupils got a live performance from one of Britain’s pioneering orchestras when 75 musicians turned up at their school in Bromley-by-Bow.

Dangerous cladding discovered on a two-year-old housing block in Poplar following the Grenfell Tower fire has now been removed.

16:38

Plans have been unveiled for the controversial Westferry Printworks housing scheme to be doubled in size from 700 new homes to 1,500 to add to the Isle of Dogs’ rocketing population.

14:57

The National Health Service is calling for people to put forward the names of Windrush generation NHS workers for awards celebrating their contributions to the UK.

Police investigating the death of Sami Sidhom have released a man on bail.

Yesterday, 17:29

Anne Boleyn is returning to the Tower of London for a third time 500 years after her execution at the hands of Henry VIII.

Yesterday, 17:24

The parties battling for votes ahead of local elections next week have clashed over their affordable housing plans.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now