FROM POTATO PATCH TO SPIRITUAL HOME
West Ham United's move to the new Olympic Stadium in 2016 ended a 112-year stay at Upton Park. There was nowhere else like it in football. The famous old ground was the spiritual home of some of the game’s greatest heroes, including Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking and Paolo Di Canio. They were just a few who became idolised there as they revelled in the stadium’s close-knit and ferociously proud east London atmosphere.
Now it is gone, but the magic, the fervour, the triumphs, the disappointments and the special brand of humour and devotion which flourished there is captured here in all its glory. With full access to The Times archives and stunning photographic collection, leading sportswriter and lifelong Hammers fan John Dillon has penned the definitive history of the Home of the Hammers.
The colourful, fully illustrated history of West Ham – and how the club and fans created the tough and gritty atmosphere of one of football’s most fervent theatres.
- A unique newspaper record of the Hammers’ times at Upton Park – including a report of the first match there in 1904;
- Stunning exclusive photographs recording the team’s many ups-and-downs at their world-renowned home;
- The revealing supporters’ view of why the Boleyn’s emotional flavour was so special and why the team inspired such devotion in its working-class heartlands through good times and bad;
- Full illustrated chapters on West Ham’s compelling, successful last season at the ground – and the wild thrilling, extraordinary night of its final match against Manchester United which made headlines across the globe;
- Sections on the great European nights, the famous cup wins, the goalscoring exploits – including Geoff Hurst's six-goals in one match haul – and the desperate defeats;
- A full colour collection of the attractive Retro programme covers which commemorated the final campaign at Upton Park in 2015-2016;
- The memories of the ground which burned a place in the hearts of the players, with recollections from Billy Bonds, Sir Geoff Hurst, Sir Trevor Brooking, Julian Dicks, Tony Cottee, Tony Gale and current captain and local hero Mark Noble;
- The poignant reaction to the death of Bobby Moore;
- The story of how the stadium cherished so deeply by the fans developed from a Catholic church-owned potato patch into the 35,000-seater arena which witnessed West Ham's successful return to the Premier League after 2012.
Click here for more information, or to read a sample from Home of the Hammers.