West Ham United
West Ham United was founded in 1895 as the Thames Ironworks working team, and it wasn’t until 1900, two years after the team began to play professionally, that the club became known by its present name.
Originally joining the Southern League, they then joined the Western League in 1901 and played for a time in both, with their first success coming in 1907 when they became Western League champions. Three years earlier they had moved to the Boleyn Ground stadium in Upton Park, and this has been the home of the club ever since.
In 1923 they enjoyed even greater success, winning promotion to Division One and reaching the FA Cup final. But it was not until 1964 that they got their hands on their first serious trophy, the FA Cup, which they would go on to win two more times.
In the 1991-92 season they were relegated to Division One and so missed out on the inaugural season of the Premier League. They only had to wait a year to taste Premiership action when they were promoted for the first time in May 1993, but since then they have been up and down a few times.
In August 1994 Harry Redknapp took over and led them to a fifth-place finish in the 1998-99 season, but unfortunately for them there was no qualification for the UEFA Cup that year and so they missed out on the chance to play European football.
In the 2002-03 season a run of bad form led to them being relegated, and it was a further two years before they managed to get back into the Premiership. However, since then they have managed to stay up in the top flight, despite a relegation battle in 2006-07 when Carlos Tévez came to the rescue to score some crucial last-minute goals.
Last season they enjoyed a comfortable time hovering around the middle of the table, eventually finishing the season in 10th place.
For a more detailed history of the club, check out this guide.
West Ham’s home is more often referred to as Upton Park because the stadium is located in this area, but the actual stadium is called the Boleyn Ground. The reason it has this name is that Green Street House, in the grounds of which the stadium is located, was also known as Boleyn Castle because Anne Boleyn was thought to have owned it at some point in the past.
With a current capacity of 35,303, plans remain to increase this to 40,500 through developments to the new East Stand, although these were originally put on hold due to the club’s relegation from the Premier League. Once they have managed to cement their place in the top flight it is thought that the talks will start again.
There was a possibility of moving to the Olympic Stadium after 2012, but in the end these plans were put to one side when it turned out it would lead to a smaller capacity. However, rumours of the possibility of a move to a new stadium in the future still continue to surface, with the area around West Ham Underground station providing a possible location.
Built in 1995 to mark the centenary of the club, the aptly named Centenary Stand comprises 6,000 seats spread over two tiers. The upper tier is devoted to the family section, and the lower tier is split between home and away fans. This mix makes it one of the most vocal areas of the ground, with the two sets of fans divided by a line of stewards.
Built in 1969, the East Stand is the oldest of the structures at Boleyn Ground, and with only 5,000 seats it is also the smallest. As times have changed, so has the stand itself. Back in the 1970s and 1980s it held the reputation as by far the most vocal and exciting part of the ground. Originally the setting for the famous ‘Chicken Run’, an old standing-only stand that was knocked down in 1968, it was the place where the most die hard of all the fans could be found. After it had become a seating stand this all changed, but it still holds a certain nostalgic charm for many fans.
Bobby Moore Stand
Known previously as the South Bank Stand, the Bobby Moore Stand was built in 1993 and has a capacity of 9,000. Comprising two tiers, the lower tier is another of the most passionate places in the ground in which to find yourself, and a line of executive boxes separates the two tiers. It was recently renovated with the arrival of the Dr Martens Stand in 2001, when the seats of the two stands were joined together and a new TV screen was installed.
Dr Martens Stand
Previously known as the West Stand, the Dr Martens Stand was opened by the Queen in 2001 and has a capacity of 15,000, which increased the overall capacity of the stadium from 26,000 to 35,647. Like the Bobby Moore Stand, it too consists of two tiers with a row of executive boxes between them. However, being the largest of the stands – and the largest in London – it also includes numerous other features inside it such as the club offices, dressing rooms, shop, museum and even the West Ham United Hotel.
Getting to the Ground
The best way to reach the Boleyn Ground is on the Underground. The nearest station is Upton Park which is found in Zone 3 on the District Line and is 45 minutes from Central London. Once you have arrived at the station, simply take a right turn out of the exit and the stadium is 400 yards away on your left, which is about a two minute walk.
Although there is no mainline railway station near to the ground, there are two stations that you could aim for if travelling by train. First there is Stratford Station, from which you should take the Jubilee Line and then change at West Ham Station for the District Line, or alternatively you could take bus route 104. The second option is Barking Station, from which you can take the District Line or bus route 5.
The following bus routes can all be used to reach the Boleyn Ground:
- 5, 15, 58, 104, 115, 147, 330, 376
For more information on the bus timetables check out the Transport for London website.
From the North
Take the M1 into London and turn right onto the A12. Continue for one mile before turning left into Black Hall Road. Carry along the centre road when it forks, and take a right at the T-junction. From here, take the fourth right into Green Street, and the stadium can be found one mile along on the left.
From the East
Get onto the A13 and turn right onto the A117 at the crossroads. Continue for one mile and then turn left onto the A124 (Barking Road). Carry on for 1.5 miles and then turn into Green Street, where you will find the stadium a few minutes down the road.
From the South
Travelling on the A206, go through the Blackwall Tunnel and turn right onto the A13 (Canning Town). Take the second exit at the roundabout onto the A124, and after 1.7 miles turn left into Green Street.
From the West
From the A40M join the A501. Follow signs for Shoreditch and Whitechapel, then take the A13. At the roundabout in Canning Town, take the A124 (Barking Road). Carry along Barking Road for 1.5 miles, and at the traffic lights take a right into Green Street.
Tickets can be purchased from the Ticket Office by phone.
Tel: 0870 112 2700
Monday to Friday: 9am – 5pm
Saturday (non-match day): 9am – 1pm
Saturday (match day): 9am – kick-off
Sunday (match day): 9.30am – kick-off
For full terms and conditions on making a purchase, click here.
Tickets can be purchased online at the West Ham Box Office.
You will be required to log in to the site first, and you can also get membership to the club and purchase season tickets from here.
Season tickets for the 2008-09 season have now sold out. For those holding season tickets a new scheme has been introduced whereby if you cannot attend a home fixture then you can sell your ticket online via the ‘Ticket Trade-In’ facility, details of which can be found here.
Tickets are divided into Category A and Category B, and the prices for these are shown in the tables below.
|Category||Adult||Senior||Young Adult Member||Youth Academy Member||Under-16 Non-Member|
|Category||Adult||Senior||Young Adult Member||Youth Academy Member||Under-16 Non-Member|
First Team Squad
‘’’1. Robert Green'''
Date of Birth: 18.1.80
Green was voted ‘Hammer of the Year’ for his performances last season, a great boost for the player in his second year at the club. He signed from Norwich City before the 2006-07 campaign, and has worked his way up to the number-one goalkeeper. He also has international experience, playing for England against Columbia in May 2005, and he would have gone to the 2006 World Cup but unfortunately got injured at the last minute. His sensational performances have helped the Hammers stay up in the Premiership, and his four-year contract takes him to the end of 2011. He also managed to play every League game last year.
‘’’2. Lucas Neill'''
Date of Birth: 9.3.78
Neill arrived in January 2007 from Blackburn Rovers after turning down the opportunity to play for Liverpool. The defender’s performances saw him promoted to captain for the 2007-08 season, a role which he relishes. After playing at Millwall for six years, the right-back developed an ability to play in the centre of defence. He is a useful team member, and is also the second youngest Australian in history to play for the national team, after making his debut at the age of 18.
‘’’3. George McCartney'''
Date of Birth: 29.4.81
Nationality: Northern Irish
McCartney played every game of the last season and finished runner-up in the ‘Hammer of the Year’ vote. After arriving from Sunderland – where he played for five years – in August 2006 for a deal in the region of £1 million, he flourished in the left-back position under Alan Curbishley and is now a crucial member of the squad.
4. Daniel Gabbidon
Date of Birth: 8.8.79
Gabbidon began his playing days at West Bromwich Albion, progressing through a number of teams before arriving at West Ham in August 2005 from Cardiff City. He is an experienced defender, and has played a big role for the Welsh national team since getting his first international cap versus the Czech Republic in March 2002. He has also been invaluable for the club, a fact which was recognised when he won the ‘Hammer of the Year’ vote for the 2005-06 season. Although he was restricted to just 13 appearances last season, he is in line to play a more crucial role as the next campaign kicks off.
5. Anton Ferdinand
Date of Birth: 18.2.85
Following in his famous brother’s footsteps, Ferdinand joined up with West Ham for the 2003-04 season and has since proved an invaluable member of the setup. The big central defender, who made his England Under-21 debut in August 2004 versus Ukraine, is widely regarded as a good reader of the game. However, a hamstring injury last season kept him out of action for a few months, and he could only manage 29 appearances.
6. Matthew Upson
Date of Birth: 18.4.79
Having not managed to get enough first-team action during his time at Arsenal, Upson switched to Birmingham City before making another move to the Hammers in January 2007 for £6 million. Despite picking up a calf injury on his Hammers debut that kept him out of action for some time, the defender is now on a four-and-a-half year contract and even got to wear the captain’s armband on a few occasions last season.
7. Fredrik Ljungberg
Date of Birth: 16.4.77
Ljungberg is well remembered from his nine years spent at Arsenal, where he became something of a legend. However, deciding that he needed a new challenge he switched from the Gunners in July 2007 to the London rivals. Injury got in the way of his first season at Boleyn Ground, but the midfielder still managed to put in 28 appearances. He was also until recently an active member of the Swedish national team, making his full international debut in 1998 versus the USA. However, he has just retired from international football following Sweden’s exit from Euro 2008.
8. Scott Parker
Date of Birth: 13.10.80
Parker has played for the national team at every level, including a stint in the senior squad, making his international debut in November 2003 against Denmark, and it is this experience that has made him such an important player for the Hammers. The midfielder joined up in June 2007 in a £7 million deal from Newcastle, but before that he had also played for Charlton, Norwich, Chelsea and Newcastle. However, an injury when playing for Chelsea ruled him out of the campaign that saw them win the Premiership, and he left soon after. He only managed 20 appearances last season due to numerous knee injuries, but he should be back on form for the coming season.
9. Dean Ashton
Date of Birth: 24.11.83
When Ashton signed for the Hammers in January 2006 from Norwich City for £7.25 million, it was at the time a new club record, showing just how much he was respected as a player. Having signed a five-year contract in June 2008, he still hasn’t managed to get any international experience after breaking his ankle just before being named in Steve McClaren’s first England squad. That injury saw him out for the entire 2006-07 campaign, but he was back on fire last season when he scored five goals in his first eight games.
10. Craig Bellamy
Date of Birth: 13.7.79
Welsh striker Bellamy signed up with the Hammers in the summer of 2007 from Liverpool for £7.5 million. The undoubtedly talented player has not been able to demonstrate his devastating skills, however, due to an abdominal injury getting in the way for much of his first season. Having previously played for Norwich City, Coventry City, Newcastle and Liverpool amongst others, the Hammers will be hoping he can use his experience to good effect this coming season and get more than the nine appearances he managed last year.
11. Matthew Etherington
Date of Birth: 14.8.81
Etherington is an incredibly committed team member who has become one of the longest-serving Hammers. After playing for Peterborough, Tottenham and Bradford City, the left-winger joined up with the Hammers in August 2003, and soon won the acclaim of the fans with his spectacular hat-trick versus Wimbledon in March 2004. This led him to be named the ‘Hammer of the Year’ in his debut season, and he has now pleased everyone by signing a contract until 2012.
12. Carlton Cole
Date of Birth: 12.10.83
Cole has just enjoyed his second season, during which he scored six goals in total. He was previously attached to Chelsea, Wolves, Charlton and Aston Villa before finally arriving at Boleyn Park in 2006. It was the fact that he didn’t get much action at Chelsea in the 2005-06 season that made him decide to move to West Ham, and when he did the striker scored with his first touch on his debut versus Charlton. Although only scoring two more goals for the rest of the season, he is expected to play a major role this time around.
13. Luis Boa Morte
Date of Birth: 4.8.77
As Alan Curbishley’s first signing, striker Boa Morte became a Hammers player in January 2007. Having previously played a part with Arsenal and Southampton, he later joined Fulham where he quickly became a legend, and it was from here that he arrived for £5 million. He also has international experience, playing his first game for Portugal in April 2001 against France. Although he has only scored one goal so far for West Ham, he is set to be a very important player for the team.
16. Mark Noble
Date of Birth: 8.5.87
Having previously played for the Hammers’ youth team, Noble became the youngest ever player to step up for the reserves at the tender age of 15. He then made his first-team debut at the age of 17 years and 108 days in August 2004. Although loaned to Hull City and Ipswich Town on spells to gain experience, he has now signed a new four-year contract until 2011 and is set to play a large role in the team. His international experience is also increasing, and he played a significant part in the 2007 Under-21 European Championship.
17. Hayden Mullins
Date of Birth: 27.3.79
Mullins was brought in by Alan Pardew from Crystal Palace in October 2003. The midfielder had a very successful 2005-06 Premiership campaign, making 35 appearances in all and performing as one of the outstanding players. Sadly though he picked up a red card towards the end of the season and missed the FA Cup final against Liverpool. Further challenges were presented with the arrival of Javier Mascherano in 2006, but he fought hard to keep his place in the squad and ended up the number-one choice.
18. Jonathan Spector
Date of Birth: 1.3.86
Spector arrived at Boleyn Park in June 2006 from Manchester United for a fee of £500,000, and has enjoyed more first-team action than he had hoped for due to injuries to other key players. The defender has a wealth of international experience behind him, having made his debut in November 2004 against Jamaica. However, disappointment set in when, in April 2006, he dislocated his shoulder and couldn’t go to the World Cup in Germany. He has now been blighted with a further injury which means he will be out until 2009.
19. James Collins
Date of Birth: 23.8.83
Collins was signed in summer 2005 from Cardiff City along with Danny Gabbidon in a double transfer. He had enjoyed a successful time at Cardiff, where the powerful defender had really made a name for himself. He made an impressive Hammers debut in September 2005 in a match versus Sheffield Wednesday which the Hammers won 4-2. Unfortunately, last year he picked up a nasty cruciate ligament injury to his right knee in January 2008, meaning his season finished disappointingly early.
20. Julien Faubert
Date of Birth: 1.8.83
Faubert switched from Bordeaux in July 2007 for £6.1 million after turning down offers from many top European clubs for the chance to play at West Ham. The midfielder is a regular for the French national team, making his debut in August 2006 against Bosnia where he scored the winning goal. He has even taken over the iconic number 10 shirt following the retirement of Zidane. Frustratingly, he got injured soon after signing for the Hammers which meant he was out until January 2008 and so didn’t get to play much that season.
21. Valon Behrami
Date of Birth: 19.4.85
Having played for Lazio for the last three seasons, Behrami is a new summer signing for the Hammers, arriving in July 2008 for a £5 million fee. The move comes just after he represented Switzerland in Euro 2008, where he played in all of their games, and the defender is now on a five-year contract.
23. James Walker
Date of Birth: 9.7.73
Walker has been with the Hammers since Summer 2004 when he arrived from Walsall after spending 11 years at the club. He is well known as a bit of a comedian, and even has a witty column in the match day programme. He has faced stiff competition from other goalies over the years, but he is always reliable and is one of the most popular members of the squad.
26. Nigel Quashie
Date of Birth: 20.7.78
Quashie made the move from West Bromwich Albion in January 2007 for £1.5 million, having previously played for QPR, Nottingham Forest, Portsmouth and Southampton. The midfielder made his debut on 13th January 2007 against Fulham, but picked up an ankle injury a few games in and that has got in the way of his chances ever since. He only managed to make eight appearances last season, but will be hoping to make more of an impression as this season gets under way.
29. Lee Bowyer
Date of Birth: 3.1.77
The 2002-03 season was Bowyer’s first stint for West Ham, after which he left the club only to return again in 2006 from Newcastle United. On his ‘second’ debut for the club he created all three goals in the game against Charlton, and was welcomed back with open arms by the fans. However, he has since been hit by a string of injuries and his involvement has been reduced significantly as a result.
30. James Tomkins
Date of Birth: 29.3.89
Tomkins has enjoyed a great deal of involvement with the England youth teams over the years, although he has not yet managed to get his senior debut. However, the central defender made his first-team debut for the Hammers in March 2008, and managed to make six appearances in total whilst other more senior players were injured. He has now signed until 2011, and is sure to play an important role for the club in the future.
32. Kieron Dyer
Date of Birth: 29.12.78
Dyer suffered a nightmare start to his West Ham career after signing for the Hammers in 2007. In only his third appearance in a match against Bristol Rovers, the midfielder picked up a double fracture to his right leg and was out for the rest of the season. Back on track now, he will be hoping to make a real impression this year to make up for his bad luck.
33. Fred Sears
Date of Birth: 27.11.89
Sears managed to make seven appearances last season, although six of these were as a substitute. Progressing through the West Ham Academy, the young striker has been a fan of the Hammers since he was a child, and so when he made his debut in March 2007 against Blackburn Rovers it was a dream come true. When he then headed the winner in the 2-1 win things could not get any better, and he is certain to improve his game over the next few years to become an important team member.
Date of Birth: 8.11.57
Curbishley played for West Ham from 1974 to 1979, as well as playing for Birmingham City, Aston Villa and Charlton Athletic during his career. He also managed to play for the England youth teams on many occasions, although he never made it into the senior squad.
In July 1991 he became joint manager of Charlton Athletic with Steve Gritt, taking over as manager in June 1995. He did amazingly well, twice getting them promoted to reach the Premier League, and such was his respect in the game that many thought he would become the next England manger after Sven-Göran Eriksson. However, he dismissed these reports and left the club at the end of the 2005-06 season.
In December 2006 he became manager of West Ham, and although they were in a tight spot near the bottom of the table he managed to save them from relegation with the help of Carlos Tevez, winning seven games out of the last nine. He is largely credited with building upon the strength of the squad to help them cement their place in the Premier League.
‘’’ Björgólfur Guðmundsson'''
According to Forbes, Guðmundsson is the 1014th richest person in the world so, although not Abramovich, the billionaire businessman from Iceland certainly has a bit of money to spend on the club.
The chairman of Landsbanki – the second biggest company in his country – led a consortium to buy West Ham in June 2006. He ended up buying 90% of the club, and is now the club’s Honorary Life President. Initially Eggert Magnússon was chairman, but Guðmundsson bought out his stake in December 2007 to take that position as well.
- ‘’’Division Two champions:''' 1954-55, 1980-81
- ‘’’International Soccer League champions:''' 1963
- ‘’’FA Cup winners:''' 1964, 1975, 1980
- ‘’’Football League War Cup winners:''' 1940
- ‘’’European Cup Winners’ Cup winners:''' 1964-65
- ‘’’UEFA Intertoto Cup winners:''' 1999
- Biggest victory: 10-0 (versus Bury, 1983)
- Biggest defeats: 7-0 (versus Everton and Sheffield Wednesday, 1927 and 1959)
- Top goalscorer: Vic Waters (326)
- Most appearances: Billy Bonds (793)
- Highest League attendance: 42,322 (versus Tottenham Hotspur, 1970)