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West Ham fans cycle to the game to keep club’s historic link alive

PUBLISHED: 14:00 24 October 2016 | UPDATED: 14:22 24 October 2016

Bike from Boleyn participants by the Champions statue Pictures: Vikki lince

Bike from Boleyn participants by the Champions statue Pictures: Vikki lince

Archant

Forget battling through the crowd at Stratford station or struggling to find a parking space – there’s a new way to get to West Ham matches.

Bike from Boleyn participants setting off from the Bobby Moore Statue on Barking Road to the new stadium in Stratford. Bike from Boleyn participants setting off from the Bobby Moore Statue on Barking Road to the new stadium in Stratford.

The Bike from Boleyn campaign, which made its debut on Saturday afternoon, saw Hammers fans, councillors and cycling enthusiasts, take to the roads in claret and blue.

The 50- strong group pedalled from the Champions Statue, in Barking Road, all the way to the club’s new London Stadium home ahead of Saturday’s match.

Boleyn ward councillor and ride organiser, Veronica Oakeshott, said: “The day is to keep the links between West Ham United and the Boleyn alive.

“It’s something that people in our area feel really passionate about and we’re showing that even though the club may have moved, we’re still passionate and willing to keep it going.”

The cyclists rode along Central Park Road and through the Greenway into Stratford, singing along to traditional Hammers chants on the way.

Season ticket holder Matthew Corderly, 36, of Flanders Avenue, East Ham, said: “I’ve struggled with this move and the transport options.

“Hopefully we can find a few people that live in East Ham to cycle with to the games.”

Luke Donaghey, who cycled along with his two young daughters and helped with the graphic design of the ride’s logo and t-shirts, thinks it would be a “shame for the area” to lose the statue and its history.

“It’s that link between the stadium and here,” the 40-year-old, of Locksford Avenue, Upton Park said.

The bike ride took just over half an hour, but was marshalled at a fairly slow pace by members of the Newham Cyclists.

Group member Kerena Fussell said: “Everything we do is encouraging more people to use bikes and not use cars.

“It’s great to be involved in a local intiative and it’s also good for us to get our name out there.”

The riders, myself included, enjoyed the three mile route, before most participants headed into the game to watch the Hammers nick a late 1-0 victory over Sunderland.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms said: “I think it’s a very good idea, we just want to keep the historic links of this memorial and West Ham football club because they played here for 112 years. I think it’s important to remember that fact.”

The Bike from Boleyn ride will take place again on Saturday, April 22, ahead of the Hammers’ home game against Everton.

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