Looking back: five years since West Ham United left the Boleyn

Signage reading 'Farewell Boleyn' seen before a Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park (pic: Ad

West Ham United left the Boleyn Ground in Upton Park five years ago. - Credit: Adam Davy/PA WIRE

This summer marks five years since West Ham United left its former home at Upton Park.

Generations of Hammers fans enjoyed the highs and suffered the lows for 112 years at the Boleyn Ground before the club's move to London Stadium in 2016.

Fans make their way towards Upton Park (pic: Nick Potts/PA Wire)

Fans make their way towards Upton Park - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

West Ham agreed the ground's sale to Galliard Group in 2014, hailing the developer's commitment to honour the club's history at the site.

Details of the deal for the London 2012 Olympic Stadium were made public ahead of the Stratford move.

Under the agreement, West Ham would pay £2.5million each year for the duration of a 99-year lease.

Fireworks after the last Barclays Premier League game played at Upton Park, London.

Fireworks after the last Barclays Premier League game played at Upton Park, London. - Credit: PA WIRE

The last match at the Boleyn was against Manchester United on May 10, 2016, with West Ham winning 3-2.

Fan Liam Jarnecki recalled: "It was a very historic place. There was a special atmosphere to Upton Park because of its shape.

You may also want to watch:

"It was a bit of a pressure cooker for opposing teams. Fans could be right on top of the pitch."

Mark Noble walks out ahead of kick-off before his Testimonial match at Upton Park, London.

Mark Noble walks out ahead of kick-off before his Testimonial match at Upton Park in March, 2016. - Credit: PA WIRE

Liam, whose earliest Hammers memory is the 1975 FA Cup final, explained how the stadium's 35,000 capacity made it hard to get in without a season ticket.

Most Read

But London Stadium can welcome 60,000 fans and according to Liam, the crowds are more diverse.

"The crowd used to be a lot of angry white men. They are still there - I'm probably one of them - but there are a lot of other people now and that's healthy," Liam said.

But a bigger venue has changed the atmosphere.

"When that wall of sound fills the stadium, it's incredible. But we've not had that. We as fans need to work out a way of coordinating ourselves," Liam, 52, added.

West Ham U23s took on Arsenal U23s at the former Olympic Stadium on Friday evening in Premier League

London Stadium has been the home of West Ham United for five years. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

On August 4, 2016, more than 54,000 fans attended the Hammers' first match in their new home, which saw a 3-0 victory over Slovenian side NK Domezale.

Supporters came from near and far for the historic match, with some travelling from Australia.

The old West Ham stadium at Upton Park nearly completing demolition

Demolition of the ground nears completion. - Credit: Ken Mears

The following month bulldozers moved onto the former ground as demolition work began.

West Ham Supporters and Social Club Chairman Paul Christmas and the continued demolition of the Upto

The Boleyn Ground is now home to a housing development called Upton Gardens. - Credit: Ken Mears

Two years later, a sledgehammer was taken to the Olympic Stadium deal with the publication of an independent report which found Newham Council threw £40million of public money "down the drain" when a previous administration backed the deal.

The club now looks to its sixth season at London Stadium, with Europa League group stage fixtures.

"Pushing on from here, we should see some very good atmospheres," Liam said.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter