West Ham fans were certainly feeling rather emotional as they brought the curtain down on their famous old ground.
The Boleyn Ground – or Upton Park as most people have called it – hosted a game between Manchester United and the Hammers in what was to be the last game played before their anticipated move to the Olympic Stadium.
On the pitch, it was certainly a spectacle befitting the occasion. Goals from Diafra Sakho, Michail Antonio and Winston Reid cancelled out an Anthony Martial double to give West Ham a famous 3-2 victory.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Article continues below
But off the pitch, events could have gone slightly better from a PR point of view. For a start, kick-off was delayed by half an hour after West Ham fans cornered Manchester United's team bus and threw bottles at it. It is reported that one fan even headbutted it.
United were running late due to traffic and arrived in east London at the same time as many fans, who themselves had arrived early to soak up the atmosphere around Green Street one last time.
Article continues below
That, unfortunately, was not to be the end of sour events. Following a fantastic fireworks display and a surprise, yet welcome appearance from Ben Shepard, fans started to file out of the stands. Some saw it as an opportunity to, well, smash the place up.
Photos appear to show West Ham fans destroying seats – possibly ones they have sat in for years – in an effort to claim a souvenir. Others were photographed carrying signs on their way to the station, with one man proudly showing off his "No Person Under The Age Of 18 Is Permitted To Bet On The Premises". Well done, good sir, well done.
This guy wishes he was there...
West Ham had been planning to sell off things like chairs and signs during an auction where even the "Keep Off The Grass" sign would be sold to the highest bidder (starting price, £50). Seats were also going to be sold for £50 each, but they will have to write off the dozens that were left either shattered or stolen.
Here is a list of just some of things going up for sale:
- Set of entrance gates, renamed John Lyall Gates in 2009 after former manager - £5,000
- Matchday goalposts with net - £500
- Manager's three-drawer desk, complete with office chair and phone - £50
- 'Reserved for chairman' car park sign - £50
- Cowbell gift from pre-season friendly v Bayern Munich - £50
- Tracksuit believed to have been worn by Trevor Brooking before 1980 FA Cup final victory - £300
- Manager's dugout seat, complete with heated element - £100
- Bubble machine used to accompany club anthem 'Forever Blowing Bubbles - £20
- 'Sorry position closed' ticket office sign - £20
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms