West Ham prepare to bid emotional farewell to the Boleyn Ground

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The Boleyn Ground is like no other. From the famous chicken run to Green Street, from the old burger stand outside the East Stand to passion of the fans, it really is a special place that means so much to the community.

West Ham will play their last ever game at this famed stadium on Tuesday evening before moving to their new home at the Olympic Stadium next season. It is fitting that the last match will be an evening game, as anyone who has been at Upton Park under the lights knows it is a remarkable atmosphere and the loyal Irons fans will make the final game at their 112-year-old home one to remember for a long time.

It is hard to describe what makes it such a special ground. It isn't the biggest or the most aesthetically beautiful, but the character of the place is second to none. The intimacy of the crowd to the players and the ground to the surrounding community make it unlike any other in the country and the club really is the centre of the community.


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Many players past and present have lived just a stone's throw away from the ground, including current club captain Mark Noble and co-owner David Gold, and the rich history of local boys rising up to play for the club is just another aspect that makes it so unique. The list of legends that have worn the claret and blue at the Boleyn is remarkable and it will be an emotional night for those ex-Hammers in attendance.

The great Bobby Moore will undoubtedly be remembered on a night West Ham leave the house he made great and some of his former teammates including Geoff Hurst will be on the pitch at the conclusion of the game.

You would be hard pressed to find a group of supporters who care more about their club and its history than the West Ham faithful and it is they who will make Tuesday's game special, as they do week-in-week-out. Upton Park is rarely not sold out and the fans passionate voices belting out one last rendition of 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles' will be a spine-tingling moment and one that will not ever be forgotten.

The atmosphere of the ground and the surrounding area on a match day is nothing short of electric. The streets are packed with people attending the game and those standing outside the nearby pubs watching on television screens, there are so many quirky food and merchandise stands and such a diverse group of people all joining for a common love. All of the sights and experiences as you walk up Green Street to the stadium will be missed dearly.

The club has been through a lot on the pitch in the past five years with being relegated and then regaining their top division status but never excelling under Sam Allardyce. The fans were not happy with the football they saw under the former boss and all the talk was about 'the West Ham way' which many pundits jumped on and criticised the fans for.

Something that is often lost in this discussion is that this is a club that has an esteemed history of teams that entertained and fought hard every single week and the passion is all the fans want, they know they won't win every week they simply want the players to fight no matter what. So why should they settle for any less?

That is the West Ham way, never give up and play football that keeps the fans on the edge of their seats - they have done that this season. Slaven Bilic has been exceptional in his tactics and the signings he has made but most of all, the team spirit has been remarkable.

Numerous times they have come from behind and recovered points from losing positions, something that just has not happened in recent years and is perfectly fitting for the last season at a ground that has seen so many world class players fight hard for the shirt that they wore. Dimitri Payet has been a revelation and is already becoming a legend at the club, but nobody sums up the West Ham spirit better than skipper Mark Noble.

Noble has been at the club for 12 years and is a lifelong fan. He understands what the fans feel, he fights for the fans on the pitch, he epitomises the club and he has been simply exceptional this year. Whether it be making crunching tackles, popping up with goals at the right time, or rallying his troops with words of encouragement, Noble embodies the West Ham fans and the Boleyn Ground.

He is not the best player in the squad, nor the most aesthetically pleasing to watch, but his character and attitude are second to none, he never gives up and there is nobody better to lead a West Ham team out in their last ever game at Upton Park.

The fans have an enormous level of endearment towards Noble because of the way he represents them and despite not having the level of success of a Bobby Moore or Trevor Brooking, he will be right up there as a club legend whenever he hangs his boots up.

The game itself holds a great deal of meaning aside from the emotion of the last outing at the Boleyn, as European qualification is yet to be secured for the Hammers and three points on Tuesday would go a long way to doing that. One last game under lights at this famous ground, with a lot riding on it, the crowd will be bouncing and emotions will run high.

A special night lies in wait at a special place in English football, and with the spirit in this West Ham squad backed up by what will be an unbelievable atmosphere provided by one of the best sets of fans in all of football, who would bet against them getting one last famous win at the Boleyn.

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West Ham United
Premier League
Mark Noble
Bobby Moore
Andrew Carroll
Sam Allardyce

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