In Brief

Upton Park or Boleyn Ground - what is West Ham's home really called?

The Hammers are moving to the Olympic Stadium in London, but will take souvenirs from E13 with them

West Ham bid farewell to their home of 112 years tonight as they play their last ever game at the stadium once graced by the likes of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Trevor Brooking.

But as they prepare to move to the Olympic Stadium in London, many fans are wondering if they are bidding farewell to Upton Park or the Boleyn Ground.

West Ham's home on Green Street was known as Upton Park for many years, but it has become better known as the Boleyn Ground in recent seasons. So which is the correct name?

The pitch originally lay in the grounds of an imposing manor house built in the 16th century. It was called Green Street House, but was known locally as the Boleyn Castle, as Henry VIII was rumoured to have wooed Anne Boleyn there.

In recognition of that piece of history, the modest stadium where West Ham set up home in 1904 was offically called the Boleyn Ground. However, many were soon referring to it by the name of the surrounding area and nearby Tube station, Upton Park, which was opened in 1877.

A similar fate befell the Arsenal Stadium, which was built in Highbury 1913 and was universally known as Highbury by the time the Gunners moved away in 2006.

West Ham wanted to ensure their ground was known by its proper name during their final season there, and most media organisations have beem referring to it as the Boleyn Ground instead of its informal name, Upton Park, this season.

Once West Ham depart for good, the site will be redeveloped, with more than 800 new homes planned for where the stadium now stands.

There will be reminders of the development's past and the new owners have pledged to maintain and expand the memorial garden at the ground, which will be named after Sir Bobby Moore, England's captain when they won the World Cup in 1966.

There will also be reminders of the Upton Park era at West Ham's new home in Stratford, in the east of London. The Lyall Gates, named after the club's most successful manager, John Lyall, have already been dismantled and will be erected at the Olympic Stadium.

Late last year, there were plans to move the iconic 16ft bronze statue of West Ham's three 1966 World Cup winners - Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, together with Ray Wilson of Everton - to Stratford, to maintain the club's links with its past, reported the Newham Recorder.

However, the end of the Boleyn Ground also means the end of the infamous 'Chicken Run' - the nickname given to the ground's eastern stand, once home to some of football's most fervent fans. The original terrace was demolished in 1969 but even after being made an all-seater stand in the 1990s it still retained a mystique that will be hard to replicate at the Olympic Stadium.

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