West Ham owners say final game at Upton Park is 'hard to imagine'

West Ham Upton Park

West Ham United's co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold say they find it hard to believe the club will play its last ever game at the Boleyn next year.

The Boleyn has been home to the Hammers since 1904 but will be bulldozed when the club leaves to take up residence in the 54,000-seater Olympic Stadium down the road in Stratford.

Some fans are not happy about the move and point to the rich history of the ground, which has been home to legends such as Bobby Moore over the years, as reason enough to stay put.

But owners Sullivan and Gold insisted the club must move in order to compete at the highest level and increase its revenue.

Nevertheless the duo, lifelong Hammers supporters themselves - Gold grew up on Green Street right outside the Boleyn - say they are finding the thought of leaving the famous stadium as difficult to comprehend as any fan.

In a joint statement on West Ham's official website the pair promised to do Upton Park justice with a fitting send off.

"Of course, we will say an emotional farewell to our home of more than a century," they said.

"It is hard to imagine that this time next year we will be approaching our final game in Upton Park.

"For our part, we plan to use the opportunity, when people around the world will be watching, to celebrate everything that is great about this club, its history, its fans and its future."

Many fans are also upset at the prospect of not physically owning their new home like they do the Boleyn. The club will be anchor tenants at the Olympic Stadium on a 99-year lease.

But according to the history books, West Ham actually rented their current ground from the Roman Catholic Church from around 1912. Green Street House, as it was called then, was known locally as Boleyn Castle because of its imposing nature and an association with Anne Boleyn, who is believed to have either stayed at or, as some believe, owned the house.

Today, to the chagrin of some Hammers fans, the ground is more commonly referred to as Upton Park, after the area in which it is located.

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