Former West Ham boss Alan Pardew bids emotional farewell to his old stomping ground Upton Park

Alan Pardew

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew gets emotional after a final visit to his old stomping ground with West Ham United at Upton Park.

The Hammers and Pardew's Eagles played out an entertaining 2-2 draw on Saturday to lift the pressure on Palace and dent West Ham's Champions Leagues hopes.

The bigger picture will probably see Palace comfortably safe in the Premier League while under Slaven Bilic West Ham are enjoying one of their best ever sides and could yet seal a trip to Wembley in the FA Cup.

With each passing fixture the number of matches remaining at West Ham's beloved Boleyn Ground home of 112 years if brought ever more sharply into focus.

Just five games remain at Upton Park where Pardew spent three years as a manager between 2003 and 2006.

Sadness at goodbye

And as he left a ground which holds so many memories for him for one last time he was sure to leave a touching message behind on the club's Farewell Boleyn wall.

Pardew wrote: "I will miss this fantastic stadium (sad face). Love to all at the Hammers, Pards."

Pardew led the Hammers to promotion from the Championship at the second attempt in 2005 with victory over Preston North End at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Ironically a year before that the Hammers lost the play-off final to his current side Palace.

Pardew holds West Ham dear

And he rode the crest of a wave after promotion as West Ham secured a top half finish and made it to that epic FA Cup final against Liverpool which they lost on penalties after being held to a 3-3 draw at the death by Steven Gerrard.

Pardew clearly still holds West Ham close to his heart as he also talked about the club's famous play-off semi-final win over Ipswich at Upton Park being his favourite match at the stadium.

The Boleyn Ground will be pulled down as the Hammers depart for their new 60,000 seater Olympic Stadium home in Stratford this summer.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch