Sunday, September 1, 2013

1 September 1904 - The Change In Scenery Did Them Good

On 1 September 1904, West Ham opened their new Boleyn Groundbetter known as Upton Parkagainst a familiar opponent.

Formed in 1895 as Thames Ironworks, the club migrated around in their first couple of seasons, first playing at Hermit Road, then Browning Road before settling in at Plaistow's Memorial Grounds in 1897. But with a capacity of only 10,000, that was another temporary situation. The new ground, named Boleyn Ground after a nearby home rumored to have connections to Anne Boleyn, was located in London's Upton Park neighborhood, giving rise to the new stadium's popular name.

West Ham's first game there was against local rivals Millwall. The two teams had already met 23 times, with Millwall winning fourteen to West Ham's five. The visitors were also on a twelve-game unbeaten streak in the derby. But the change in scenery helped the Hammers, who opened the new stadium with a comfortable 3-0 win.

West Ham have remained there since, though they recently signed a lease to take over London's Olympic Stadium and expect to start playing there in the 2016-17 season.

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