West Ham United are in the process of revamping their famous Chadwell Heath training ground.
Chadwell Heath is synonymous with he Hammers’ rich history. So much so many fans were disappointed when the club left for a new facility at Rush Green.
Fittingly, though, it was retained as the club’s Academy base. And the Academy is the true heart of West Ham.
Owners David Sullivan and David Gold sanctioned a £4million overhaul of the facility. Chadwell Heath has been graced by a plethora of talent over the generations. From World Cup winning trio Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters to the likes of Sir Trevor Brooking, Billy Bonds, Tony Cottee, Julian Dicks and Paolo Di Canio.
It has also launched the careers of countless other stars. Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Jermain Defoe, Glen Johnson, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and John Terry to name but a few.
‘Cutting-edge facilities and retaining our heritage’
The club’s official website posted an update on the work being undertaken to revamp Chadwell Heath this week.
“Work is well underway on a two-phase programme. That has seen the upgrade of an enhanced indoor pitch, followed by a completely new interior construction containing state-of-the-art medical, fitness, analysis and education facilities, along with a parents and coaches viewing gallery offering unrestricted views to the playing arena,” the club site states.
“(The works are) due for completion in March. the renovation will ensure that West Ham United remains at the forefront of young player development as an elite Category One Academy offering cutting-edge facilities and an environment of excellence and care to young players and their families, while still retaining its unique heritage as the venue where England’s 1966 World Cup winners Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters began their development, followed by countless other homegrown Hammers stars.”
‘Can you make that happen for me please’
Legend Cottee scored 146 goals in 336 games for West Ham over two spells. And he was given a tour of Chadwell Heath to see the works in progress.
And he took the opportunity to plead with the club’s owners to ensure a huge picture of Bobby Moore takes pride of place on the main wall.
“The youngsters that arrive when this facility is completed are going to have so much more than what I had,” Cottee told WHUTV.
“It was very, very basic you know, we didn’t complain, it was what it was, you’re talking the early 80s and there wasn’t things available then that there is now. Once this is complete it is going to be a fantastic facility.
‘The legend, the man, the captain’
“I personally think it would be lovely to have a huge picture of Bobby Moore here (on the wall as you climb the first floor staircase).
“The legend, the man, the captain and for all that he did for West Ham and for England. You look at these stairs now where the parents are going to come in and the players, and as you come in you turn and there’s just this nice picture of Bobby Moore – can you make that happen for me please (West Ham).
“There’s been so many fantastic players but for me it would be lovely to see Bobby up there.”
What a great idea and what an inspiration for any players coming through the famed academy.
Let’s hope Sullivan and Gold are listening.