West Ham United legend David ‘Psycho’ Cross has lifted the lid on what he had to do when he walked past where Upton Park used to stand.
West Ham fans miss Upton Park more than many of them ever imagined they would.
The Hammers left their beloved home of 112 years for the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
And West Ham supporters simply haven’t taken to their new home. West Ham have moved to try and improve the matchday experience over the last two seasons.
West Ham fans pine for Upton Park
As part of that the stands behind the goal have been squared off in preparation for when fans can eventually return to matches.
But it cuts little ice with supporters, many of whom feel they were taken to the new ground on false pretences.
‘Sold a dream, given a nightmare’ and ‘Lies, lies, lies’ are just two of the catchlines emblazoned on protest banners sported by angry supporters.
And the stadium move sits at the very heart of the festering resentment between the fanbase and co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold and their vice-chairman Karren Brady.
Many fans and pundits feel the move – and the fact the London Stadium is not designed for football – has played its part in destroying West Ham’s soul.
Upton Park was razed to the ground to make way for flats as part of West Ham’s move to Stratford.
Now former Hammers striker David Cross, who scored 78 goals for the club and was part of the 1980 FA Cup winning squad, says he had to close his eyes when he walked past where the famous ground used to stand.
‘Had to shut my eyes as I walked past with a lump in my throat’
“If it’s any consolation (to West Ham fans), I walked from Upton Park Station to an event at East Ham Working Men’s Club two years ago,” Cross told West Ham fans on Twitter.
“I had to shut my eyes as I walked past the ground with a lump in my throat.
“I only opened them again when I knew I was past The Boleyn. I think it’s normal for any West Ham person.”
If it’s any consolation, I walked from Upton Park Station to an event at East Ham WMC 2 years ago. I had to shut my eyes as I walked past the ground with a lump in my throat. I only opened them again when I knew I was past The Boleyn. I think it’s normal for any @WestHam person. https://t.co/4ZvKkQsXdb
— David Cross (@DCross_psycho9) October 23, 2020
Earlier this year, another Hammers legend Paolo Di Canio visited his old stomping ground to film a segment on Sky Sports Italia.
Di Canio visits Upton Park as it is now – blocks of flats – and is visibly emotional at what he finds.
‘The home I adored is gone’
“Behind me there are buildings,” Di Canio said on Sky Sports Italia.
“Once upon time, there was my home, now it’s someone else’s home, sadly. I have to admit that from that May 10th 2016, I’ve never been back here anymore, since today.
“After that night (the final game at Upton Park), seeing the people, old men and ladies, families, kids crying, I thought they (the owners) could rethink it (the stadium move).
“I was hoping for it at least. But I know too, that the home that I adored and make me felt in a family, now is gone.”
Long live the Boleyn.