Destroyed West Ham Stadium held 120,000 fans – but Hammers never played there | Football | Sport

West Ham United have played at some mammoth grounds over the years, though the football team never stepped foot in the aptly named West Ham Stadium. The arena was destroyed in 1972 whilst the Hammers were playing at the Boleyn Ground, just miles away from the more fittingly labelled stadium.

The West Ham Stadium opened in 1928 and was used for a plethora of sports, though greyhound racing and speedway predominantly filled the fixture lists at the ground. The stadium was a two-tier ground that could host over 120,000 spectators at one time, with 80,000 people capable of occupying the bottom stand alone.

The arena was one of the largest in England and enabled different sports to be played there, with the circumference of the track (562 yards) making it the ideal setting for different types of racing due to there being very little need for laps during certain events.

Greyhound racing began at the West Ham Stadium upon its opening and hosted a then-iconic race called the Cesarewitch, which became a Classic. Speedway would then make use of the circuit over the weekends, attracting significant crowds until the Second World War prevented sporting events from taking place.

The stadium survived the war and action soon resumed, with football returning to the stadium almost immediately. With West Ham playing elsewhere, a team named Thames Association FC was founded and originally used the ground as their home pitch – though they were unable to attract a significant fanbase due to how many other teams were in the local area.

They dissolved before the Second World War began and Aldershot took control of the stadium in 1933. Other sports also used the pitch scarcely, such as baseball, but the renovation of the local area meant that Newham Council sold the stadium for re-development in 1972, and it was soon knocked down due to the sheer size of the structure.

Related Articles

Back to top button