RTG’s totally and utterly (we hope) indispensable guide to this season’s away grounds.
THE OPPO – West Ham aka The Hammers
DATE – Saturday 13 December
KO TIME – 3pm
The Boleyn Ground is in east London, just off the A124 Barking Road and close to Plaistow and Newham. The main A13 which connects with the M25 in the east and A40 towards north and west London is only a couple of miles away.
Up to 3,600 away supporters are accommodated in the lower tier of the north stand (also known as the Centenary Stand). There are spaces for only a handful of disabled supporters though, so contact WHUFC if you need to reserve one of these spaces.
Tickets for this fixture are now SOLD OUT.
GOING BY CAR?
· Travelling from the north east, get yourself onto the A1/A1M southbound; stay on the A1 until you’re in Cambridgeshire –junction 14 to be precise, just past Peterborough. At junction 14, take the left hand lane and go onto the A14 signposted ‘London E, M11, Cambridge’.
Stay on the A14 for just over 15 miles until you see signs for jcn 31 onto the M11. Take the right hand lane onto the M11, signposted London.
Where the M11 runs out, go straight ahead onto the A406
4 miles later turn left (signposted East Ham) and at the roundabout take the third exit onto the A124.
Half a mile later at East Ham town hall there are traffic lights – go straight ahead signposted Plaistow then at the next traffic lights go straight ahead again.
Half a mile later – you’re there!
Parking is apparently very difficult in the surrounding area; we’re told that restrictions are commonplace and are rigorously enforced so watch where you park or you’ll come away with a souvenir parking ticket.
GOING BY TRAIN?
From the north-east, the major part of your journey will be on the east coast main line from Newcastle to London Kings Cross; the 8.57am GNER service gets you into Kings Cross at 12.10pm or the 9.30am gets you there at 12.33pm – then by the time you get a tube across London to West Ham, you’ll have time for a swift half before the match.
Coming back, the 6.35pm GNER from Kings Cross will have you back in Skunk Central for 9.40pm, the 7pm will get you back for 10.15pm or the 7.30pm will get you back for 10.41pm.
Alternatively ALS are running their usual coach service – click here for details.
You could stay at the ground itself – they have hotel rooms in one of the stands now and the rooms double as executive boxes on matchdays: Call the West Ham United Quality Hotel on 020 8586 8200.
Ibis Stratford, Romford Road – tel 020 8536 3700
Viking Motel, Romford Road – tel 020 8534 7861
Park Hotel (Stratford), 81 Portway – tel 020 8257 9034
SCRAN AND BOOZE
RTG moderator Alien says if you get off the tube at Plaistow it’s a 20 minute walk to the ground but you’ll pass the Coach & Horses – a small place but friendly. If you have a CIU card then as you exit the away stand, there’s a WMC up the road opposite and to the right then off to the left.
Our away reports-meister Herts says for this match he drinks in the Denmark Arms (the big one on the junction of Barking Rd and High St North).
But a London-based Burnley fan says you can also try places within easy travelling distance. You could try getting off the tube at Mile End and going to the Coburn Arms or at Bethnal Green you can try the Approach Tavern. If you get off the tube at Barking there’s a Wetherspoons by the station called the Barking Dog and close by on Church Road, The Britannia.
LEND US A FIVER I’M OUT OF CASH
There’ll be cash machines at Kings Cross station – or if you wait till you get to the ground Barclays have 2 ATMs at their branch on Barking Road, very close to the ground itself. There’s another at Pals Convenience Stores on Barking Road and another at the Boleyn Off License, a couple of doors down from Pals. There’s an HSBC machine on Green Street (half a mile away) and also a Nationwide Building Society machine close to that.
IN THE NEWS
They’ve got Smoggie defender Robbie Stockdale on loan until the end of December.
A consortium of Hammers’ shareholders has launched a bid to take over the club and want to see Chairman Terence Brown out of a job. They say they’ll stage a protest at every home game until Brown goes, and they want to see £20m of new shares in the club issued with £10m of that earmarked for transfers to strengthen the squad.
They’ve just signed Marlon Harewood from Nottingham Forest for £0.5m but say it doesn’t automatically mean Jermaine Defoe is on his way.
They signed some mercenary Mag barsteward from us a couple of years ago. Name escapes me.
Finished 18th out of 20 in the Premiership with 42 points – relegated.
Currently 8th of 24:
P21 W8 D10 L3 F28 A17 Pts 34 GD 11
P10 W4 D5 L1 F17 A9 Pts 17 GD 8
HEAD TO HEAD
We’ve played the Hammers 58 times in the League: we’ve won 23, they’ve won 19 and we’ve drawn 16.
LAST 6 MEETINGS
22/03/03 Hammers 2, Sunderland 0 (Premiership)
19/10/02 Sunderland 0, Hammers 1 (Premiership)
20/04/02 Hammers 3, Sunderland 0 (Premiership)
01/12/01 Sunderland 1, Hammers 0 (Phillips 85) (Premiership)
17/02/01 Sunderland 0, Hammers 1 (FAC 5th Rnd)
13/01/01 Hammers 0, Sunderland 2 (Varga 22, Hutchison 68)
– Best league win: 8-0 vs Sunderland in1968.
– Worst league defeat: 2-8 vs Blackburn in 1963.
– Record transfer fee received: £18m from Leeds for Rio Ferdinand (Nov 2000)
– Record transfer fee paid: £5.5m to Fiorentina for Tomas Repka (Sept 2001)
Credits WHUFC, Alien, ‘Herts’, Link, Streetmap, Rough Guide to English Football, Football Ground Guide, Soccerbase, London Clarets, The AA, BBC, National Rail.