To understand today's West Ham United, one must go back to the club's roots, deep in East London. Here, in the Upton Park neighbourhood, was the Boleyn Ground, often referred to simply by the namesake of the neighbourhood for more than 110 years. Not the best area of London, but therefore exemplary for the working class image of West Ham United. A beloved stadium for West Ham United fans, away supporters and football tourists. In short, anyone who had ever been there.
Sadly, the stadium on Green Street, which closed in 2016, is now gone, but the neighbourhood around it is still bursting with references to West Ham and is still the pride of the neighbourhood. Shops and cafes often still have the club colours.
Right next to the stadium, in an alley between Barking Road and Castle Street, a simple graffiti tag appeared just before the demolition. A claret background with a blue, hastily sprayed text: Long live the Boleyn. The Boleyn Ground disappeared, the tag is still there, as a marker of what this place still means to West Ham fans.