Mark Hunter MBE admitted to being 'blown away' by images of how the Olympic Stadium will look when West Ham United move in.

The Olympic rowing Gold medallist and lifelong Hammer could not contain a smile when he viewed artist's impressions of the iconic London 2012 venue, for which the club was named anchor tenant on Friday 22 March.

The Forest Gate-born athlete said the 'incredible' images would reassure supporters that the club's future lay in Stratford.

"It's been great to see the images of the Olympic Stadium - it's what we've all been waiting for, so to actually see them just sends shivers down your spine at just how incredible it is going to be and going to look when we do move there," said the 34-year-old, who won Gold in the Lightweight double sculls at Beijing 2008 and Silver in the same event at London 2012.

"The images certainly whet the appetite. As a fan, you always wonder what it is going to be like and if it is going to keep the feel like we have at Upton Park. You can see from the images that it is going to be West Ham all over so it's going to be our home ground and we should embrace that.

"People are scared of change but I think it's an exciting time ahead."

The images show the Olympic Stadium fully renovated as West Ham's new home, complete with a roof covering all of the 54,000 seats, Hammers branding inside and outside the ground and retractable seating that will bring supporters close to the action.

Situated just yards from Stratford railway station, with its mainline, London Underground and bus links to all over the South East, and the shopping and leisure facilities of Westfield Stratford City, Hunter also praised the accessibility of West Ham's new home.

"It's going to be our home and that's the most important thing about it. It is still the iconic Olympic venue but it's going to change dramatically with the seating being closer to the pitch and retractable for other events. Also, the roof looks incredible and I'm blown away by what I've seen.

"It will certainly be a lot easier to get to than Upton Park. It's going to be incredible. I just keep thinking back about how it was during the Olympics and that roof is going to be built now and it's going to be even louder.

"It's going to be even more iconic than Wembley in my eyes, with the West Ham branding around the outside, and I literally cannot wait to be there for the first kick-off, to be honest."

The two-time world champion attended athletics events at the Olympic Stadium during Team GB's outstanding London 2012 Games, and said he could not wait for Hammers supporters to re-create the same atmosphere when they move into their new home.

"The noise when the Olympics were on inside the stadium was electric, and if we can emulate half of that it's going to be louder than Upton Park.

"There are going to be more fans there and more opportunities for fans to be there - I just think the club is moving forward, this is an iconic place to be and there are great times ahead."

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