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2013-03-31T09:00:00 Updated 2015-02-19T01:01:43

Famous figures back stadium plans

A host of famous faces have given their backing to West Ham United's exciting plans for the Olympic Stadium.

The Hammers have been given the right to make the iconic venue their home from 2016 and figures from across the board - from cinema to sport - have responded enthusiastically.

Danny Boyle

Speaking to the Newham Recorder, film director Boyle said: "I'm personally delighted. I don't know anything about the finances and all that kind of stuff but I'm delighted a local football team have got it.

"Obviously, they'll lose something from moving from Upton Park because the atmosphere's so intense but so many football clubs do by having to upgrade their grounds.

"As I said, you can see in 50 years time the Olympic Stadium will be an extraordinary thing - maybe West Ham will win the league in 50 years time. Anything can happen!"


Sir Steve Redgrave

Speaking to The Mirror, five-time Olympic Gold Medalist Redgrave said: "I think it's a good situation that we've arrived at and I'm quite pleased. A multi-use stadium makes most sense.

"The key thing for me has always been that it remains an Olympic Stadium and retains the memories that were created last summer.

"When we talk about legacy we talk about inspiration and I know, from when I was growing up, how inspired I was by the likes of Daley Thompson, Seb Coe and Steve Ovett. Those memories are still very strong in my mind."

Daley Thompson

Speaking to The Sun, Olympic Decathlon Gold Medalist Thompson said: "The Olympic Stadium needs an anchor tenant. I don't have as strong a view as some people about whether there should be a track in there. I just think we have this awesome stadium and it should be used more than once or twice a year. I don't care who uses the stadium as long as it is used.

"I've been back to the Olympic Stadium in Sydney since their Games. It was quiet, very quiet. We all remember the days when it was absolutely packed in Sydney and although the park gets used with the swimming pool there it's a place that could easily have a lot more events. That's why our Olympic stadium should be used as much as it can be."

Daley Thompson

Sir Geoff Hurst

Speaking to, former Hammers striker Hurst said: "As a fan of the club it's fantastic. I'm excited and thrilled about coming to the Olympic Stadium

"The club has to move forward, we need a bigger ground, we need better facilities. The accessibility here at Stratford is second to none.

"It's a major step forward and to use an old expression it's a no brainer. As a fan I wholeheartedly support it.

"It's a similar situation to another ground i have an affiliation with in north London - Wembley. There were similar apprehensions there about not taking the Twin Towers down and so on. But here we are now seeing it how it is today.

"It'll happen much the same for West Ham. It's a magnificent stadium, a UEFA Category 4 stadium, and it's also going to be used for the community too.

Mark Hunter

Speaking to, Olympic rower Hunter said: "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."

Roberta Moore

Speaking to, Bobby Moore's daughter Roberta said: "I think Bobby was very proud of his country and he played for England and he would have loved the Olympics and the legacy that it has left.

"I think he would think it is a fantastic move. Upton Park is the spiritual home of West Ham, but life moves forward and I think it's a wonderful opportunity and I'm sure he would think it's an amazing opportunity as well. It's fantastic.

"If it means more people can get to see West Ham play, then much the better, so I'm sure he would love it."

Ian Wright

Speaking on talkSPORT, former Arsenal and Hammers striker Wright said: "In respect of West Ham and the stadium, as much as Upton Park has a brilliant atmosphere, great stuff, and has a really tight atmosphere and everything, I'm really pleased that West Ham are getting to go to the Olympic Stadium. They will have no problem filling that out every week.

"It's not a problem with West Ham to go there in terms of things like area - it's not like moving a franchise.

"I would have thought with the design and how they are going to do it, it will be fine. I don't think it will be a problem at all - absolutely not at all."

Ian Wright

John Motson

Speaking on the BBC's Football Focus programme, football commentator Motson said: "I've yet to know a club where the supporters, once they get into a new ground, still have regrets. They all say they're sad at losing their spiritual home, and so they should be. It happened at Derby with the Baseball Ground but talk to Derby fans now about Pride Park and how proud they are of that stadium.

"I think it will take a little bit of time to get used to, but this is the future isn't it?"

Tony Cottee

Speaking to, former Hammers striker Cottee said: "Our fans have always been vocal and the Boleyn Ground has rocked for years, but in the future I think we'll be looking and saying we can't wait to play at the Olympic Stadium because the atmosphere will be brilliant.

"We'll create the memories, and when the next generations come down and I'm a great-granddad, they'll only remember the Olympic Stadium. It's really exciting times for the club and I'm so pleased this day has arrived where we can now talk about it.

"As a footballer, with everything that's gone on during the Games - Usain Bolt and everything else, I'd love to play at the new stadium, I really would."

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