John Lyall Gates will make Stratford move

The John Lyall Gates will be relocated to the new Stadium on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
West Ham United are delighted to announce that the John Lyall Gates that currently adorn the entrance to the Boleyn Ground will be relocated to the Club’s magnificent new Stadium on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

West Ham have consulted closely with supporters’ groups on the features of the Boleyn Ground that they are most keen to see taken with us to the Club’s new home, and the relocation of the John Lyall Gates was among the most popular requests. 

Announcing the news, Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said: 

“We have always said that the new Stadium should look and feel like the home of West Ham United, both inside and out. We have listened to the feedback from supporters that told us how important the John Lyall Gates were to them, so I am delighted that we will now be taking one of the most striking features of the Boleyn Ground with us.“ 

“A number of other iconic features will also make the journey with us to Stratford as we are committed to honouring our rich history and Club legends at our new home.”

The gates were originally constructed after West Ham used the £25,000 fee from the 1956 transfer of free-scoring winger Harry Hooper to buy the land that now makes up the main Boleyn Ground car park, with the new gates built at its entrance.

In December 2009, the gates were renamed in honour of John Lyall, the Hammers’ legendary manager who had died three years previously at the age of 66. 

After a playing career cruelly cut short by injury, John Lyall joined the Club’s coaching ranks in the 1960s under Ron Greenwood. He would go on to succeed his mentor as manager in 1974, leading the Hammers with distinction for some 15 years, always insisting that his teams played football in the ‘West Ham Way’.    
His widow, Yvonne, son Murray and grandchildren were joined at the renaming ceremony in 2009 by Tony Cottee, Tony Gale, Phil Parkes and Ray Stewart, who had played under John Lyall as he led West Ham to their highest ever top-flight finish in 1986. 

Murray Lyall says he is delighted with the decision to relocate the gates named in his father’s honour to West Ham’s new home:

“We’re honoured that Karren Brady has delivered on her promise to take the John Lyall Gates with us to the new Stadium,” he said. “That means so much to us as a family.“ 

“Dad left a great legacy at Upton Park and the gates were a testimony to that. I think he’d have been thrilled about the move.  

“He’d have said the timing was right and obviously since the new owners have come in, they’ve taken the Club forward on many, many fronts. The culmination of it is the move to the new Stadium.”

Over the last six decades, the gates have witnessed many scenes of jubilation among Hammers fans after West Ham’s home victories, but also moments of great sadness. After the passing of Bobby Moore in February 1993, they were decked in flowers and shirts left in tribute to West Ham’s favourite son and similar scenes followed the death of Dylan Tombides last April.

The John Lyall Gates are now set to take pride of place inside the dedicated Club Store at the south entrance to the new Stadium. They will stand as a lasting tribute to one of the Club’s greatest servants and most successful managers, who twice brought the FA Cup to West Ham in 1975 and 1980 and took us to our last European final in the 1976 Cup Winners’ Cup.

For Hammers fans, the opportunity to visit the John Lyall Gates before every home game will act both as a reminder of those glory days, and of the heritage that the Club is bringing from the Boleyn Ground to our new Stadium.

The Club also has plans in place to relocate the Champions Statue, the West Ham Pals Battalion Memorial Plaque, and the other commemorative bricks and plaques located outside our current home.