Boris Johnson - West Ham have been brilliant

Mayor of London Boris Johnson paid tribute to the pivotal part West Ham United are playing in delivering the legacy promise of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Speaking at a special event at the former Olympic Stadium on Thursday night to mark ten years since London was awarded the Games in Singapore, the Mayor said the Hammers have become a key player in Europe’s biggest socio-economic regeneration project.

And while West Ham will have to wait until August to take up residence of their new home, the Mayor insists the ‘magic’ of the Stadium’s transformation is already there for all to see.

He exclusively told West Ham TV: “West Ham have been brilliant and they're an integral part of delivering a massive social and economic legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic Games here in east London.

“We're working with them on all sorts of projects for literacy, for helping young kids, apprenticeships in the neighbourhood and really driving aspiration in this part of London.

“It's changing so fast, you can see the magic happening already and so I want to thank Karren Brady and everybody at West Ham for their participation.”

“This is just the beginning. I think people will look back, everyone involved with West Ham, everyone who supports West Ham, I think they will be very proud, actually, that they are part of something that is the biggest economic social regeneration project anywhere in Europe.

“I think West Ham fans are part of something that is going to change the face of London, bring the two halves of London closer together. The East and West of London are converging in a way that we haven't seen for hundreds of years maybe.

“The biggest decision I had to make when I became Mayor was what are we going to do about this Stadium, because if you remember the plan was to have an athletics Stadium, take down the top tiers and have a 25,000-seater bowl, which basically would have been a dust bowl for most of the year, because not enough people go to watch athletics.

“Or to knock it down completely, which would have been a complete waste of about £400million or to spend some more money, £272million to be exact, on the biggest cantilevered roof anywhere in the world and to turn it into a truly world class Stadium.

The Mayor says he will be cheering on the Hammers when they play at the new Stadium next season and is looking forward to seeing a new chapter in the Club's history.

“I will be cheering West Ham in so far as it's good news for the Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Park, otherwise I levitate, I support all London teams.”