Thursday 15 Oct
Updated Thursday 15 Oct 14:00
Farewell Boleyn

Boleyn Memories - Alan Pardew

West Ham United travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday, where they will come up against a man with fond memories of the Boleyn Ground.

Eagles manager Alan Pardew spent more than three seasons as Hammers boss between October 2003 and December 2006, leading the east London side through a largely successful period.

Under Pards, West Ham reached two Play-Off finals, gained promotion to the Premier League and reached the FA Cup final. During the same period, Pardew’s Hammers also produced some outstanding performances at the Club’s historic home.

Among them were an unforgettable Play-Off semi-final victory over Ipswich Town in 2004, and outstanding Premier League wins over Aston Villa, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur during the 2005/06 season.

Pardew’s passionate character also saw him become embroiled in a memorable touchline spat with Arsene Wenger during the 2-1 home win over Arsenal in November 2006.

The man himself told West Ham TV that the atmosphere at the Boleyn Ground was among the best he has experienced anywhere during his 30-year career in the game.

“Certainly, for me, the atmosphere on a number of occasions was unbelievable and the Ipswich one really was something special,” said Pardew. “I had a few here where the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and I’m sure you hear that many times in reference to this place. They are great memories and I’ll treasure them forever.

“You can’t help but get wrapped up in it sometimes and jumping in the crowd or whatever I was doing, dancing, it was all part of it.”

Pardew paid tribute to the Claret and Blue Army, whose vociferous support no doubt inspired him and his players to greater heights during his three years in charge.

Among those players were the likes of Teddy Sheringham, Yossi Benayoun, Bobby Zamora, Marlon Harewood and Tomas Repka, who all became firm favourites among the Boleyn Ground faithful.

“This is a great stage for players, it always has been,” he enthused. “There have been some greats here and I was lucky to manage one or two of them.

“I’ll always be indebted to the West Ham fans and whenever I see them they thank me for the cup run and I thank them for their support. It goes hand in hand.

“It is a special place. It’s special because the memories linger here and you’re constantly reminded, in a nice way, of the greats who have played here. For me, the memories are a bit more personal.”