Farewell Boleyn – From the Terraces

Formed just last year, the San Diego Hammers are already making plenty of noise across Southern California
Formed just last year, the San Diego Hammers are making plenty of noise across Southern California. Co-founder Paul Marshall will be at the Boleyn Ground for the final time for the upcoming visit of Arsenal…
The San Diego Hammers were formed just last year in 2015. Up until then we were just an ad hoc group.

Chas Shick, who led the Maryland Hammers, moved to San Diego and met me at the Bluefoot Bar where I would watch West Ham with maybe one or two other supporters (at most), and talked to me about starting a group.

So a Facebook page was established and the word got out to the other football bars in the area that the Hammers fans meet at the Bluefoot Bar for every match.

We’re growing slowly but steadily as the word gets out.

As things stand, we have about a dozen members, mostly from San Diego but also a guy from east London comes down from Los Angeles with his wife every once in a while!

As I mentioned above, we are based at the Bluefoot Bar and Lounge in the North Park area of San Diego. Occasionally, we go to some of the other football bars in the area but that’s our home bar., as every West Ham match is televised there with sound.

We wish we could all afford to go across to watch matches live as often as possible! I will be making just my second visit for the Arsenal match on April 9.  I’m hoping we can do a group trip to the new Stadium someday, maybe for one of these international supporters’ events.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel over to a few home games, but my favourite was my first visit on 3 May 2003, when I was there for our 1-0 win over Chelsea when Paolo Di Canio came off the bench and scored a 72nd-minute goal to give us the victory.

I’d attended lots of US sporting events but never felt the sense of euphoria in the stands as that moment.
I spent time in the pubs outside the ground after the match, drinking beer with the Hammers faithful and that was it, I was a Hammer for life.

And in true West Ham fashion I suppose, we got relegated the following week! But I followed them in the Championship and through both promotions since that day.

I love Di Canio and he’s my all-time favourite player and I thank him for giving me my first great moment with the Club. It’s hard to choose anyone currently playing over the amazing Dimitri Payet, but this whole current club is full of favourites!

I will finish by reflecting on the Boleyn Ground and looking ahead to our summer move to the new Stadium.

For those who have never seen a match in Upton Park, it certainly feels like a missed opportunity because we love to see and feel the amazing crowd support from the TV when we watch our home matches, and hope that this will continue when we make the move to the new Stadium. Certainly a little bit will be lost as the Boleyn Ground is a unique and historic place.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily the views of West Ham United.