Bishop - The move has got to happen

Former West Ham captain Ian Bishop will never forget his memorable spell with the Hammers after he became a fans favourite during his eight-year spell in east London.

Bishop made 304 appearances and played his part in helping the Hammers gain promotion back into the Premier League.

As the Club prepare for a historic move this summer, Bishop says he will always remember the special atmosphere that was created by the West Ham fans inside the Boleyn Ground....

I was back at the Boleyn Ground for the final ever game against Manchester United and it was a night I will always remember.

It is obviously sad that we are having to leave the famous stadium and I bumped into some fans at Liverpool Street on the way to the game who said they didn't want to leave.

But the move has got to happen for the club to progress.

The atmosphere and the people that you have at the Boleyn Ground will never be forgotten.

Nobody liked coming here to play us and there was always that pressure. If you didn't perform they would let you know about it.

But when you get the fans on your side there is no better feeling.

I will never forget the famous old Chicken Run and the supporters who used to stand there.

The bad thing for me was having long hair and I was thinking anyone could have grabbed me if I was not having a good game!

Sometimes we would get a throw-in and I would pretend to do up my laces so I wouldn't have to take it! It was ferocious but that made for the atmosphere.

I don't remember losing many games under the lights and there is nowhere like West Ham under the lights.

I will never forget the FA Cup quarter final game against Everton and I was captain at the time.

There was also the second promotion year after I arrived here. We thought we had won the league, but finished second.

We had the champagne in the dressing room ready and to then go upstairs and see all the fans all over the pitch and around the stands -it was one of those moments where we did it for all those people.

We thought we had let them down but it wasn't the same on the pitch. To have that kind of following is incredible.

We are now preparing for a new era and things have to move on. We will always take these memories with us as we prepare for the move to the new Stadium.