Farewell Boleyn - From the Terraces

Lifelong fan Jimmy Lindsay will never forget his first trip to the Boleyn Ground and a meeting with Ron Greenwood

There are not many fans who end up in the manager's office on their first visit to see West Ham in action but Jimmy Lindsay had a debut trip to the Boleyn Ground that he will never forget.

Lindsay has been following the Hammers for the last 46 years and will be full of emotions as the Club prepare to play their final ever game against Manchester United on Tuesday night.

I will always remember my first game at the Boleyn Ground when the Hammers played a friendly against Slovan Bratislava back in February 1970.

I was only 12 at the time and went with my friend Kevin Gray who was 13. We were chauffeured by Kevin’s mum.

When we arrived we were in the old West Stand, and were duly ushered down to the front (as was the way in those days).

We had arranged to meet Kevin’s mum at half time at the top of the steps, for tea and cake.

The half time whistle was promptly blown, and off we went in search of Kevin’s mum to tell her all about the game so far. Not that she would have been remotely interested!

After what seemed an age she did not show at the steps, so we extended our search criteria, to no avail. By this time the teams were coming back out for the second half.

It would seem that our wandering aimlessly, had been spotted by two local policeman. “Are you lost?” they said. We recounted out conversation with Kevin’s mum. “You better come with us” they said.

We followed them into the ‘players lounge’. “Wait here until someone comes for you”.

If I recall, there was a lift in the vicinity of where we were, and people were coming and going frequently.

Being young and nosey we started to explore the immediate vicinity and we managed to get a great view of the remainder of the game.

At full time the score was 1-1 and Clyde Best scored. We returned to the players lounge door with our programs in hand, and managed to get lots of autographs.

Sadly the one I can remember getting was Dave Sexton’s. Although Alf Ramsey was also there.

After a while all the activity died down. We were then waiting to be collected by Kevin’s mum. We were not expecting a warm reunion!

A guy then appeared “come with me” he said. We drew a deep breath and followed him. He opened a door, “in you go”.

Well would you believe it. There sat in front of us was Ron Greenwood in his magnificent office with all the banners and cups behind him, along with Kevin’s mum.

“What have you two been up to?” He then proceeded to give us a right rollicking, that’s before Kevin’s mum joined in.

We shook his hand, promised to behave and returned home.

Sadly I only have a replica program to remind me of that day. This was given to me by Kevin Gray, one day, when he was a guest on my sport’s show on a local radio station in 2011.

Memories that will never be forgotten.