On This Day: A Royal seal of approval
West Ham United received a Royal seal of approval on this day in 2002 as Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II opened the new Dr Martens Stand at the Boleyn Ground.
Her Majesty was joined by Prince Philip as the £25 million, 15,000-capacity all-seater was officially opening with the unveiling of a plaque in the foyer as part of her four-day tour of London to mark her Golden Jubilee.
Then-Chairman Terence Brown welcomed the illustrious guests to Upton Park alongside representatives from the first team and Academy of Football, including manager Glenn Roeder and players Joe Cole and Jermain Defoe. The Royal party were then invited inside for a Golden Jubilee Luncheon with Hammers officials and representatives from the London Boroughs of Newham, Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Havering, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
The new Dr Martens Stand, which was sponsored by the well-known shoemakers, replaced the old West Stand, which had been built in 1925, and took the total capacity of the Boleyn Ground to 35,647 following the recently-completed construction of the North and South Stands.
The Club’s history was woven into the design with two turrets paying tribute to the ‘Boleyn Castle’, the name given to the former Green Street House, which stood on the site until it was demolished in 1955.
Alongside two tiers of seating, the new stand also included two tiers of executive boxes, which could be turned into hotel rooms on non-matchdays, offices, the Boardroom, dressing rooms, dugouts, media facilities and the club superstore.
At the time, it was the largest single football stand in London and its roof was clearly visible from the A13 Newham Way and A406 North Circular roads.
Later renamed for sponsors Alpari and Betway, the West Stand was demolished following West Ham United’s move to London Stadium in Stratford in 2016.