West Ham United has been left deeply saddened by the passing of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the age of 99.
The husband of Queen Elizabeth II of 74 years, Prince Philip was by Her Majesty’s side to guide the United Kingdom through nearly seven decades following The Queen’s coronation in 1952.
On behalf of everyone at West Ham United, Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold expressed their sadness at Prince Philip’s death and sincere condolences to the Royal Family.
The Duke of Edinburgh's support for the people of east London for many decades was a source of inspiration and reassurance to so many
David Sullivan and David Gold
“Prince Philip has been a constant in the lives of tens of millions of us, including millions of West Ham United supporters, for nearly a century, and his passing is a truly sorrowful occasion for the whole country,” said Mr Sullivan and Mr Gold.
“His support for the people of east London for many decades was a source of inspiration and reassurance to so many, and whenever he and The Queen visited, you could be sure many thousands would line the streets to welcome them.
“That was particularly the case in 2002, when West Ham United was given the honour of a visit during Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee tour, which included the opening of the West Stand at the Boleyn Ground.
“With his Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young people and the many other initiatives he led, Prince Philip stood for the best of British. He will be hugely missed, and our thoughts on behalf of everyone at the Club are with The Queen and the Royal Family at this time.”
A keen sportsman himself who was President of the National Playing Fields Association for 64 years, Prince Philip visited east London on many occasions during his long life, joining Her Majesty at the opening of the West Stand at the Boleyn Ground to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee in May 2002.
Then, Prince Philip was given a traditional East End welcome by both the Club and thousands of local people of all ages and backgrounds, celebrating the diversity of the Hammers’ home London Borough of Newham.
Then-Chairman and current Life President 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 visit was far from the only time The Queen and Prince Philip travelled to east London in recent decades.
In 2010, The Duke of Edinburgh visited the Olympic Park to view the construction of the Olympic Stadium – now West Ham’s London Stadium home – and Aquatics Centre ahead of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Two years later, in July 2012, he returned with The Queen for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, during which the Royal couple witnessed Danny Boyle’s stunning show featuring the best of British.
In 2013, The Duke of Edinburgh, who served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and was later promoted to Commander, unveiled a plaque to inaugurate the SS Robin’s new permanent home in Royal Victoria Dock in Newham, just a mile from her original birthplace in 1890 at the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company – where West Ham United was also originally formed as a works football team in 1895.
Most recently, in 2017, thousands lined the streets as The Queen and Prince Philip visited Poplar to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the bombing of Upper North Street School during the First World War.
Everyone at West Ham United has been left saddened by Prince Philip’s passing and would like to express sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family at this time.