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It was all over bar the closing ceremony, and a musical farewell from the Cockney Rejects, blasting out I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles
Reading the next day’s media coverage of the occasion, the headlines focussed on the pre-match crowd trouble: United hit by West Ham ambush (The Times), Upton Park shamed by ugly farewell (The Daily Telegraph).
The post-match recriminations had Manchester United’s manager, Louis van Gaal, claiming that the attack on Manchester United’s team bus played a part in their 3-2 defeat, and West Ham suggesting that the Manchester United team bus could have arrived earlier at the ground.
The game was always going to be a sell out as the Evening Standard reported black market tickets trading at £2,000. Add the ticketless fans milling around outside the stadium to the 35,000 inside, probably gave a total of closer to 45,000 West Ham fans celebrating the finale.
West Ham United 1 – 0 Manchester United
Manuel Lanzini got in down the away side’s right and cut the ball back for Sakho to hit left-footed first time. His shot clipped Daley Blind which took the ball just beyond the reach of David De Gea’s right glove and snugly into the corner of the goal.
(The Daily Telegraph)
West Ham United 1 – 1 Manchester United
De Gea launched a long move and Marcus Rashford carried it on before Juan Mata took over. Mata spirited the ball inside to Martial, who equalised from close range.
West Ham United 1 – 2 Manchester United
Ander Herrera won the ball off Mark Noble, Wayne Rooney took play on, releasing Rashford. The 19-year-old picked out Martial, who swept the ball into the net as Darren Randolph had stepped out, anticipating a cross.
West Ham United 2 – 2 Manchester United
Within four minutes, Antonio had equalised with a powerful header, this time when Payet recycled a free-kick of his that struck the wall and crossed to the back post.
(The Daily Telegraph)
West Ham United 3 – 2 Manchester United
It was another Payet free-kick that Reid headed in from close range
to win the match.
The 2,398th and final game at the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday May 10, 2016 against Manchester United slipped into history and found its place in West Ham United’s folklore.
Long Live The Boleyn
Reflecting on the last match, it was not so much another fixture as a momentous occasion in the ground's 112 year history with so many typical West Ham ingredients. Some to be proud of and some not to be.
The 90 minutes were memorable and a fitting tribute as the curtain fell on the Upton Park stage. But the pre-match events off the field went a long way to overshadow the actual game.
In hindsight it was almost inevitable that a game against northern rivals, Manchester United, could not pass without significant incidents. The crowd boosted by up to 10,000 ticketless fans created a cocktail of chaos. The party started early afternoon as fans gathered to be part of the historic farewell celebrations.
As afternoon gave way to evening the sheer number of supporters who had gathered in the streets around the ground was overwhelming, none-more-so than in Green Street. For reasons unknown, the opening of the Upton Park turnstiles were delayed and with the massed crowds growing by the minute it was inevitable they would spill into the surrounding roads.
The Green Street / Barking Road junction, by now closed off, was a sea of claret and blue as the police struggled to keep the fans and traffic moving.
The Manchester United coach was brought to a standstill when it reached the gridlocked junction, and was greeted by a hail of bottles and cans. Smashed windows and players sheltering under seats were not ideal match preparations for the Red Devils, and their late arrival resulted in the kick-off being delayed by 45 minutes.
When the 2015-16 Premier League fixture list was announced, the last visitors to the Boleyn Ground were scheduled to be Swansea City.
Memories of 1923, as a mounted police officer on a white horse tries to clear a path for the Manchester United coach through the massed crowds
Upton Park Swansong
Fairy Tale Ending
For the vast majority of the passionate claret and blue fans it was a fantastic evening. The capacity 34,602 crowd savoured a keenly fought 90 minutes as both sides needed a win.
Manchester United were aiming for a top four Premier League placing and automatic qualification to the financial life blood of the Champions League. For West Ham United the sights were slightly lower at attaining fifth place and automatic qualification to the Europa League.
Typical of the Hammers this Premier League match lived up to a roller coaster of highs and lows. The highs started with West Ham taking an early lead, the lows took in falling behind, and a final high with an 81st minute winner. The see-saw game ended in a 3-2 triumph for the Hammers.
To wrap the evening up, the final whistle triggered a closing ceremony to bring the curtains down on the Boleyn Ground. After a 112 year tenure in Green Street, West Ham United were now moving to Stratford’s Olympic Stadium.
With over 300 former players invited to attend this last game the evening started as a West Ham United Who’s Who.
Autograph hunters were in heaven spotting ex-players making their way through the crowd to the entrance of the West Stand.
Has there ever been a better occasion to obtain so many claret and blue autographs spanning so many decades in the space of 120 minutes?
Tuesday May 10, 2016 - How the Day Unfolded
The Boleyn Public House
Large number of fans start to congregate by The Boleyn pub on the corner of Green Street.
The junction of Green Street and Barking Road became gridlocked hours before kick-off.
With a capacity 36,042 in attendance, police, West Ham United and Newham council failed to anticipate an estimated 10,000 ticketless fans would arrive outside the Boleyn Ground to join in the farewell celebrations.
Manchester United team coach sets out from their Canary Wharf hotel on the 3.7 mile journey to the Boleyn Ground.
Manchester United team coach gets to within 200 metres of the Boleyn Ground. And slowly drives a further 100 metres to reach The Boleyn pub before the coach is unable to move. The coach remains stationary for around 40 minutes and is pelted with bottles, cans and drinks. The bus is dented and some windows smashed as many Manchester United players take cover on the floor of their coach. Jesse Lingard posts film of the players ducking for cover.
Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian
Photograph: Newham Recorder
First turnstiles opened
Manchester United request the kick-off to be delayed
Announcement that the kick-off will be delayed for 45 minutes to 8:30pm
Sponge man hosts ex-Hammers party
Former West Ham United physio Rob Jenkins hosts a farewell party at his Green Street practice opposite the Boleyn Ground.
Steve Marsh with Ade Coker
Manchester United coach finally crawls into the stadium’s car park
Farewell Match Kicks-off
West Ham United
Randolph, Antonio, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Kouyate, Sakho (Tomkins 84), Noble, Lanzini (Obiang 83),
Payet (Valencia 90+1), Carroll.
De Dea, Valencia (Januzaji 87), Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Mata, Schneiderlin (Carrick 46), Herrera (Lingard 83), Rooney, Martial, Rashford.
As West Ham United and Manchester United had both made good progress in the FA Cup competition it meant the January 2016 home fixture to Manchester United had to be postponed and moved to the very end of the season.
and goalkeepers Neil Finn and Craig Forrest
West Ham & Manchester United take to the field
Valencia & Lanzini challenge for possession
Half-time 1 - 0
Payet chased by Valencia
Sakho heads clear from Smalling
Aerial view of the last ever goal at the Boleyn
Upton Park erupts as Reid celebrates his winner
Tony Gale signs for the fans
Referee Mike Dean blows the final whistle on the Boleyn Ground's last fixture
Captain Mark Noble celebrates at full time
West Ham players salute the supporters
Boleyn Ground’s closing ceremony
The Manchester United players are held back until fans disperse and a replacement coach arrives.
Support material courtesy of Richard Miller
Match Action images Guardian Newspaper
Post Match Reporting
Pre-match betting coupon for a 3-2 West Ham win
The Morning After the Night Before