Our look at West Ham United history through letters takes us to U …
Matthew Upson was the last West Ham United player to wear the No.6 shirt before it was retired in memory of the late Bobby Moore in July 2008.
Left center-back Upson started his career with Luton Town before signing for Arsenal as a highly regarded teenager in May 1997 for an eye-catching £ 2million.
Upson’s opportunities at Highbury were limited and, having made just 57 appearances in five and a half seasons, he joined Birmingham City in 2003. There he enjoyed regular Premier League football for four years.
In January 2007, as West Ham struggled with relegation, Alan Curbishley signed Upson for £ 6million, only to have the defender injured in his debut and then again in his return leg, and misses the break-in which ended with a miraculous escape. of relegation.
However, Upson has enjoyed a relatively injury-free run over the last four seasons of his career at Claret and Blue, ending in relegation at the end of the 2010/11 campaign.
However, his form in previous seasons was good enough to deserve recognition from England and he won 14 of his 21 senior caps with the Hammers.
He also scored his two England goals as a West Ham player, both against Germany – the first in a friendly victory in Berlin in November 2008 and the second in the controversial knockout loss of the Round of 16. FIFA World Cup final in Bloemfontein, South Africa, June 2010.
After leaving West Ham, Upson spent a season with Stoke City in the Premier League before moving on to the league with Brighton & Hove Albion, where he won the Player of the Year award in 2013/14.
Spells with Leicester City and Milton Keynes Dons followed before Upton retired from the game in 2016. He is now a broadcast expert.
Upton Park is the name many people mistakenly give to the 112-year-old former home of West Ham United, the Boleyn Ground.
In fact, Upton Park was not the name of the stadium, but the area in which the Boleyn Ground was located and the London Underground station which served millions of supporters while the Hammers were based there.
The term “Upton Park” first applied to a subdivision east of West Ham Park which was developed in the 1870s and 1880s. The estate takes its name from the nearby village of Upton with the suffix “Park” added for marketing reasons.
As a result, the area surrounding the station became known as Upton Park rather than the term being limited to the original subdivision.
The estate developers also paid for the construction of a new station named after the estate, which opened in 1877, and was initially served by trains on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway (LTSR).
District line service to Upton Park began in 1902, when the line was extended from Whitechapel to Upminster, and the Hammersmith & City line (then called the Metropolitan Line) followed in 1936. Services LTSR were withdrawn in 1962, leaving Upton Park to be served only by underground trains.
On the road side, Upton Park’s main thoroughfare is bustling Green Street, which runs from Forest Gate in the north to Barking Road in the south.
The Boleyn Ground was located at its southern end, on the eastern side near the junction with Barking Road, on a plot of land that the Club had originally leased from the Catholic Church.
The site was also home to Green Street House, where King Henry VIII’s first wife, Anne Boleyn, is said to have lived as a young woman. The red brick building was nicknamed “Boleyn Castle” due to its design including a turret and the name was subsequently given to the football stadium which was developed nearby.
Boleyn Castle was demolished in 1955 after falling into disrepair, but it was then featured on the club’s official program and on player blazer badges.
In 1964, it was added to a special patch on player jerseys for the FA Cup final, and it reappeared on a similar patch for the European Cup Winners’ Cup final the following year.
In 1968 Boleyn Castle was added to the ridge full time and it remained there for 15 years before being removed in 1983. It was reestablished in 1985 and has remained part of the ridge in a variety of different designs until 2016, when the crest was replaced by a new modern design with the traditional Thames Ironworks Club cross rivet hammers.
Upton Park, and more specifically the junction of Barking Road, Green Street, Boundary Road and Central Park Road, is home to the sculpture The Champions (or The World Cup), which represents the three winners of the 1966 FIFA World Cup from West Ham, Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, as well as Ray Wilson of Everton celebrating and lifting the Jules Rimet Trophy at Wembley.
Now part of the London Borough of Newham, which is also home to the London Stadium, Upton Park was originally part of the counties of East Ham and West Ham.
After West Ham left the Boleyn Ground in 2016, the site was redeveloped into a new community of nearly 850 homes and other associated facilities called Upton Gardens. In recognition of the site’s heritage, the development streets have been Shipbuilding Way, Ironworks Way and Thunderer Way (HMS Thunderer was a battleship built by the Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding Company in 1911), while developer Barratt’s office is located at the Académie Loger.
Finally, Upton Park FC was a football club based in West Ham Park, but which had no connection with West Ham United. Although they did not enjoy much success in the Football League, Upton Park represented Great Britain at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, France, where they won the gold medal!
West Ham Park was also the site of the first-ever FA Cup goal, scored by Jarvis Kenrick for the Clapham Rovers in a 3-0 victory over Upton Park on November 11, 1871. The club closed in 1911.
Two Uruguayans played first-team football for the Hammers – Walter López and Diego Poyet.
López was an attacking left-back in the mold of Arthur Masuaku who had previously played in Argentina, Uruguay, Spain and Mexico before arriving at the Boleyn Ground in the summer of 2008, aged 22.
With new manager Gianfranco Zola at the helm, López struggled to find first-team opportunities after making his debut in a League Cup loss at Watford in September 2008. Herita Ilunga being preferred at full back left, he made five Premier League appearances before leaving after just one season.
López returned to Uruguay with Cerro before continuing his nomadic career with stays in Italy (twice), Romania, Uruguay (again) and Paraguay (twice) before returning to Italy for the third time in 2016. , when he joined Bénévent.
After stints with Ternana and Salernitana, now 36, López plays for Italian Serie C club Triestina, which he joined in February this year.
Poyet was born in the Spanish city of Zaragoza, where his footballer father Gus played, in April 1995.
A deep midfielder, Poyet moved to London with his family when Poyet joined Chelsea in 1997, then Tottenham Hotspur in 2001, and he began his own career with Charlton Athletic.
After winning the Player of the Year award with the South London club in 2013/14, despite only playing 23 times, Poyet crossed the Thames to join West Ham.
However, like López before him, he found football hard to find in Claret and Blue, and only made ten appearances in two and a half seasons, while also being on loan at Huddersfield Town, MK Dons – where he was a David Martin’s teammate – and back to Charlton.
Half of his ten appearances, and his best moment, came in the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds in the summer of 2015, when he pulled the winning penalty to claim a shootout victory over Birkirkara in Malta.
At the beginning of 2017, Poyet’s contract was terminated and he joined Argentinian club Godoy Cruz. Later that same year, he joined the Cypriot side of Pafos, where he made 26 appearances in the 2017/18 season – his last as a professional.
At just 26, Poyet retired as a professional at the age of 24 and is now on his father’s backstage staff at the Chilean club Universidad Católica.
West Ham has never faced a Uruguayan club, but they did face the Uruguayan national team!
The match was the Hammers’ fifth and final match at the Kirin Cup in Japan. Played in Nagoya on June 4 and forward Dave Swindlehurst scored the Irons goal in a 1-1 draw.
Despite the game held by West Ham, Uruguay advanced to the final, where they were beaten by Brazilian club Santos.
Thames Ironworks FC faced Uxbridge twice in Southern League Division Two during the 1898/99 season.
Founding members of the division in 1894, Uxbridge FC was originally founded 150 years ago in 1871, but closed its doors three years later. The club was reformed in 1879 and even produced two future English internationals and FA Cup winners – along with the Wanderers – with brothers Frank and Hubert Heron.
The first meeting with Thames Ironworks, who had joined the Southern League after being crowned London League champion in 1897/98, was played at Uxbridge on October 8, 1898. George Gresham was on track for the Ironworks, but it was the home team that came out on top, winning 2-1 in front of a crowd of 2,000.
Ironworks was luckier in the second leg, played at Memorial Grounds on February 18, 1899. Next, center forward Robert Henderson set a club record by becoming the first player to score four goals in a single game as the East London team ran out. 4-0 winners.
Despite this setback, Uxbridge reached the 1898 FA Amateur Cup final, where they lost to Middlesbrough at Crystal Palace.
Nicknamed “The Reds”, Uxbridge has since competed in a succession of different non-league divisions over the past 120 years and is now a member of the South Central Division of the Isthmian League. They are also four-time Middlesex Senior Cup winners.