Wednesday, January 6

Upton Park Memories

I'm enjoying reading Upton Park Memories, edited by Ex's Tony McDonald. This hardback coffee-table book is a brilliant compilation of memories by the fans, including a few contributions from myself and several other West Ham authors.

It's packed full of fascinating old photos; of the squad training on the flooded forecourt of the old East Stand, countless flat-capped geezers on a roofless North Bank, the old wooden Chicken Run, the bomb-damaged East Stand in WW2 and a "Greenwood Out — West Ham Holiday Camp" banner.

My favourite picture is of Harry Redknapp taking a corner in 1970 with all the fans clearly visible, clad in a mixture of Austin Powers shades and sensible jackets. There's a chapter on pre-match rituals with pictures of all our favourite pubs (and the Central).

Another chapter by the fans is on Upton Park characters, such as Monty who used to direct the traffic, those roasted peanut sellers, 'Lino' in the Chicken Run, Clicker Bacon, Mr Moon and many more. Plus memorable matches and goals and lots of full colour pictures of programmes, tickets and collectibles. Upton Park Memories is £25 from the Newham Bookshop on match days, or can be ordered from the Ex website or from Amazon. Well worth a nostalgic perusal.

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