West Ham's Boleyn Ground legacy continues as car park turned into school playground

Jack Rosser

West Ham have extended their proud connection with Upton Park after Hammers legend Sir Trevor Brooking opened new recreational facilities in the shadow of the former Boleyn Ground.

The new sports and play area, built on the former site of the ground's car park which was gifted to St Edward’s Catholic Primary School in Green Street, was opened by Sir Trevor, Hammers Under-23s midfielder Noha Sylvestre and Ladies' vice-captain Amber Stobbs.

Speaking at the school, Sir Trevor said: “In the heart of East London, to get an area the size of this is fantastic and what they’ve put on it is amazing really. The only downside is that the kids won’t want to go to their lessons!

“The youngsters are going to have a lot of fun, it’s all in claret and blue and that link to the club is very strong. It’s important for those that have been here quite a while to retain that link with the club because we’re now only in striking distance of the old ground and the claret and blue at the school will make sure that there is a lasting legacy here.”

(Griffiths Photographers)

Headteacher at St Edward’s, Chris Mabey, praised the West Ham United Foundation’s involvement in the school, saying: “Having the Foundation in the school really motivates the students and they really look forward to having the coaches in the school.

“After years of wishing that we could have a playground like this, and when West Ham decided they’d be moving onto the London Stadium, we didn’t imagine anything on this scale. It has really transformed playtimes, PE and outdoor learning and the pupils’ whole school day.”

St Edward’s Catholic School, who were previously based on the site of the former ground, was relocated at West Ham’s expense in September 2000 to the present site in Green Street following the development of a new main stand at the Boleyn Ground in 2000.