West Ham recently confirmed that planning permission has been granted to increase the matchday capacity at London Stadium to 62,500 – giving another 2,500 Hammers fans the opportunity to watch David Moyes’ team continue to evolve and impress.
And in a recent interview with Blowing Bubbles, co-chairman David Gold told us this was another positive step for the Club. ‘Since the return of fans this season, the demand for tickets has been tremendous. We have sold out every Premier League fixture, and we also sold out a Carabao Cup tie against Manchester City on a Wednesday night, which really does illustrate the loyalty and depth of our fanbase.
‘For many years we’ve been behind Chelsea, Spurs, and Arsenal and now we are no longer the Cinderella at the bottom of that group. Last year we finished above Spurs and Arsenal and Chelsea only snuck ahead of us towards the end of the season but we challenged them on a weekly basis and it was wonderful. This is what I’ve been hoping for since 2010.
‘We’ve also made a lot of positive steps to improve the overall experience at London Stadium, including the naming of the Billy Bonds stand, reconfiguring the lower tiers behind the goals, and now unveiling the new statue of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, which has had a fantastic response.
‘As some people may know, the original plan was to bring the 1966 World Cup statue over to London Stadium, which would have meant purely an England context to it, with Ray Wilson included. Once that was no longer an option, we immediately commissioned a new statue – and it gave us an opportunity to bring a West Ham United theme into the design.
‘The overwhelming view from our fans was that it still had to be Moore, Hurst and Peters – the three players from our Academy who reached the absolute pinnacle of the game, and stand unrivalled in that sense. But the fact that we have also been able to honour their finest victory with their West Ham team-mates – the 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup final – is a wonderful thing.
‘It was fantastic to be at the unveiling ceremony with some of those guys – Sir Geoff, Brian Dear, Ronnie Boyce, Ken Brown, Jack Burkett, and the families of Ron Greenwood, Alan Sealey, Martin Peters and Bobby Moore. It was a very proud day for the Club and I think you can see from the reaction how much it means to everyone.
‘Now we have a permanent and glorious reminder of the greatest period in our history, there for future generations of supporters to cherish, and future generations of players to be inspired by.’
Read the full interview with David Gold in our latest issue