London has many tourist attractions but football fans like to see the stadiums of the teams that play both the Premier League and the First Division. In London there are many elite football clubs that have stadiums with a lot of history in their stands.
One of those football temples in the British capital is Upton Park, home to West Ham United which is currently known as Boleyn Ground and which was inaugurated in 1904 while its current capacity exceeds 35,000 seats. However, everything seems to indicate that Upton Park will cease to be West Ham United’s fiefdom after the London Olympics, as the club plans to move to this stadium, with a capacity for 60,000 spectators.
Upton Park is in the East End, a London neighborhood whose highest standard and representative for football and sports is West Ham United. However, this neighborhood since the 1960s is very attached to certain youth cultures, such as mods, skinheads and punks, which have made West Ham and Upton Park icons.
Due to the Jamaican immigration that arrived in England after World War II and the independence of Jamaica, the East End was a focus where many of them landed. An area where the native sounds of Jamaica began to be heard and where various clubs proliferated that attracted mods, suedeheads, boot boys and first skinheads to the area.
This culture, which during the first part of the decade of the 70s was kept alive but anonymous, flourished from 1976 and 1977 with the rebirth of punk rock, the mod revival, the ska revival and, above all, the appearance of the street punk, a more political and social punk that attracted skinheads.
Part of the flagship bands of this new punk, also known as Oi !, such as Cockney Rejects or Cock Sparrer, especially the former, began to make public their sympathies for West Ham United and began to photograph themselves at the entrance gate to Upton Park. Cockney Rejects were especially active as fans of the ‘hammers’, even musically adapting some of the hymns that the Upton Park crowd chanted: “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”, whose video you can see below.
This trend began to be imitated by both British and foreign bands, and even these photographs were used to illustrate their records, turning West Ham United and Upton Park into street punk icons and reaching unsuspected corners of popularity for a club whose The greatest successes have been three English Cup trophies, the 1965 Recopa and the 1999 Intertoto Cup.
On the other side of the river, there is another neighborhood and team that also arouses the sympathy of many punks and skinheads: the Millwall, of which groups like Sham 69 or Last Resort are fans. However, this is another story with which we are sure we will give you long teeth.