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In Review: Long Live The Boleyn


Filed: Thursday, 9th February 2017
By: Staff Writer

Freddie Bonfanti
20.00
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"I felt a strong sense of grief and loss: the only thing that crossed my mind was to grab my camera and start documenting..."

The title of Freddie Bonfanti's new book will, of course, be immediately identifiable to all West Ham United fans.

As famously daubed on a doorway close by the club's old Boleyn Ground, 'Long Live The Boleyn' is also the title of this pictorial meander through the club's final season at Green Street.

Between the first and last pages of Bonfanti's book, not a single word is written with the carefully-selected black and white images tasked with conveying the emotions of a quite extraordinary campaign - one which culminated in that memorable May win over Manchester United.

"A picture paints a thousand words", it is often said. And consequently LLTB is a wonderful trip through what could very well prove to be a final snapshot of the last vestiges of Cockney life - such is the rapidly changing face of the East End.

Whilst all the areas you'd expect to be covered in such a title (the stadium, pubs and pie and mash shops) are all recognised, what really stands out here is the people. The fans.

And the people, of course, are what really make a football club - something that Bonfanti, deliberately or otherwise, manages to successfully convey.

Whilst everything else associated with the club is transient - be it the owners, the players or even the ground itself - what remains are the fans, generations of them, thousands of whom are wonderfully represented in LLTB.

And for that reason, it's an unmissable 'read' for any West Ham fan looking for a lasting memory of a very special season.

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