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The Spirit of Upton Park

Filed: Wednesday, 10th May 2017
By: Staff Writer

It's 12 months to the day that West Ham United played their final game at The Boleyn Ground...

The old man sat among the crowd
his scarf wrapped tightly like shroud
He never sang, he wasn't loud
but there he was, standing proud

Winter's wind and bitter cold
He didn't seem to care
He cursed the miss and cheered the save
and sang bubbles in the air....

West Ham scored and he smiled with pride
and then he sat and slowly cried...
I watched amazed my eyes a stare
I had to ask him, but did I dare?

I said " Please sir, tell me,
How long you been coming here?
"He looked at me and smiled and said
" Oh brother, many ,many a year...."

"I was there in twenty three
When we played at Wem-ber-ley
and even though we lost that day
It was an honour to watch my West Ham play....

...and I was there in sixty four
oh my word, Bobby Moore,
and there again in sixty five
never have I felt more alive...

To watch my Hammers win trophies new
my love for West Ham just grew and grew
I've missed no final and no home game
I am here always, to cheer their name

I was there in seventy five
as we won the Cup again
by now my bones were aged
and causing me some pain.....

But I was there in '80 you see
When we put the Gunners to bed
Trevor Brooking, 13th minute
with a goal scored from his head!!

I felt such overwhelming love
for this man of Claret & Blue,
he'd seen the greatest moments
and was West Ham through and through

He bid me a goodnight
as he slowly walked away
I sure hoped I would see him
again another day

And in the pub for post match drinks
I spoke of this great fan
The barman said " here, I know him
I know of that old man....

He was there at every Final,
every home game too
but sorry mate, you must be drunk
coz he couldn't have spoken to you...

You see, that's old Joe you speak of
and i'm sorry to have to say
Old Joe he died 30 years ago
in fact, 30 years today.....

"Now I know I did not imagine this
Had I really been with Joe?
He had passed away, this very day
thirty years ago......?

That old man has left with me
with his memories and his mark
I am very proud to have met
The Spirit of Upton Park.......

- The Padre

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