West Ham Book Review: An emotional look at the Boleyn and the London Stadium

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 February 2017

Goodbye to Boleyn Book Cover

Goodbye to Boleyn Book Cover


Upton Park, Ken’s Cafe, the Newham Bookshop and finally saying goodbye

(L-R) Brian Dear, West Ham and Glyn James, Blackpool, jump for the ball (L-R) Brian Dear, West Ham and Glyn James, Blackpool, jump for the ball

‘Goodbye to Boleyn’ - Pete May (Published by Biteback) £12.99

When you leave one stadium to move to another, it is not just the football ground that is taken away from you.

There have been plenty of books on West Ham’s final season at Upton Park and the move to the London Stadium, but maybe none as poignant as Pete May’s ‘Goodbye to Boleyn’.

Ken's Cafe, Green Street Ken's Cafe, Green Street

Pete is a lifelong Hammer and it shows. This book details the matches at Upton Park in their final campaign, but they are interspersed with tales of his family, of the ups and downs of supporting the club and then of the move.

The book is also a homage to the famous Ken’s Cafe; the Newham Bookshop; as well as pubs like the Central and the Black Lion.

It is about the atmosphere of the area, the traditions, the crunch of peanut shells under your feet, the swearing, the characters on the terraces.

May gives us the history of his family’s association with the club.

Newham Bookshop on the Barking Road Newham Bookshop on the Barking Road

Movingly, he tells us about the first West Ham game his dad took him to back in 1970 and the last one he took his dad to before he died against Portsmouth in 2006.

He tells stories of bringing his two daughters to their first games and how he had to explain to them that the fans were singing ‘you dirty 
northern custards!

May tells us about the move and his impression of the new stadium – ‘going from Upton Park to the equivalent of a Billericay mansion’ he says.

He has found a replacement for Ken’s Cafe too, which does egg, chips and beans with bread and butter for £5.80!

Things change, but West Ham fans do not and this must-buy book for fans is the perfect example of that.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

Meetings with council and football club coming up for Supporters Club

Yesterday, 18:00

Forward reflects on his first goal for six weeks, his partnership with David Mooney and the penalty incident against Dagenham & Redbridge

Yesterday, 16:00

Dagenham & Redbridge defender Kevin Lokko praises his side’s second-half performance in their 1-0 defeat to rivals Leyton Orient.

Yesterday, 15:00

London Raiders forward Matt Turner pleased with the way his side bounced back with an 11-4 victory against Cardiff Fire this weekend.

Yesterday, 10:00

Dagenham & Redbridge John Still believes a slow first-half cost his side as they crashed out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 defeat to rivals Leyton Orient.

Yesterday, 07:30

The O’s kept their second consecutive clean sheet last night and ended their eight-match run without a win to reach the first round proper

Emirates FA Cup first round replay: Leyton Orient 1 (Bonne 23) Dagenham & Redbridge 0

Tue, 16:58

The latest news from the Hornchurch Supporters’ Association

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now