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World Cup Champions statue to stay in West Ham

4 July 2018 in Community neighbourhoods and Mayor and Sport and leisure
A bronze sculpture celebrating the part West Ham United players Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters played in England winning the 1966 football World Cup is to remain at the heart of the Upton Park community.
This evening, Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz and her Cabinet agreed to keep the council-owned Champions sculpture at its current location in Barking Road at the junction of Green Street. It rescinds a decision made by the previous council administration in 2015 to consider moving the sculpture to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as part of West Ham United’s move from the Boleyn Ground to the London Stadium.

The sculpture, which depicts Moore holding the Jules Rimet World Cup trophy while lifted on the shoulders of Hurst, Peters and Everton player Ray Wilson, was unveiled in 2003 by Prince Andrew. The Hammers had asked for it be relocated to their new home.

The report before Cabinet stated that the sculpture is “valued by the community as an integral part of Newham’s history”. The report added that residents had petitioned the council for it to remain. A group of residents attended the Cabinet meeting to explain why the sculpture should stay.

Mayor Fiaz said: “Residents, many of them West Ham United fans, have told me they want this popular and historic landmark at the heart of their community in Upton Park. They came together to make themselves heard and we have listened to them. I have been massively impressed with the community’s strength of feeling about this matter and I recognise people’s passion and determination.

“There is something profoundly important about local identity and how it is shaped. The sculpture has been instrumental in forging an identity not only at the Boleyn but across Newham and East London and amongst thousands and thousands of fans up and down the country. I will not allow this important moment in footballing history to be airbrushed from Upton Park. Not only does it commemorate England’s 1966 World Cup win, but it celebrates the Hammers long association with the area.

“We have never been under any obligation to move the sculpture following West Ham’s move to Stratford. We own it and we pay to look after it. Upton Park is still important to so many West Ham fans and so it should remain the rightful home of the Champions sculpture. Long may it continue to be so.”