West Ham could have done without the madness outside Upton Park as they said goodbye to their famous East End home 

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As farewells go, it could have been cleaner. It could have done without the pre-match disorder in the streets. It could have done without the smoke bombs and the attack on the Manchester United team bus.

It could have done without the 45-minute delay which ensured the last night at Upton Park was a long one, and one destined to be consigned to history with a soundtrack of “We’re forever throwing bottles”.

More plastic bottles were launched at United’s goalkeeper David de Gea by fans behind his goal in the Bobby Moore Stand when Anthony Martial scored his first.

West Ham's last game at Upton Park was delayed  after Manchester United's team bus was attacked

West Ham’s last game at Upton Park was delayed after Manchester United’s team bus was attacked

West Ham supporters threw bottles and cans of beer at the United team coach ahead of the final game

West Ham supporters threw bottles and cans of beer at the United team coach ahead of the final game

Hammers supporters had joined the party well before the scheduled kick-off time of 7.45pm at Upton Park

Hammers supporters had joined the party well before the scheduled kick-off time of 7.45pm at Upton Park

And one moron felt the urge to invade the pitch and give De Gea the finger when Winston Reid headed in West Ham’s winner, the fifth goal of a breathless and chaotic game perfectly in tune with the occasion.

For this was an East End send-off with a thread of lawlessness running through and the FA may yet decide to add to the bill with a list of fines.

After the extended drumroll this farewell fixture, those who regularly worship in this corner of the football world never expected it to unfold without a hitch. That is not the West Ham way.

After the 3-2 victory over Manchester United it was time to remember why Upton Park is so special

After the 3-2 victory over Manchester United it was time to remember why Upton Park is so special

Fireworks and a laser show signalled the end of an era as West Ham prepare to move to the Olympic Stadium

Fireworks and a laser show signalled the end of an era as West Ham prepare to move to the Olympic Stadium

Not everything unravelled, it must be said. Inside the Boleyn Ground, they generated a raucous din in keeping with some of the most famous nights under the lights.

They sang Bubbles good and loud, there were touching moments from the past and they resisted the urge to invade the pitch at the final whistle.

The images from outside, however, will go around the world at a time when the club is flexing up for its new horizons.

Ninety minutes before the original kick-off time and bedlam in the streets. Traffic had ground to a halt on the Barking Road as supporters were jammed into the road outside the Boleyn Tavern at the junction with Green Street.

Not everything unravelled, though, and inside started to go to plan when West Ham took the lead early on 

Not everything unravelled, though, and inside started to go to plan when West Ham took the lead early on 

Winston Reid (right) secured the victory with ten minutes remaining when he headed past David de Gea

Winston Reid (right) secured the victory with ten minutes remaining when he headed past David de Gea

Some were scaling the Boys of ’66 statue to tie claret-and-blue scarves and flags to Bobby Moore. Others were hanging from the traffic lights, holding a can of lager aloft while their mates snapped the moment for posterity with a camera phone.

Those were the streets into which the Manchester United bus crawled, an easy target, attacked by glass bottles and other convenient missiles which smashed the darkened glass on the outside of the windows which had clearly failed in its attempts to protect their anonymity.

“Disappointing,” was how Wayne Rooney, the Manchester United captain, summed it up. “Not so nice,” said manager Louis van Gaal.

But don’t expect heads to roll, as they did on another infamous Boleyn farewell.

Manchester United keeper De Gea had a bottle thrown at him when Anthony Martial made it 1-1 on the night

Manchester United keeper De Gea had a bottle thrown at him when Anthony Martial made it 1-1 on the night

There was very little sympathy in evidence from the hosts. David Sullivan, West Ham’s co-chairman, thought the security forces who advised a delayed kick-off had been lenient and said the visitors ought to have given themselves more time.

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After all there was a party planned. “They should have been here at 4pm,” said Sullivan, who was concerned about the supporters who might have to miss out on the post-match show in order to dash for the last train home.

Nearly four hours before kick-off was probably pushing it but, quite clearly, plenty of those in claret and blue had started their farewell early. “Village idiots,” Graeme Souness called them on Sky Sports.

One corner near a row of lock-up garages, precisely where someone had taken the trouble to spray “LONG LIVE THE BOLEYN” in blue paint, had been turned into an impromptu toilet for those drinking on the impromptu terrace.

"LONG LIVE THE BOLEYN," was painted on a wall just outside the Upton Park stadium in blue paint 

“LONG LIVE THE BOLEYN,” was painted on a wall just outside the Upton Park stadium in blue paint 

West Ham captain Mark Noble was overcome by emotion following the full-time whistle on Tuesday evening

West Ham captain Mark Noble was overcome by emotion following the full-time whistle on Tuesday evening

It really did feel as if the clock had been turned back to the days when the fans galloped around in flared trousers and wore their hair like Andy Carroll, who pursued this retro vibe into the second-half with a slide tackle from the Seventies to cut down Daley Blind.

Queues for programmes were almost as long as the chain of hungry fans snaking from the doorway of Nathan’s, the eel ‘n’ pie emporium which, like so many other traders, is braced for the staggering loss of trade.

Match-days will be eerily humdrum next season. They will long for days when unruly masses drank outside and no-one could find a parking space.

Nathan's, the eel 'n' pie emporium, is a reminder of how traditional east London surrounds Upton Park

Nathan’s, the eel ‘n’ pie emporium, is a reminder of how traditional east London surrounds Upton Park

At four minutes to eight, United’s players were gently jeered out onto the pitch for the warm-up. Nothing too fierce. No bottles.

The homes fans were in position having pulled on the free tee-shirts given out in the hope it might deter them from dismantling the stadium on their way home.

The half-time dance routine performed by “Hammerhead”, the West Ham mascot, was a triumph.

Fans launched into an early chorus of Bubbles and actress Keira Knightley – the 21st century’s answer to Alf Garnett – appeared on the big screens to apologise for her absence.

The dance routine performed performed by "Hammerhead", the West Ham mascot, was a triumph

The dance routine performed performed by “Hammerhead”, the West Ham mascot, was a triumph

The mood focused when the brass band marched on to Colonel Bogey. At last focus was trained on the glistening green stage and phones were briefly returned to pockets as they played “Abide with Me” as a tribute to some favourite sons who had died, with applause for Ron Greenwood, a cheer for John Lyall and a roar for Bobby Moore.

On went the bubble machine and out came the teams to a montage in the East Stand to mark the dates 1904-2016.

Slaven Bilic’s team started like a side determined to erase the embarrassment of Saturday’s Swansea from the memories, then went behind.

At half-time a public address warned that the kiosks were out of food and drink. You would have thought they might have ordered more. After all, there was a party planned.

Some West Ham fans got on top of the Bobby Moore statue near the ground as they joined the celebrations

Some West Ham fans got on top of the Bobby Moore statue near the ground as they joined the celebrations

It was a night that had been earmarked as one where West Ham's famous ground could be celebrated

It was a night that had been earmarked as one where West Ham’s famous ground could be celebrated

Reid’s winner lifted the mood and launched into an extravagant after-match show.

Consider it all part of the cleansing process.

Things will feel very different when they reconvene a few miles down the road at Stratford in three months.

A different stadium, a difference badge, a different atmosphere and perhaps a different heart and soul. Perhaps a different club.

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