Upton Park farewell tarnished as Manchester United team bus attacked


West Ham's final match at Upton Park took a sinister turn before kick-off as the windows of the Manchester United team bus were smashed by objects thrown from the crowd outside the stadium.

Kick-off for the match had to be delayed by 45 minutes and social media was awash with pictures and videos of the United bus, with the players and staff on board, crawling through the large crowds with its windows smashed in.

A large crowd turned up as Hammers fans looked to say farewell to the Boleyn Ground, which has been the club's home for more than a century, before they move to the Olympic Stadium next season.

But a sentimental evening turned sour with the scenes outside the stadium and, when United did safely get into the ground, captain Wayne Rooney suggested West Ham would be disappointed with the behaviour of the crowd.

"The coach got smashed up but we'll just have to go and prepare and get on with our job," he told Sky Sports 1.

"I'm sure West Ham will be disappointed with their fans. We know what we have to do, starting with tonight. West Ham are a good team."

Manchester United team bus
(Nick Potts/PA)

United manager Louis van Gaal said: "What do I have to tell? The images tell everything. I have seen also the police were taping.

"It is also a lot of emotions for people but for us it is the second time in London we have to start later. It is better than last time because we have received our preparation time.

"It is not the first time I have seen that. It is not so nice. The way we have been received is not the proper way of course. That makes all the influence on the players and that is a pity."

Police escort the Manchester United team coach to Upton Park
(Nick Potts/PA)

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan said both police and match officials had been "kind" to Manchester United by delaying the kick-off.

Sullivan seemed to blame United for not having arrived earlier, with the North West club having had a match at Tottenham earlier this season delayed after they got caught in traffic.

"Man United should have got here at 4pm," he said. "They know it's our last game. They had the same problem at Tottenham a few weeks ago. I think the police and officials have been kind. I'd make them kick off at 7.45pm if I was in charge."

The Manchester United coach arrives for the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park
(Simon Peach/PA)

He continued: "I'm gravely disappointed, more for our supporters. What people forget is they've got trains and buses to get home and we've got a wonderful, wonderful show after the game for them. Many just can't stay anymore."

Sullivan's comments were not well received on Twitter, and he also came in for criticism after he spoke to the BBC.