RESIDENTS of a London suburb say that their neighbourhood was "killed" when the local football club left.
The people of Plaistow in Newham, East London, once saw bustling trade as thousands of fans descended on the stadium for match days.
However, since major club West Ham moved from their home at Upton Park to London Stadium nearly four miles away, the high street has been hit hard as demand dried up.
The multicultural independent shops that were once the beating heart of the tight-knit community have been ravaged by the move and the effects of the pandemic.
Mo and Fatima, who run The Greengate Cafe, which has been open for 18 years, explained the biggest, and perhaps worst, change they've had to make.
They said: "It used to be a pie and mash shop. But when West Ham moved the pie and mash went completely.
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"We went from a game day, serving 2,000 to 3,000 pies – and then gone."
Now, their menu is radically different, with iced coffees and vegan breakfasts on offer as they try to draw in customers from the East End's younger, trendier demographics.
Fatima added: "The fans brought atmosphere to the area, singing.
"Sometimes it kicked off and the police came, but it was all keeping the area alive.
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"Now they have killed it."
The couple explained: "All along the main road, most of the shops are closed.
"I know the club needed to get bigger but all the businesses here have had to close."
Despite having to change with times, they were happy to say they do occasionally still sell a crusted slice or two to old customers.
West Ham relocated from Upton Park, which had been their home since 1904, to the much larger London Stadium in 2016.
Further up the road Lucky Miah, who runs the Newham Welfare Trust Charity Shop, said he hasn't noticed the drop-off as he only arrived in the area after the club left.
However, he is certain the community will find a way to pull through.
He said: "It's very multicultural, the neighbours are great.
"I try to help in the community as much as I can."
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