West Ham with all the ups and downs as a club, has recently pushed towards respectability in the Premiership. However, for all its worth, one must remember that the Hammer's best finish in the league was 5th in 1999. Their record is more, one of futility, than of success. And this by a wide margin. The Hammers were relegated in the 2003 season and were led back by Alan Pardew, in 2005 to a respectable 9th spot in the league. The Hammers last won the FA Cup in 1980.
However, there is one memory that Hammers can be justifiably proud of for all eternity and inextricably woven into England's finest moment as a sporting nation: The day England won the World Cup on 30th July, 1966. For the first time and never repeated hence, 40 years later.
That was the day Sir Bobby Moore, of West Ham and the captain of the Three Lions sent an inch perfect cross field pass, 60 yards out to Geoff Hurst, also of West Ham, who raced ahead beating all the German defenders, and buried the ball, into the top corner. England won 4-2, with Geoff Hurst scoring a hat trick, the only man to do so in a World Cup final. The other goal was scored by Martin Peters, who almost gave victory for England being 2-1 up 13 minutes before full time, before the Germans squeaked out a last minute equalizer that led to extra time. Peters too was from West Ham. A trio of Hammers had forever stamped themselves indelibly into English football history.
Of Bobby Moore:
“Of the hundreds of defenders who played against me during my career I pick Bobby Moore as the greatest of them all.”
Praise indeed when you consider the speaker is Pelé, who famously swapped shirts with the skipper after holders England were beaten by soon-to-be winners Brazil in the 1970 World Cup.
A flashback to the 1966 World Cup players >>