Welcome to the West Ham United Memorabilia Collection featuring everything Claret and Blue
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LET’S TALK ABOUT WEST HAM UNITED FC
Tom Morgan: Sentinel Publications (1946)
The “Hammers” have never won the F.A. Cup, nor have they achieved the distinction of League champions. Once they reached the Cup Final and once they finished runners-up in the Second Division, but it always appears to have been the lot of West Ham United to content themselves with second best. They do not rank with the aristocrats of the Football League. Nevertheless, they are one of the most popular clubs in the land. Before the second World War they were famed throughout Europe; they command respect from the strongest of rivals, and possess an enviable record for home-grown players.
Size: 180x118mm - 34 pages
COVER PRICE: 1/6 (15p)
"Amazing... these words were written over 70 years ago, apart from the bit about not winning the F.A. Cup, you would have thought they were printed yesterday..."
OFFICIAL HISTORY OF WEST HAM UNITED
Reg Groves : Newservice (1947)
The story of West Ham’s Football Club, begins not with the founding of a professional club but with the formation of a works team. Which is as it should be, for ever since those earliest days the West Ham club has found its supporters among the people of London’s busiest, most hard-working area. The Club belongs to the crowded streets, the docksides, the manufactures, the print shops and transport depots of East London. West Ham United is truly of the place and the people.
Size: 204x139mm - 42 pages
COVER PRICE: 1/- (10p)
AT HOME WITH THE HAMMERS
Ted Fenton - Nicholas Kaye Ltd (1960)
Does Ted Fenton regard the manager’s job as the ‘hot seat’ of soccer?
Not so long as it is with West Ham United! The club has had only three managers in some 60 years. ‘United’ isn’t just a name.
Is he satisfied with the state of football in this country? Has he any constructive suggestions for its improvement?
Fenton lives for improvement. He wants better-class soccer for supporters, for England – for the whole world. He goes deeply into the problems of team selection on club and international level, the necessity of keeping players up to peak fitness with ‘competitive’ training – and, remember, West Ham have the reputation of being one of the fittest sides in the Football League – and varying team tactics according to weather and ground conditions. And he plans to make Upton Park a ‘show-piece stadium.
There isn’t too much of the I-kicked-a-tennis-ball-against-a-wall stuff?
None at all. Fenton couldn’t write like that. He’s too much of an individualist. He kicks off with a tale of joy – the match that meant West Ham’s return to the First Division after 26 years. He tells you exactly how they did it, too.
How does a manager set about building a winning team?
He deals with the discovery and signing of promising young players, with the club organisation that nurses them to first-class standard and the constant revision of strategy on the field and training methods. He explains why he thinks the F.A. should turn to certain club managers, all great players of their day, to make England a power in international soccer again.
But it’s impossible to tell you all Fenton writes about. This is the story of his life, and since soccer is his life it’s also the story of soccer in our time, with all the pulsating excitement of League struggles and dizzy Cup runs. You’ll revel in a book that is at once a thrilling history of a go-ahead club and a sage commentary on every phase of the game the world plays.
COVER PRICE 15s (£0.75) 160 pages
THE STRATEGY OF SOCCER
Johnny Byrne - Pelham (1965)
I was just moving on to the League scene when the ‘Mighty Magyars’ of Hungary shocked the world with their respective 6-3 and 7-1 victories over England at Wembley and Budapest in 1954. They were sad and distasteful blows – and there were more to follow. Soon after, came the emergence of the South American countries like Brazil and Uruguay who proved to be the equals and, indeed, the superiors of the country generally regarded as the Masters of Soccer.
But we were big enough to learn from disasters. I was lucky enough to be one who was in on the ground floor as British football was caught in a training and coaching whirlwind. The basic skills of the game were given priority attention. Clubs up and down the country realised that many other nations had made enormous progress and were, in fact, leaving the old masters high and dry when it came to the finer arts of the game.
The challenge was answered, and there is no doubt that much was done to improve our standard of play. But there is still much more coaching at school level can do a tremendous amount to give the game an even greater percentage of players who have learned the fundamentals of football.
When I first came into the game, tactics played a much smaller part than they do now. It is no exaggeration to say that our tactical thinking today has improved 100 per cent. But there is still so much more we can do to improve it further. Tactics are important to soccer – and can help sell the game to a more and more demanding public. As a player advances through different levels of competition, tactics play a much greater part. The need today is for thoughtful players. They must look at the game more scientifically.
COVER PRICE 15s (£0.75) 106 pages
MY SOCCER STORY
Bobby Moore - Stanley Paul (1966)
Tall, blond and handsome Bobby Moore is the Golden Boy of football. At 25 he has already achieved more than most footballers have done in a lifetime, and enjoyed such material rewards as are possible for a young man at the top of hos profession today. For three years he has been captain of England. He is captain of West Ham United who, under his leadership, have won the F.A. Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup. In 1964 the Football Writers elected him ‘Footballer of the Year’. Yet all this success has not come as easily as it might at first appear. In this absorbing story of his football life, Bobby Moore reveals that he started out as something of a Soccer Cinderella. At school he was the fat boy of the team who the big teams overlooked. ‘Everybody seemed to be getting the magic chance to become a professional except Fatso Moore.’ Once bobby did get his chance with West Ham he worked like a beaver to improve both his physique and playing ability. He had missed schoolboy honours, but soon achieved a record number of eighteen Youth International caps, the England Youth captaincy, and a trophy as ‘Young Hammer of the Year 1957’. He hasn’t looked back since.
In this book Bobby has written fully and frankly about his struggle to the top, and his no less strenuous efforts to stay there. He tells the behind-the-scenes stories of the many dramatic and exciting games he has played for club and country. He takes a shrewd and serious look at football today, and those aspects which are currently of concern to players and spectators alike. Moore is recognised as one of the best men in football at ‘reading’ a game, so his views about his own, and other teams and players are of exceptional interest.
COVER PRICE: 18s (£0.90p)
THE WORLD GAME
Geoff Hurst - Stanley Paul (1967)
There is always fascination about the first: the first man up Everest; the first man in space; or, in football, the first man to score three goals in a World Cup final. Millions of words have described those three goals but until now, none from the only man who could have known how it felt to score them.
Geoff Hurst was that man “The World Game” is his fascinating story. He was, he confesses, hardly born to greatness. His skill was created artificially, step by step from his own efforts and the help of the men who have managed his career – Ron Greenwood and Sir Alf Ramsey. Lacking their guidance, instead of being the forward who won the World Cup for England he would have been plodding on as a clumsy wing-half. And he gets angry when he talks of the talent still being wasted week by week in English soccer. He tells of the weeks of preparation in the England camp, when a flaming row between famous players became the start of the understanding that finally brought success. He recalls the days of waiting and praying while a fateful decision was made: who would play in the final – Greaves or Hurst?
He tells about the man nobody knows, Sir Alf Ramsey. How does this sometimes cold, withdrawn man appear to his players?
What does he tell them, how does he treat them? And what is the secret Sir Alf keeps even from the players closest to him? Geoff Hurst has more than skill, he has ideas. He has ideas on how English football can improve… and he knows the men who can ruin the game. He names the players whom he has met… and talks of the men whose purpose in life is to ‘kill’ the stars by their ruthless play. And what of his club side, West Ham? This team achieved much but promised more until something went dramatically wrong. Was it too much bad play… or too much of the good life?
There is humility in the Hurst story, the record of a player who has touched the top without forgetting what it was like at the bottom. And there is humour, too. He tells of the day when a King’s Rolls-Royce drew up at his door to astonish the neighbours… of when he had to flee a mob at a supermarket… and when a hospital matron wore his England shirt to a dance!
For two seasons, Geoff Hurst has been the most powerful marksman in English soccer. He writes as he plays… with power and with deadly aim
COVER PRICE: 21s (£1.10p)
SOCCER THE MODERN WAY
Bobby Moore - Stanley Paul (1967)
English football leads the world and since England's World Cup victory in 1966, a new style of play has emerged. This blends Continental tactical skill with British drive and determination. Bobby Moore calls it 'Soccer the Modern Way', and in this book he takes it apart to see what makes it tick.
Bobby Moore captained England since the age of 22 and is acknowledged as an outstanding 'reader' of the modern game. This is his first instructional manual, Bang-up-to-the-minute and forward-looking, it is a MUST for footballers of all ages throughout the world who seek to improve their understanding of scientific soccer.
Besides giving many valuable tips to young players about all the fundamental skills on training and practice games, Bobby explains complicated strategy and tactics in simple, readable terms. the latter includes his own blunt assessment of 4-3-3 and other playing systems. He also reveals secrets of how and why his team did what on important occasions.
This is all the practical stuff without the egg-head theories. Throughout the book, Bobby Moore stresses that the main odject is to encourage the reader to help himself ny practising the skills described and, above all THINKING about the game.
It is evident that Bobby himself has devoted much thought to the planning of the contents. As a result, this is a shrewd and intelligent book which will be of interest to anyone who has ever kicked a ball. 'Packed with interest' particularly for the young student of the game.
Size 203x130mm - 110 pages
COVER PRICE: 18s (£0.90)
WEST HAM UNITED FOOTBALL BOOK
Dennis Irving - Stanley Paul (1968)
1966: the World Cup Final at Wembley. England beat West Germany to win the coveted Jules Rimet Trophy - skippered by blond Bobby Moore, of WEST HAM UNITED. Scorer of threee of the England goals in that Wembley triumph was the deadliest marksman in British soccer today, Geoff Hurst, of WEST HAM UNITED. And England's other goal in a 4-2 win came from all-purpose international, Martin Peters, of WEST HAM UNITED.
Moore, Hurst and Peters... stars of England and West Ham, the progressive club from East london dockland with a long reputation for good soccer. Ace coach Ron Greenwood, whose playing career embraced Brentford, Chelsea and Fulham, is only the fourth manager in the long history of West Ham, a family club with a four-man board and supporters who are among the most knowledgeable in football.
Under Greenwaood's direction, the club have had their fans cheerfully singing the West Ham theme tune "We're forever blowing bubbles" with successes in the European Cup Winners' Cup, the F.A. Youth Cup and in America in International Soccer League.
West Ham United Football Book will take a close look at this friendly club, and feature many great players who have worn the claret and blue shirts. Spotlighting stars of the past... big Jim Barrett, Len Goulden Ted Fenton. Recording the achievments of Moore, Hurst, Peters and Co. And looking ahead, through the eyes of Ron Greenwood.
COVER PRICE: 20s (£1.00)
GOALS FROM NOWHERE
Martin Peters - Stanley Paul (1969)
Martin Peters has a rare and much-envied talent. Few players, if any, have been able to match his versatility at world-class level. He is a footballer in the purest sense of the word… before he was 24 he had played in every position, including goalkeeper, not only at junior and reserve level but in the Football League. World famous managers like Hellenio Herrera have praised the extraordinary range of this football phenomenon who packs every facet of a football team into his tall slim body. All the same, because Martin Peters didn’t play in one position only, he was a nobody. Even after he had played for England in their World Cup winning side he felt people looked straight through him… that when they saw him on the field they couldn’t easily identify him with a set job or position and so ignored him. Just when he was resigned to playing football at its highest level without a flicker of glory or recognition, he spotted in the sports columns of a newspaper that Sir Alf Ramsey had said of him: ‘Martin Peters is ten years ahead of his time.’ That sentence alone didn’t make Martin Peters any better known – but it did give him an identity he badly needed. He hasn’t looked back since. The footballer of the future has added to his bewildering array of talents by becoming an ace goalscorer for West Ham United and England.
The Martin Peters story is not one of sensational controversy – he doesn’t get sent off… he doesn’t get into trouble off the field – he doesn’t have blazing rows with authority. But there has never been another footballer like him.
Martin Peters not only discusses the highlights of his international career, but takes you behind the scenes of a club match, describes the emotions of facing a crowd like Anfield and farelessly lists the crowds and grounds he doesn’t like to visit. There have been many books written by footballers but as Martin Peters is unlike any other footballer it follows that this story is special.
COVER PRICE: 21s (£1.05)
Sportsman Book Club Edition 10s (£0.50)
THE WEST HAM UNITED FOOTBALL BOOK No.2
Dennis Irving - Stanley Paul (1969)
The Hammers from East London's Dockland are the delight of the soccer connosseur at home and abroad. As one famous international put it when his side lost 7-2 at Upton Park: "It is almost a pleasure to be beaten by them."
The soccer purists may purr and the West Ham fans may sing their famous "Bubbles" theme tune, but the burning ambition of everyone at Upton Park is to win the league Championship title. In the eight years' reign of manager Ron Greenwood the Hammers have scaled the heights and achieved success in European competitions and in the F.A. Cup. In doing so they have brought glory to the claret and blue and their homely club. England's famous World Cup trio, skipper Bobby Moore, hat-trick scorer Geoff Hurst and all-purpose player Martin Peters are typical home-grown products of the progressive club from London's East End. West Ham is a family club with a four-man board, directors and supporters who are among the most knowledgeable in soccer, but it is a club eager to succeed and go forward.
West Ham have spent well over £100,000 on improving facilities for their loyal fans, and another £100,000 on strengthening the side. Alan Stephenson, Bobby Ferguson and Billy Bonds have been drafted into a side boasting the cream of talent produced by a conveyor belt of a youth scheme over the years.
Dennis Irving, a self-confessed admirer of the Hammers and their style of play, takes a close look at one of the brightest clubs in soccer. A club with reputation.... a club with heart.... a club with ambition.
Spotlighting stars of the past, taking an intimate look behind the scenes at Upton Park, the West Ham United Football Book No.2 is a must for all supporters and those who have the claret and blue at heart. It is a book for all who admire soccer played the West Ham way - the best in football.
COVER PRICE: 20s (£1.00)
Bobby Moore - Stanley Paul (1969)
The World Cup tournament in Mexico City ushers in the exciting Sporting Seventies and this promise from Bobby Moore, O.B.E. - England will return the Jules Rimet trophy, the golden winged statuette which millions of fans all over the world saw her win in such dramatic style at Wembley four years ago. In a compelling autobiography, the England and west Ham United captain, battle-hardened by almost eighty internationals, analyses the final rounds of the 1970 World Cup in the most unequivocal terms. Being drawn against Brazil doesn't worry him. 'All that it means is that there could be an England v. Brazil final... if they are good enough.
He states why he believes Pele, idol of Brazilian crowds, may not last the pace and names a surprise choice among four countries to reach the semi-finals. An incredibly detailed medical dossier, built up over the past four years, ensures that this will be the fittest England squad ever to leave these shores. Moore tells of the various tests which the players have undergone to combat the effects of playing at high altitudes. And explains why each player will be ordered to remove his shoes when he boards the plane for Mexico City. But this is far more than a searching insight into the World Cup and the sixteen countries who fight out its final stages.
For the first time the England player closest to Sir Alf Ramsey gives a fascinating assessment of the ice-cold tactician who has master-minded a soccer revolution in his seven years as team manager. He discloses how Ramsey has disciplined players, including Moore; how he stands no nonsense from officialdom; how he refuses to be hoodwinked by international gamesmanship off the field; and how, when the heat of battle is over, he relaxes with his team.
MOORE ON MEXICO
Bobby Moore - Stanley Paul (1970)
Why did England fail to retain the World Cup? What happened during the Bogota Bracelet scandal? How great are Brazil? Who were the England successses?
These are the questions all football is asking and nobody is better placed to answer them, and many more, than Bobby Moore, captain of England and the player even the dazzling Brazilians acknowledge as the greatest defender in the World. In this engrossing book Bobby Moore 'the man on the inside' tells all. Hegives a fascinating blow-by-blow account of England's travels from the comparative quite of European football to the unknown white heat of the game played Latin America stayle. Were England the centre of a World Cup hoax right from the start even in their friendly games in Columbia and Equador when Bobby Moore was charged with staealing a bracelet?
Moore discusses the feeling in the England camp when the six players omitted from the final squad heard their fate from another source before Sir Alf Ramsey the England team manager, could speak to them.
Bobby Moore talks passionatelly about the 'hatred' of the people of Guadalajara towards the England players. Just why was there a strong Mexican press campaign to denigrate the players of England to the World?
In a special chapter Bobby Moore gives his opinion on the England successes, like Alan Mullery, and his views on the attacks on the 4-4-2 system which many said, put England out of the tournament.
Finally, in this well-written searching book, Bobby Moore talks about his future in the game and that of Sir Alf Ramsey. He also looks forward to the World Cup in Muinch 1974.
THE WEST HAM UNITED FOOTBALL BOOK No.3
Dennis Irving - Stanley Paul (1970)
Let them all play the West Ham way! That was author Dennis Irving's plea in an earlier edition of the West Ham Football Book. All who admire soccer the West Ham way - and the Hammers are the delight of the connoisseur - will welcome this insight into a club that has had the fans cheerfully singing the club's theme tune: "We're forever blowing bubbles."
Under the leadership of manager Ron Greenwood on the most respected men in soccer today and only the fourth manager in West Ham's long history, the Hammers have tasted the sweets of success. Success in the European Cup Winners' Cup, the F.A. Cup, the F.A. Youth Cup and in America in the International Soccer League. That was the West Ham story of the 60's. But there was more. Blond Bobby Moore, of West Ham, skippered England to victory against West Germany in the World Cup Final in 1966. Marksman Geoff Hurst, also of West Ham, scored three of the England goals in that 4-2 extra-time triumph; Martin Peters, then of West Ham, scored the other. Moore, Hurst and now Greaves... stars of England and West Ham, the friendly side from East London's Dockland that plays soccer with style. The fans turn up because they know that West Ham will attack and Entertain. Both Moore and Hurst are typical home-grown products of the Hammers, the club that has provided a conveyor belt of talent over the years from a flourishing youth scheme, but has not been frightened to spend big to improve facilities for loyal fans. Over £100,000 on ground improvements... nearly three times that amount on star names such as Peter Eustace, Alan Stephenson, Bobby Ferguson and Billy Bonds. The West Ham United Football Book No.3 examines this family club, spotlighting stars of the past and taking an intimate look at a staff at Upton Park that has a burning desire for League success. Dennis Irving, who has had claret and blue wallpaper installed in his office, is a fan of the Hammers. He has dubbed them the Gay Deceivers, but he also wants every club to play their stylish way. Followers of the Hammers will cherish this latest look at their club. They will understand the reasoning.
COVER PRICE: 20s (£1.00)
COLOURS OF MY LIFE
Malcolm Allison - Everest (1975)
The private Malcolm Allison is startlingly different from his public image. A giant of a man, yes. Arrogant and impulsive, a womaniser, a gambler, an inveterate nightclubber. But the cigars-and champagne facade hides a person tortured by self-doubt, full of human failings, shockingly insecure.
Beneath the bluster is a surprisingly fine brain, with deeply complex ideas about football and a total dedication to the game. in this candid autobiography he talks emotionally and honestly about -
Allison the Virgin Soldier, a 19-year-old National Serviceman cut off after curfew in the Russian sector of Vienna with a girl; sipping hot chocolate and kirsch with millionaire ladies in Cortina; and tackling the Olympic ski run for a dare.
Allison the Gambler, losing £4,000 in a day at Kempton Park, and buying champagne all round in the member's enclosure at Ascot;
Allison the Broken Man, struck down by tuberculosis at the height of his career as a football player, almost losing his life - and briefly wishing he would;
Allison the Lover, learning from a Mayfair socialite called Suzy how to read a French menu - and a lot more besides, dating a Brazilian diplomat's daughter, and carrying on an affair with Christine Keeler;
Allison the Clubman, drinking heavily, wasting time, losing sight of what life is about - until it is almost too late;
Allison the Coach, finding his gift for bringing out the greatness in players from Plymouth Argyle to Toronto City, putting Manchester City back on top, discovering his true vocation.
This is much more than a book about football. It is the story of one of the great sporting figures of the twentieth century.
Jeff Powell - Everest (1976)
A KING WITHOUT A FRIEND
Bobby Moore reigned over world foootball through the richest era the game has ever known. He captained West Ham and England - taking the Hammers to Wembley and England to World Cup victory - while soccer became big business, players' wages went through the roof, and footballers took on the status of film stars or pop idols.
Moore was the youngest-ever Footballer of the Year; became acknowledged as one of the greatest defenders the game ever saw; and won more caps than any other player in the history of English soccer. But he was also one of the first players to build a house on Millionaire's Row - and he has to be as careful as any not to end up on Skid Row.
The stars came out to rub shoulders with the working-class boy from Barking. The dressing-room was the launch pad into the cocktail-party orbit. High society added its own pressures to the strains of the game.
Despite his fame, nobody knows Bobby Moore. This giant of sport has always remained the man apart, the king without a friend, brilliant but unapproachable.
How did he cope with stardom? How much of his private self was in the public image of a cold, withdrawn personality? Did he stael that notorious bracelet in Bogota? What goes on inside the real Bobby Moore?
He was always as careful in what he said as in choosing his company. But here for the first time, in his authorised biography, he speaks openly and candidly about his life, his game, and himself.
COVER PRICE £4.25
Johnny Byrne - Richard Lyon (1976)
“BALLS” takes the reader into the intimate world of professional soccer, both here (South Africa) and England, with candour and humour – a rare combination.
“BUDGIE” Byrne has always been direct in his approach on and off the field. “Balls” is no different. The magnificent portrayal of Byrne the man, Byrne the footballer and Byrne the manager makes this book a collector’s item.
Someone, sometime, had to do it. “Budgie” was always irresistible, at work or play. He was one of the finest centre-forwards Britain ever produced, and his sense of fun was unrivalled. Together with co-author Bradley he brings some fun, most of the action and a few of the tall stories to brighten the winter nights. Oh yes…and there was some football, too.
Highly readable…a book that will appeal to students of human nature as much as to students of the game.
Image courtesy of John Northcutt
WEST HAM UNITED OFFICIAL ANNUAL 1981
Harry Harris - Circle Publications Ltd (1981)
PROMOTION IS OUR PRIORITY THIS SEASON
I’m writing this introduction to the inaugural West Ham annual with a great deal of pride and satisfaction. Not just for myself, but for the marvellous players, directors, and truly loyal supporters of this famous East London club. 1980 has been a vintage year and we are all hoping that 1981 will be just as fruitful. This annual will be a souvenir of the FA Cup success at Wembley, but we shall not forget our endeavours in reaching the quarter-finals of the League Cup. Naturally we were all disappointed that we did not win promotion, but the glory came our way to make full amends when we beat Arsenal at Wembley. We are also in Europe and that is a bonus. We have reached the European Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-finals, which must rank as another success. Not bad for a Second Division club, you might say. But make no mistake we shall not rest until we are back where we feel we belong in the First Division. Just look at the First Division sides we took on and overcame on the way to Wembley… West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa, and Everton, and of course, Arsenal in the Final. That proved we have the calibre of players equipped to do ourselves justice in the top flight. We are prepared to return to the First Division and our good start this season gives us every encouragement. Naturally, I have a dream that West Ham will win promotion and pick up one or two cups along the road this season. Well, quite simply in football you cannot pick and choose. You must be grateful for any success, be it promotion or another trophy, that comes you way. Our factor will be guaranteed. The players and myself will work relentlessly to eventually take the club to promotion. We have a side that is beginning to earn a reputation for a solid defence. Yet, at the same time we have not forgotten our traditions to provide entertainment. I feel we have a much better chance of promotion this season, simply because we are gaining a better understanding as a team. A club like ours has a close affinity with their fans, and the supporters have provided me with some of the very best memories of the Wembley occasion, which I shall cherish. We believe in providing our fans with a champagne type of football.
Size 204x193mm - 96 pages
COVER PRICE: £2.95
TREVOR BROOKING AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Trevor Brooking with the assistance of Brian Scovell - Pelham (1981)
Long recognised as England’s most skilful midfield player, Trevor Brooking joined West Ham United at seventeen straight from school and ever since he has been a one-club player with one of Britain’s most popular clubs.
In this book he tells his story and gives his views on the future of English football with special reference to how the game is run, £1 million transfers and football hooliganism. He talks about the West Ham side in the sixties – Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore Martin Peters – and some of the finest players of post-war years. He has played under four England managers – Sir Alf Ramsey, Joe Mercer, Don Revie and Ron Greenwood – and gives an insight into how they work. He relates, too, the inside story of how Brian Clough tried to buy him and Bobby Moore and gives his views on Clough’s style of management. With nearly fifty England international caps in a career lasting sixteen years, Trevor Brooking is one of England’s most experienced and respected players. Here he talks candidly about his life in football, his family and business interests and his future. But his book is more than an autobiography – it is a thinking man’s impression of the national game.
COVER PRICE Hardback: £6.95
Updated in 1982 to cover
The World Cup
COVER PRICE: £1.95 - Pages 234
CHAMPIONS! Back to the First Division
Harry Harris - Circle Publications (1981)
Our great season by manager John Lyall
Incredible! That’s the word I’d choose to describe our season. We set out with promotion as our number one priority. We achieved that by taking the Second Division by storm and guaranteeing our place back at the top long before the end of the season. But along the way we reached the League Cup Final, and also excelled in Europe with six very worthwhile games. Our players have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from our European excursions in the Cup Winners’ Cup. It has taught us how to improve against a variety of systems and styles. That will be of enormous benefit when we return to the First Division. We will be facing teams that have acquired a great deal of their know-how via European football. Naturally we’ve relished the glamour of the cups but the league has been the most important. The club has been reared on First Division football. It was a huge disappointment when we were relegated three years ago. We’ve been forced to make certain adjustments to life in the Second Division. It is credit to the players that we have made these adjustments successfully and it is marvellous that we have fought our way out of the Second Division. There is no substitute for playing the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United in the league. It is stimulating and vital in terms of experience for the players. We want to be playing the best teams week in and week out. That will be the only true assessment of our abilities. Success in the Second Division has given our young players confidence, having given us the opportunity to bring them forward a lot earlier than we would have otherwise anticipated. Our aims back in the First Division are simple. We want to be as SUCCESSFUL AS POSSIBLE, as quickly as possible.
Certainly it may take us a little while to re-adjust. In the early days we shall strive for stability and build from there. Before I give my thanks to the players, I would first like to offer my appreciation to our marvellous supporters. It has given us all at West Ham great pleasure to win back our First Division status for those fans who have followed us for the past three years. For them, we shall be doing our best next season. Now I’d like to give praise and appraisal of our first team squad that has won back our right to play in the First Division.
Size 295x209mm - 48 pages
COVER PRICE: £1.99