Wednesday, May 6

Champions of Europe in 1965

Good to see Ron Boyce and Ken Brown from West Ham's 1965 Cup Winners' Cup winning side outside the main stand on Saturday signing autographs. The retro programme and replica final programme also worked well (and loved the Double Diamond "The beer the men drink" advert). 

There's a chapter on the Final against Munich 1860 in my book Flying So High: West Ham's Cup FinalsWatching the dvd of the final again, It's a great game but it's also fascinating to hear how BBC commentary has changed. At one point Ken Wolstenholme declares, “This West Ham defence could stop an army of tanks!” Not a sentiment often expressed about West Ham. 

Football has also come a long way in its attitude to women. Poor old Ken is also completely bamboozled by the sight of a woman snapper on the touchline: “There’s a sight you don’t often see. There’s a lady photographer behind the West Ham goal… Now why don’t we have things like that at Wembley more often? Lovely blonde photographers like that make football a much better game.” At the end a mob of photographers rush on to the pitch with huge cameras. “And there’s our blonde girlfriend, let’s hope she gets a picture all to herself,” says Wolstenholme. What would he make of Karren Brady running West Ham today?

The dvd is also worth checking out for the choruses of "E-i-adio we've won the Cup!" borrowed from Liverpool fans, the brief pitch invasion after Alan Sealey's second goal and the promise of John Sissons, who should have been a great player.

After the game the Daily Mirror’s Ken Jones wrote: “Hammers have been called fools and dreamers. Today they are the wise and brave. Conquerors of Munich, and of all those who doubted their ability and scoffed at their elegant skill… perhaps only the beginning of West Ham as they showed to all of Europe that elegant and imaginative football can also be successful.” 

It wasn’t of course, this being West Ham it would be another ten years and several relegation struggles with there World Cup winners in the side before the club won another trophy. But happy days and a great May night at Wembley.

And on a sadder note let's hope Ken Brown gets his medals back as some tea-leaf has nicked them from his home in Norfolk. There's a £5000 reward for any information leading to heir recovery.

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