Only two players in our club’s long history have had the chance to lift the FA Cup, here is the profile of the men who wore the armband on the greatest days in the club’s history.
Bobby Moore 1958-1974: 646 Apps
What can be said about Bobby Moore that hasn’t already been said? West Ham and England Captain through both the club’s and the country’s most successful periods.
Moore made his first-team debut in 1958 and by the time he left for Fulham in 1974 he had amassed an amazing 646 appearances in the Claret and Blue, captaining the club for over a decade.
Immaculate in appearance and play he is held in such esteem by those who saw him play he is the first name on any all-time XI selection for both West Ham and England.
Moore’s untimely death in 1993 led to a huge outpouring of emotion and only increased his influence over the club.
His widow has gone on to raise millions to help the fight against bowel cancer in his name and West Ham named a stand after him both at Upton Park and the London Stadium and the club retired the number 6 shirt in his honour.
I will borrow the words that are on Moore’s statue outside Wembley Stadium written by journalist and friend Jeff Powell to illustrate the esteem with which he is remembered;
“Immaculate footballer. Imperial defender. Immortal hero of 1966. First Englishman to raise the World Cup aloft. Favourite son of London’s East End. Finest legend of West Ham United. National Treasure. Master of Wembley. Lord of the game. Captain extraordinary. Gentleman of all time.”
Moore was criminally undervalued by both the club and England once he finished playing but his name is being kept alive by the various honours he has received after his death, a true legend and one that people will speak about for many years to come.
Billy Bonds 1967 -1988: 787 Apps
Signed from Charlton for £50,000 in 1967, Bonds would play for the Hammers for 21 Years before his retirement at the age of 41 in 1988.
A combative versatile player he joined as a full back, he also played in midfield and centre back over the course of his illustrious career.
Bonds twice led the club to FA Cup success in 1975 and 1980 as well as leading the club to the Finals of the 1976 Cup Winners’ Cup and 1981 League Cup.
Bonds remains a crowd favourite and is fondly remembered for his wholehearted, full-blooded performances alongside perhaps more vaunted players.
He was voted Hammer of the Year on less than 4 occasions in 1971, 1974, 1975 and finally in 1987 shortly before his retirement.
Sadly overlooked by England he is widely quoted as being one of the best players never to receive an England Cap.
Once his playing career ended Bonds remained on the staff at the club and eventually became manager in 1990 taking over after Lou Macari’s short lived reign at the club.
Once more Bonds applied his work ethic and led the club to two promotions and the FA Cup final semi-final in 1991.
Bonds was eventually replaced by Harry Redknapp in 1994 and despite a brief spell as manager of Millwall, Bonds remained characteristically out of the spotlight.
As a reward for his service to the club West Ham awarded Bonds the club’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2013.
An understated hero, Bonds remains a popular figure amongst fans of all ages.