A Night To Remember

Ray Stewart was back at his beloved Upton Park on Monday night - at an inaugral dinner for former West Ham players.

Billed as 'the last 50 years of West Ham United' but including on the guest list former heroes such as Ernie Gregory, now in his 80s, who joined the club at the age of 14, the event was a charity event for the Bobby Moore fund.

Ray, who tracked down the guests, says: "I have spent a lot of time organising the players to come along; but the girls and the office staff should get the thanks, and it has been a team effort.

"I like to do things for charity and I have seen a few tears in one or two eyes - people like Ernie Gregory, John Bond, and Noel Cantwell, and it is something that will live with me for a long time.

"It is the first time ever something like this has been done, it was a special night, and it brought a lump to my throat.

"Everybody enjoyed themselves, and I spoke to Stephanie Moore, who told me she appreciated what we did.

 "You have got to give something back to people who are not perhaps as fit as myself, and I really appreciate the old players coming along for the fans and the charity.

"I just wanted to get everyone together and have a good night; but it was not about me, it was about Graham and Ron who put it on."

Ron Wenn, of Mountfield Marketing Services who staged the event, says he hopes it can become a regular event.

"I think it is tremendous the way the players have turned out for us and it really illustrates the bond between West Ham supporters and the players of yesterday - and today. It was a fantastic turn out.

"West Ham is a special club with a special reputation and I hope last night is something we can do on a more regular basis.

"It is for the finest charity in the world, for the club's favourite son, Bobby Moore, and I don't think there is a more worthy charity in the country.

"We are hopeful that we will be able to give a cheque to Stephanie before the Bolton match for a really significant amount.

"It was quite a job to pull it together, but we are hoping that next year we will do '51 years' and carry on and on and on.

"It has been quite a job to pull it together and we were delighted with the response.

"Ray was a tenacious player on the field and he is just as tenacious off it, as he showed by his organisation.

"The former players have all been good for us and Brian Dear donated Bobby's tracksuit top from when he was manager at Oxford City - that was in the auction and it went for a lot of money."

Mountfield organise various charity and corporate events, and can be contacted on 01268 560963.