Tony - A Long Time Coming

Tony Gale says Trevor Brooking's knighthood is fully deserved - and long overdue.

"It is a great honour for him and a great honour for the club, I feel," says Tony.

"Quite honestly it is not before time as far as I am concerned.

"A lot of the supporters won't know the battles Trevor had with politicians and I say well done to him."

Like Tony, Trevor is in Portugal, and Tony adds:

"I haven't seen him; he is with the England party most of the time and I haven't had the chance to congratulate him yet."

Tony's West Ham career started the summer after Trevor's ended, in 1984, and he adds:

"Trevor packed it in at the end of the season and I came in pre-season so I didn't have the honour of playing with him, but I know him very well from him coming to games and later on in life when I have been out and about working for the media.

"He is a perfect gentleman and it was great when he took over as manager for that short spell - it just shows how much he loves the club as well and I think every supporter of West Ham, if not everyone, will be delighted he has got this knighthood.

"He is exactly the same as the person you see on the telly; he is a really nice bloke and there are no sides to him.

"He is the same with everyone he meets, whether it is a fan or an ex-player or politicians or royalty - and that is a great trait to have."