Clyde Best Receives Mbe

Congratulations to Hammers legend Clyde Best, who has been awarded the MBE in the New Years' honours list.

The big Bermudan striker, now 54, played 218 firs-team games, scoring 58 goals for the Hammers between 1969 and 1975.

Clyde, now living in Bermuda, where he works in the prison service, joined West Ham as a 17-year-old in 1969 and made an immediate impact playing with the likes of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters.

He became a firm favourite of the Hammers faithful and was greatly admired for coping with the racial abuse he suffered at some away grounds. He went on to inspire a generation of black players to take up the game.

Clyde left the Club in 1975 to join Tampa Bay Rowdies in the North American Soccer League before returning briefly to the Hammers.

He then moved to Feyenoord in Holland, ending his playing career back in the States with Portland.

He went on to become Technical Director of the Bermudan national team between 1997 and 2000.

Clyde said: "It certainy wasn't easy to rise above the abuse I suffered when I first arrived, but I could not always think of myself.

"There were people behind me and thousands of youngsters who were looking to me to set an example.

"It was fantastic to play in a team with players like Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters and in front of those wonderful West Ham supporters.

"I'll be coming back to go to Buckingham Palace to receive my award so it will be great to meet up with old friends again.

"I'd like to thank West Ham United for giving me the opportunity of making people happy in the past and to the Club and Chairman Terry Brown for all their support in helping me to gain this magnificent award."