John Lyall

Everyone at West Ham United is extremely saddened by the tragic news that our former manager, John Lyall, has died suddenly at the age of 66.

John passed away late on Tuesday night after suffering a heart-attack at his Suffolk home. The news comes just two months after the death of another legendary Hammers manager, Ron Greenwood, who was John's mentor in the game.

John spent a total of 34 years at the Boleyn Ground, originally joining the Club as a groundstaff boy in 1955. A solid and dependable left-back, he won England youth honours and was a member of the West Ham United team that reached the 1957 FA Youth Cup final, before making his senior debut against Chelsea in February 1960.

However, after a three-year fight against persistent knee injuries, he was forced to retire from the game prematurely at the age of just 24, when he began taking his first steps on the coaching ladder, guided by Ron, who eventually appointed him as his Assistant Manager in 1971.

In August 1974, John took over the running of team duties, with Ron moving upstairs as General Manager. A year later, Hammers won the FA Cup, and John became the only manager in our history to win it twice when he led the team to a famous 1-0 victory over Arsenal five years later.

He also took the club to the European Cup Winners' Cup final in 1976 and the Second Division Title in record-breaking style in 1981. Five years later, he led West Ham United to our highest-ever league placing of third in the old First Division.

John left the Club in the summer of 1989 following our relegation from the top flight, but nothing will ever tarnish the memory of all that he achieved during his 34 years at Upton Park.

Our sincere thoughts and condolences go to John's wife Yvonne, his son Murray and the rest of his family at this very sad time.

Details of how the Club intend to pay tribute to John's memory will appear here on as soon as they are confirmed, and further tributes from his former colleagues and friends will also appear on the site throughout today.