Trio remember Ron

John Bond, Ken Brown and Ronnie Boyce have all paid tribute to the man who helped inspire West Ham United to their 'greatest day' in a special Sky Sports programme.

The homegrown Hammers gathered for a special 'Time of our Lives' show that looked back at the successful side of the mid-60s. Hosted by Jeff Stelling, the hour-long programme was full of memories and stories from the popular players - including their thoughts on team-mates such as Johnny 'Budgie' Byrne and the FIFA World Cup-winning trio led by Bobby Moore.

Of 'Mooro', his former defensive partner Brown led the tributes to an immaculate man who was as polished off the pitch as he was on it. "He was more than one of the lads. He was a joy to be with and he was an absolute dream of a player. "

However, the three fans' favourites most notably remembered the achievement of their manager Ron Greenwood. A former Chelsea favourite as a player, who won the Division One title at Stamford Bridge in 1955, Greenwood wasted no time in settling in east London when he was appointed in April 1961.

He finished in mid-table in his first two full campaigns before tasting success, but his main achievement was putting the Academy at the heart of the club and instilling in the squad a philosophy of attacking football - the West Ham way.

With a smile, 'Ticker' Boyce recalled spending his entire career at the club largely under Greenwood's guidance. "Looking back, his philosophy was simply to attack and to please the paying public. That is all I can remember him saying. I can't remember really a defensive session."

Bond, a goalscoring right-back, added: "I was there for eight years with Ron and I can't remember to this day doing one defensive practice. We never did the same thing twice. We didn't do any defensive work. It was amazing how everyone was together and knitted together. We all knew exactly what we were doing. He was a genius. There is no doubt about it."

That 'genius' saw Greenwood lead the club to FA Cup glory in 1964 before his and the club's finest hour with the triumph of the 1965 European Cup Winners' Cup. They also talked about how the manager played a pivotal role in helping Geoff Hurst establish himself as an England forward feared the world over.

Jeff Stelling, John Bond and Ken Brown