John Bond 1932-2012

Everyone at West Ham United is deeply saddened by the passing of Hammers legend John Bond at the age of 79.

Bond made 444 first-team appearances for the Hammers between 1952 and 1965, scoring 37 goals, and was one of the architects of the Academy of Football.

A right-back, Bond was part of the West Ham sides that won the Division Two title in 1957/58 and lifted the club's first-ever FA Cup in 1964.

Born in the north Essex town of Colchester on 17 December 1932, Bond was spotted by West Ham while playing for local club Colchester Casuals, joining the Hammers as an amateur in 1950.

After impressing for the club's 'A' side, a first-team debut arrived in a 2-1 Division Two victory at Coventry City on 9 February 1952.

Bond established himself as a first-team regular during the 1954/55 season, during which he scored his maiden goal - the winner in a 1-0 Division Two victory at Hull City on 13 September 1954.

It was during the promotion campaign, however, that the goal-scoring full-back really found his shooting boots, netting an amazing eight in 41 appearances as West Ham won the Division Two title in thrilling style.

Bond settled into life as a Division One player with ease, starting all 42 Division One matches in 1958/59 and scoring seven more goals. Another seven goals followed in 1959/60.

In 1964, he was an ever-present in West Ham's unforgettable run to the FA Cup final, starting all seven ties as the Hammers went all the way to Wembley before beating Preston North End 3-2 in the final.

The following season - Bond's 14th and last at the Boleyn Ground - he featured four times in the club's successful European Cup Winners' Cup campaign.


John Bond (third from right) with his team-mates at Cassettari's Cafe

After leaving the Boleyn Ground in 1966, the defender made more than 130 appearances for Torquay United before hanging up his boots in 1969.

Off the pitch, Bond was a deep thinker about the game and was a member of the group of players who would visit Cassettari's Cafe in Barking Road after training to discuss tactics and innovative ideas about the game.

There, he would join the likes of Malcolm Allison, Noel Cantwell, Dave Sexton, Malcolm Musgrove, Frank O'Farrell and Jimmy Andrews, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 85.

Like many of his Hammers team-mates, Bond went into coaching and enjoyed great success at AFC Bournemouth, Norwich City and Manchester City, among others.

In recent years, he has been a regular visitor to the Boleyn Ground, where he met and swapped stories with his former colleagues and supporters alike.

In November 2009, he appeared on the Sky Sports programme 'Time Of Our Lives', where he joined Ken Brown and Ronnie Boyce in looking back on their era at West Ham.

The thoughts of everyone at West Ham United are with John's family and friends at this sad time.

Time of our lives

John Bond, Ken Brown and Ronnie Boyce on 'Time Of Our Lives'