Bonds honoured at the Boleyn

West Ham United legend Billy Bonds MBE was honoured ahead of Saturday's 2-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Cardiff City.

The Hammers' all-time record appearance maker was presented with the Club's inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award by Joint-Chairman David Gold and manager Sam Allardyce.

The Boleyn Ground faithful marked the occasion with a deafening wall of noise for the man who lifted the FA Cup twice for West Ham in 1975 and 1980, was voted Hammer of the Year four times and made an amazing 793 appearances between 1967 and 1988.

Prior to the great man's arrival, a video featuring highlights of Bonds' unique career in claret and blue was met with applause and cheers usually associated with a last-minute winner being scored!

Now 66, Bonds was visibly moved by the reception he received from the supporters who idolised him during his playing career and later as youth coach and manager between 1990 and 1994.

The former defender and midfielder was joined in E13 by members of his family, who enjoyed watching him being given an amazing reception, while also taking the opportunity to have their photographs taken pitchside and in Big Sam's dugout seat.

The manager, who came up against Bonds himself during his playing days, said Bonds' presence had given the whole stadium a lift and inspired West Ham to victory over Cardiff.

"For me, seeing Billy Bonds here was a bit special," said Big Sam. "The reception that he got for the loyalty he showed to the Club and the fans' appreciation for that was magnificent.

"Of course the reception the lads got when they went out on the field lifted the players. We hadn't heard that noise since we beat Reading on the final day of last season and that got the players' hairs on the back of their necks standing on end and the best out of them, particularly in the first half. It was a great victory for us."

Bonds initially received his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Player Awards in May.

Billy Bonds

Billy Bonds MBE is honoured at the Boleyn Ground