Dear delighted with Hammers' progress

West Ham United favourite Brian Dear looked on with pride as his former club made a successful return to the Barclays Premier League.

The Academy product and 1965 European Cup Winners' Cup winner is a regular visitor to the Boleyn Ground, whether it be to cheer on his old side or to collect donations on behalf of the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK.

Dear, who is a great supporter of the charity founded in memory of his late team-mate and captain, said he is excited for the future of both the Hammers and the Fund.

"We're still in the Barclays Premier League and it's the only place to be," said the 69-year-old. "When we go to the Olympic Stadium, it's imperative we go there as a Premier League side. Sam Allardyce has done a good job this year. We play to our strengths and tenth place is great.

"Sam's a nice man and he contributes to the Bobby Moore Fund. He's very involved with Stephanie Moore with the charity. He's made his mark on West Ham and I think he'll be OK.

"The Club has raised nearly £60,000 this year and that's through the players and other initiatives. Sam donates the proceeds from his Evening Standard column, which a lot of people don't know about, but that's how strong they are in support of Bobby's Fund. All power to them and long may it continue."

Naturally, Dear is still in awe of his former captain, who sadly passed away following a dignified battle with bowel cancer in February 1993.

"You can't but remember Bobby Moore. We don't win many World Cups! What better assist than Bobby to Geoff Hurst and he smacks it in the back of the net. That must be the greatest assist of all time, even if I'm a bit biased."

One special day that Dear and Moore shared was the aforementioned European Cup Winners' Cup final victory over German side 1860 Munich on 19 May 1965, when Alan Sealey's brace secured a 2-0 success for Ron Greenwood's Hammers.

"It doesn't seem 48 years ago, it was a wonderful night. We won the trophy and the year after that three of our boys won the World Cup. It was a big three years for West Ham and it was just a pity that the lads in the latter years got beaten in the final [in 1976], as it would have been great to win it twice. But it was awesome.

"When you walk out there at Wembley, you're oblivious to what's happening around you. Bobby asked me how I felt in the dressing room and I said I was ok, and he said walk out behind me and you'll get your photo taken! Immediately I was alright. No nerves. We just played our normal game. Alan got the two goals and we came away with the trophy.

"Hopefully when it gets to 50 years a few of us might be able to get together and celebrate it properly. It was just a wonderful day and we were so proud. Our side was all English boys as well. Six or seven were local lads from Barking, Dagenham, Canning Town, East Ham or Upton Park. That will never happen again. It makes it even more special."