Bonds 'looking forward' to OS move

West Ham United legend Billy Bonds MBE has hailed the move to the Olympic Stadium as a 'massive landmark' in the Club's history.

Bonds, who made a record 793 appearances for West Ham between 1967 and 1988, said the announcement of the sale of the Boleyn Ground took the Club a step closer to their new home in Stratford.

Speaking to, the two-times FA Cup winning captain pointed to the success other big Barclays Premier League clubs had enjoyed since moving to their own new stadia.

"This is a big moment in the Club's history," said the four-times Hammer of the Year, who was the inaugural recipient of the Club's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

"We are moving into a great new stadium and, although I know some older fans are upset and hurting, I think this is a time to look forward and get on with it.

"The younger ones will be relishing it and so they should - it's a massive landmark in the Club's history."

Bonds played nearly 400 competitive matches at the Boleyn Ground before taking charge of more than 100 more as West Ham manager between 1990 and 1994.

During his 25 year-plus association with the famous stadium, the 67-year-old celebrated four promotions, endured three relegations, scored a memorable hat-trick against Chelsea, thundered into hundreds of tackles and rampaged up and down the pitch on thousands of occasions.

While he will always cherish his memories of West Ham's home of 110 years, Bonds says the Club has to take the opportunities offered by a move to the 54,000-capacity Olympic Stadium.

"I had the greatest days of my life at the Boleyn - all my great memories are there - I had wonderful days there but we all have to move on," he insisted.

"Many of the grounds I played on - Manchester City and Arsenal for example - are not there anymore. It's called progress. We have to move on now and trust the people in charge with our future."

While he is looking forward to a bright future for the Club he loves, Bonds was also reassured by the decision to sell the Boleyn Ground to award-winning local London developer Galliard Group.

The Club was impressed with Galliard Group's links to the local community and their commitment to honouring the history of the Hammers at the Boleyn Ground as part of their proposed development.

Among the proposals are one for a beautiful central landscaped garden, which would be named the Bobby Moore Memorial Garden, providing a fitting tribute to Bonds' long-time team-mate and friend.

"We should always honour the past - we must never forget it - and I understand there will be a centrepiece called the Bobby Moore Garden, plus a statue.

"That's nice, but for me personally I don't need a statue to remember Bob. I was fortunate to know him as a friend and player at a very young age and those memories will be in my mind forever.

"All those memories are upstairs in my head and that is good enough for me."