Bonzo lauds West Ham Ladies

Hammers legend Billy Bonds MBE has thrown his support behind West Ham United Ladies
Hammers legend Billy Bonds MBE has thrown his support behind West Ham United Ladies.

Ladies manager and four-time Hammer of the Year Julian Dicks invited his former teammate and manager Billy Bonds for a Q&A session with fans at the Boleyn Ground.

The event saw more than 100 supporters join the two giants of West Ham history for an evening of entertaining anecdotes in support of the Ladies section.

Bonds, who played alongside the left-back in 1987/88 before becoming his manager in February 1990, welcomed the growth of women’s football – and women’s sport in general – in recent years.

“I’ve got two daughters and two granddaughters and I think it’s absolutely fantastic,” said Bonds. “You see the Ladies progressing in football, rugby and golf and when I was younger, the women didn’t get opportunities like that.

“I think that anything that gives ladies the opportunities to progress within sport is worth doing because, like I say, I’ve got all women in my family.”
I’ve got two daughters and two granddaughters and I think it’s absolutely fantastic
The two West Ham greats were known for having a heated relationship at times, especially during Bonds’ spell in charge, but both admitted that they will forever enjoy a friendship based on the respect they have for one another.

“Billy is an absolute gentleman and I have the upmost respect for him,” said Dicks. “When he was my manager, we had many rows but if there is ever one person that I’d have to choose as the greatest player in my team then it would be Billy Bonds.”

Bonds echoed Dicks’ sentiments, saying: “We weren’t very good friends when he was one of my players, because he definitely tested me at times! He was a rebel of a player but a very good player.

“He is a very good friend of mine now, though, and has matured a lot over the years and I think that now he has had a crack at management, he realises just how tough it can be.

“I always knew every Saturday that Julian would give me 110 per cent on the pitch and he was an outstanding left-back for the team.”

The event raised more than £3,000 for the Ladies, who have reached the London FA Capital Cup final and are challenging in the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division in Dicks’ first season in charge.

The Ladies are seeking a new chairperson and senior club secretary to help the club push towards their dream of reaching the FA Women’s Super League. All applicants must have business experience and are invited to forward their CV and details of their relevant experience to: whulfccha[email protected]

Also, any companies or individuals interested in discussing sponsorship packages with the club are advised to contact the club directly via Twitter at @westhamladies

Finally, if any footballers with experience of playing to a similar level to West Ham United Ladies want a chance to trial for the club, please contact manager Julian Dicks directly via email at [email protected] with full details of experience.