Bonds shares 'wonderful' Boleyn memories

West Ham United legend Billy Bonds MBE bids a personal Farewell Boleyn ahead of the Final Game against Manchester United...

I have wonderful memories of Upton Park.

When I first went over there in 1967 from Charlton Athletic, West Ham had just won the World Cup, thanks to Hurst, Peters and Moore. I went into that dressing room but, all I can say is that Bobby Moore welcomed me straightaway. What a fantastic footballer and a lovely bloke he was. You didn’t feel that he felt he was above you – despite being a World Cup winner.

It was a great environment at the time, the Club was really buzzing. We had some great nights. The 1976 Eintracht Frankfurt European Cup-Winners’ Cup semi-final was probably the most atmospheric game I have ever played under. Though we were 2-1 down from the first leg, we won the second at home 3-1 to progress 4-3 on aggregate into the final. It was a sensational night.

West Ham fans are the greatest in the country. They have treated me brilliantly down the years. Upton Park is a very atmospheric football ground. Opposing teams have never liked coming there. You had all the Dockers on the other side of the pitch, standing in the ‘old chicken run’. It felt like the crowd were always on top of you and played a real part in your success.

There are so many memories. I’ll always recall the anger of Alex Ferguson, who lost two league titles there with Manchester United, in 1992 and 1995.

There have been some fabulous games there. I’m sure a lot of the older people, those around my age of 69, will be sad to leave the place. But it’s progress, and the club has to move on.