West Ham United legend Billy Bonds has revealed his pride at being inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame.
The Club’s record appearance holder and former manager was bestowed the honour this week along with several other famous names in English football – including former Wales midfielder and manager Gary Speed, former Hammers and England midfielder Frank Lampard Jr, former Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard, and former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson.
Speaking exclusively to whufc.com, Billy said: “It’s a great honour and I am very grateful for it. I received a letter informing me that I had been inducted in this year’s selection.
“I’m told I join the likes of George Best, Sir Stanley Matthews and Danny Blanchflower, so I couldn’t be in much greater company, and I am honoured to be among those names.
“It’s lovely for my family, and I just wish that my old dad could have been here to see it – it would have made him very proud.”
Bonzo becomes the ninth player in the Hall of Fame to have worn the claret and blue – after Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, Sir Geoff Hurst, Jimmy Greaves, Liam Brady, Stuart Pearce, Rio Ferdinand and Teddy Sheringham, with Lampard Jr following swiftly as number 10.
The National Football Museum, based in Manchester, launched the Hall of Fame awards in 2002 to celebrate and highlight the achievements of the all-time top talents to grace the game in England.
Sir Geoff Hurst, Gordon Banks, Sir Bobby Charlton, Peter Schmeichel, Roger Hunt, Kevin Keegan, Bryan Robson, Francis Lee, Trevor Francis, Ossie Ardiles, George Cohen, Norman Hunter, Sue Lopez and Marianne Spacey were all part of the selection committee this year.
To be considered for induction players must be either retired or, in exceptional cases where a playing career is still ongoing, be at least 30 years of age. All inductees must also have played or managed for at least five years in England.
For more information on the National Museum Hall of Fame, click here