West Ham United's legendary late manager Ron Greenwood CBE passed away on 9 February, exactly 16 years ago today.
Born on 11 November 1921, in Burnley, Lancashire and widely considered to be an innovative football visionary, Greenwood was the manager who guided West Ham to the first major trophies in the Club’s history.
Greenwood was appointed in April 1961 following a successful playing career as a defender with Bradford Park Avenue, Brentford, Chelsea and Fulham.
Capped once by England at ‘B’ level in the Netherlands in March 1952, Greenwood returned at the age of 34 and went into coaching.
After short spells with non-league Eastbourne United, Oxford University and the England Youth and U23 sides – where he first came across a young Bobby Moore – Greenwood was appointed as assistant manager at Arsenal under George Swindin in December 1957.
On his arrival at West Ham, the new manager set about building on the Academy of Football philosophy introduced by predecessor Ted Fenton.
Under his leadership, the likes of Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, among others, developed into some of the best English players of all-time.
In 1964, Greenwood’s Hammers won the FA Cup for the first time, defeating Preston North End 3-2 in a thrilling Wembley final.
The following year, 1965, the manager led his West Ham team out at the Home of Football again, this time for a superb 2-0 victory over West Germans TSV 1860 Munich in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final.
Greenwood continued to oversee the development of what has become known worldwide as ‘The West Ham Way’ – the production of good players and good people, playing attractive, attacking football.
After 13 years at the helm, he moved to a new role of general manager in 1974, with assistant John Lyall taking over as first-team manager.
In 1977, Greenwood was appointed as England manager, ending 16 years at the Boleyn Ground. As national-team boss, he led England to the 1980 UEFA European Championship finals and 1982 FIFA World Cup before retiring from football.
In 1981, he was made a CBE for his services to football before being inducted into the FA Hall of Fame in 2002. He passed away aged 84, on this day in 2006.
Two months later, his protege John Lyall, who served as his coach and succeeded him as manager in the early 1970s, sadly died at the age of 66.
Fittingly, West Ham would reach the FA Cup final for the fifth time in the Club's history that same year, losing on penalties following a thrilling 3-3 draw with Liverpool that surely both men would have been hugely proud of.
Sixteen years on from his death, Ron Greenwood's legacy will live on forever at West Ham United.