West Ham United’s new statue paying tribute to Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, and the Club’s 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup victory, has been unveiled at London Stadium ahead of Thursday’s opening home UEFA Europa League fixture of the season.
Supporters attending the Group H clash against Rapid Vienna will be among the first to view the bronze sculpture, as the Club continues to involve its supporters at the earliest opportunity and at a fitting time with the Hammers set to host European action once again.
Sir Geoff, along with Bobby’s daughter Roberta Moore and Martin’s wife Kathy Peters, who all played an integral role throughout the design process, were at London Stadium on Wednesday afternoon to reveal the stunning statue for the first time, joined by four other members of the 1965 ECWC-winning team – Brian Dear, Ronnie Boyce, Ken Brown and Jack Burkett - along with Hammers Joint-Chairman David Gold, Vice-Chairman Karren Brady, manager David Moyes, captain Mark Noble, Declan Rice and Sir Trevor Brooking.
Roberta Moore said: “It’s amazing to see the statue here today. I think it’s fantastic that it’s in a wonderful position when I look up at London Stadium, and that these players have got a presence here that fans for generations to come can visit and bring their children and see the legacy of the 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup team.
“I’m just so grateful that it’s here and I know my Dad would be really humbled and would have a really big smile on his face.
“I was asked by the Club to be involved from the initial concept. I think I had probably eight or nine visits to the artists, and it’s an amazing journey to be on to see all the feedback taken on board and to see it animated and come to life.
“The level of detail, even in the socks and the laces and the Club badge, a lot of time and effort has been put into those characteristics. It’s wonderful to see it come to life today.
“It couldn’t be more fitting timing with the unveiling today and with the match tomorrow. I just hope – and I know Dad would as well – that it just unveils another glorious period of European football for West Ham.
“I just hope the fans will be inspired by it too. It’s the Club’s history and it just heralds an amazing era. Let’s hope it carries on.”
West Ham United Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold said: “The statue is a magnificent and fitting tribute to the three greatest players in our history and the finest hour they shared with their team-mates in a Claret and Blue shirt.
“Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters stand for everything that West Ham United supporters cherish most about our football club – homegrown, local players who progressed through the famous Academy of the 1950s, represented the Club with class, dignity and passion at all times, and reached the very pinnacle of the game at Wembley in 1966…a victory that earned them immortality.
“A year earlier they, along with their eight other team-mates, played a pivotal and unforgettable role in leading West Ham United to European glory against TSV Munich 1860, a triumph that elevated the Club to global prominence.
“To see this wonderful and permanent tribute to our three greatest sons and our greatest victory unveiled makes it an extremely proud day for everyone associated with West Ham United.”
Hammers skipper Mark Noble said: “I was honoured to be present at the statue’s unveiling. For me, it is one of the most important things any Football Club can do: respect and bring to light the foundations it is built upon. It’s something that I try to bring to the Academy when I go over there.
"It’s important to realise that this Football Club is going to be around long after we’ve all left it. It’s important we respect and remember the players who have brought this Club to the forefront of world football – and those three most certainly have.
"Nothing can ever be enough to remember and respect our past players, but the statue of Moore, Hurst and Peters is fully deserved because of the memories they and their teammates gave us.”
Supporters can arrive early at London Stadium for the Rapid Vienna fixture on Thursday, soak up the atmosphere ahead of our home return to European action and view the statue, with a photographer also on site for Hammers to share this moment with their fellow supporters.
The Club's supporters have been consulted ever since it was decided that the original Champions’ Statue would remain at the junction of Barking Road and Green Street, adjacent to our former home at the Boleyn Ground, and it was the Club’s immediate intention to commission and fund a new statue at London Stadium, in line with supporters’ wishes.
Continued supporter consultation and feedback, including in more recent times from the Independent Supporters’ Committee, provided a clear and widespread view from the start of the process to honour the Club’s rich heritage at the Boleyn Ground and also reflect that at its new home. Furthermore, from early consultation it was clear that any design should focus on our three famous sons of the 60s – Moore, Hurst and Peters, who all came through the famous Academy of Football to reach the very pinnacle of the game in 1966, when they led England to World Cup Final glory against West Germany at Wembley.
Additionally, to ensure West Ham United’s own greatest achievement under the Twin Towers is also recognised, the lifesize-and-a-quarter bronze statue depicts the three World Cup heroes lifting the European Cup Winners’ Cup trophy in 1965, commemorating a performance that catapulted the Club on to the world stage after two second-half goals from Alan Sealey saw the Hammers overcome German side TSV Munich 1860.
As chosen by our supporters via an online vote on whufc.com, the formal title of the statue, which is located at Champions Place on the north-east corner of the stadium and was commissioned last year as part of the Club’s 125th anniversary celebrations, is ‘West Ham United’s European Champions’.
The names of the full triumphant team, as well as manager Ron Greenwood, are also immortalised on the plinth of the statue to truly capture a collective and historic success.