West Ham United is honoured to announce that, in line with the wishes of his wife Kathy and her family, the ashes of Martin Peters have today been interred within the foundations of the new statue at London Stadium celebrating our three 1966 World Cup winners.
‘West Ham United’s European Champions’ – honouring Martin, Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst, and the finest hour they shared with their Hammers team-mates, the 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup final triumph, has been unveiled ahead of Thursday’s Europa League tie against Rapid Vienna, when supporters will be able to pay their personal respects to the legendary midfielder in person.
Born on 8 November 1943, in nearby Plaistow, Martin joined the Hammers as a 15-year-old apprentice in the summer of 1959 and made his first team debut less than three years later, at the age of 18 in a 4-1 home defeat over Cardiff City.
He went on to make 364 appearances for the club, scoring 100 goals and winning the Hammer of the Year award in 1965, the same year the Club enjoyed European glory, before playing a pivotal role in England’s World Cup triumph a year later.
After moving across London to Tottenham Hotspur, he finished his playing career with spells at Norwich City and Sheffield United, but in later years returned to his boyhood club as an Ambassador and was on the pitch at the final game at the Boleyn Ground in May 2016 to receive the applause of the Hammers fans who loved him so dearly.
Martin tragically passed away in December 2019 at the age of 76, following a long and courageous battle with illness. A plaque has been placed at the foot of the statue plinth, marking the final resting place for a man who will never be forgotten at West Ham United.
Kathy Peters said: “It gives my family and I great comfort and peace to know that Martin has now been laid to rest, and we couldn’t think of anywhere better than the spot where his legacy is honoured.
“He would be so proud and happy to have seen this statue unveiled, alongside Bobby and Geoff. The three of them achieved something that has never been repeated since and they were part of a very special time at West Ham that we all have such great memories of.
“Martin lived for football. Whether it was playing or watching in later years, West Ham meant so much to him and I know he would be so proud to now be surrounded by the fans he loved as they watch the team on a matchday. That makes me very happy.”
West Ham United Vice-Chairman Baroness Brady said: “Everyone at West Ham United is truly moved by this announcement. When Kathy approached us about her family’s wishes, and explained the reasoning, it was something that we were overwhelmingly honoured to fulfil.
“Martin adored West Ham United. As an ambassador at Upton Park on matchdays in his later years, he loved the interaction he enjoyed with supporters, whether it be an autograph, a photograph, or just a chat with the man they considered a hero, a legend, a colossus of the game.
“As Kathy has said, he would be filled with pride to know that he is again surrounded by those who loved and worshipped him, here with us at every match, and deservedly honoured alongside his friends and team-mates.
“I hope that Kathy and the Peters family can take great comfort from the fact that the entire West Ham United family will now have the opportunity to pay their respects to Martin, and that he is now resting at peace.”