Ken Brown celebrates 90th birthday at London Stadium

The only player in West Ham United’s history to be part of the teams that won the 1958 Second Division championship, the 1964 FA Cup and 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup, Ken Brown Sr, celebrated turning 90 earlier this month by returning to London Stadium for Monday night's Premier League meeting with Brentford.

Brown, who played 474 times in Claret and Blue between February 1953 and February 1967, was crowned Hammer of the Year and capped by England in 1959, and personified the transformation of West Ham from second-tier also-rans to one of the finest teams in the country.

A tough centre-half on the field and a true gentleman off it, Brown mentored dozens of future first-team stars through the Academy of Football and partnered the 17-year-old Bobby Moore on his debut against Manchester United in September 1958.

He was rewarded for an outstanding career with a Testimonial match in May 1967, when he captained a Select XI including the late Gordon Banks and his fellow 1964 FA Cup winners John Bond and Johnny Byrne against a West Ham side captained by his friend and teammate Moore.

In May 2018, he was honoured by the Club's Lifetime Achievement Award, emulating teammates Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters and continuing a relationship with the Hammers dating back seven decades.

Ken Brown with the 90th birthday cards he received from Hammers fans
Ken was thrilled to receive a huge number of birthday cards from Hammers fans

Brown played all seven ties as the Hammers won the FA Cup for the first time in 1964, and all nine as Ron Greenwood led them to European Cup Winners’ Cup glory at Wembley a year later. He partnered Bobby Moore in both victories over Preston North End and TSV 1860 Munich at Wembley – just as he had done on the future England captain’s debut.

Brown ended his time as a professional player alongside Bond at Torquay United before embarking on his own successful managerial career, leading Norwich City to League Cup glory in 1985 and a then-record high league finish of fifth a year later.

Son Kenny played under his father at Carrow Road before moving to West Ham himself in 1991, spending five years at the Club. He is now the Hammers' Academy Manager.

The elder Brown also managed Shrewsbury Town and Plymouth Argyle and scouted for England managers Terry Venables, Glenn Hoddle and Kevin Keegan before finally hanging up his boots in his 70s.

He is now living with wife Elaine in Norfolk, where together they celebrated his 90th birthday – and he was thrilled to receive a huge number of cards from fellow Hammers following the Club’s online call for fans to share their memories, before heading to east London for Monday's game, where a further gift awaited.

There, he was given a framed shirt by Sir Trevor Brooking and was presented to the crowd ahead of a thrilling victory over the Bees.

Happy birthday Ken!