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They Nearly Reached the Sky: West Ham United in Europe

Brian Belton

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From the publisher:

From the earliest days of West Ham United the club sought out competition from outside the British Isles. Building on this, the Hammers, led by England captain Bobby Moore, won their way into top class competition in Europe to become the first side made up entirely of English players to win a major international trophy: the European Cup Winners Cup in 1965 at Wembley. Although this was to be the zenith of the team's performance on the international stage, there were to be further exciting and intriguing campaigns and games-great goals, magnificent victories, and defeats fought to the finish.

However, this is more a story about places, people, and times, as West Ham went about breaking ground and hearts on their rampage across the continent. The boys from London's East End were learning, teaching, and developing a pedigree of football that was to be replicated, but never entirely reproduced. No-one else had the pioneering magic that the Irons engendered; they nearly reached the sky, while others just followed.

This is the story of that glory.

The author:

Emerging from the East London gang culture of the early 1970s, Brian Belton is a lifelong West Ham United supporter. After professionally qualifying in youth work, he gained a doctorate from the University of Kent, and is currently a senior lecturer at the YMCA George Williams College in London. Brian has written close to eighty books, as well as numerous articles and learned papers, and he has spoken regularly on radio and TV, and at conferences throughout the UK and beyond. Brian is an internationally recognised and respected academic and writer in the fields of professional youth work, ethnicity, and identity..


Fonthill Media
23 x 16 cm
160 pages
May 2017