‘Bonds led a beardy revolution and was all you want in a leader’

Top journalist Jim Munro on Bonds, Cantona and taking the Bridge in the 1980s

Favourite West Ham game

I’ve had so many fabulous memories watching West Ham but t he 2012 Wembley play-off win over Blackpool was extra special as it was a coming of age thing for the Munro clan. It was my lad’s first game at just four years old. The ecstasy of Ricardo Vaz Te’s late winner, the kindness of fellow Irons making way for my boy at the rammed steps leading to Wembley Tube station, strangers shouting ‘up the ‘Ammers’ to us all the way along Marylebone High Street as we headed for a celebratory KFC. I couldn’t have scripted him a better debut.

Worst West Ham game

I’ve witnessed so many, where do you start?! Losing the first leg of a League Cup semi-final 6-0 at a wet and windy Oldham in 1990 is up there.

Favourite West Ham goal

I so nearly missed what is probably the greatest televised goal in West Ham’s history. I arrived late for the Wimbledon game in 2000 and had just made my way to the Chicken Run when I looked up just in time to see Trevor Sinclair ping an inch-perfect cross to Paolo Di Canio — you know the rest.

Favourite West Ham player of all time

player of all time For sheer blood and guts determination and inspiration it has to be Billy Bonds. Six foot two, eyes of blue… you knew it if Billy Bonds was after you. In 1973- 74 he was captain, penalty-taker and leading goalscorer — not bad for a defensive midfielder. He led the beardy revolution in the 1970s when we looked like a team of pirates with the likes of him, Frank Lampard, Graham Paddon and Keith Robson tearing around the pitch. He also lifted the FA Cup twice, not many club captains have that on their CV.

Favourite West Ham player from the current squad

We all love an entertainer but he has to show some passion for the club too and in Manuel Lanzini we have a little gem. He’s such a gifted ball player, has matured very quickly at West Ham and at 24 has his best years ahead of him.

Best opposition player you’ve seen play against us

I’m about 150 years old so I’ve seen many. Eric Cantona was special and although we didn’t know it at the time, West Ham were the last team he was to play against before retiring in 1997 so that’s an Old Trafford memory.

Favourite away day

I’ve got no hesitation in saying Stamford Bridge, March 1986, Chelsea 0-4 West Ham. I won’t sugar coat it, the atmosphere outside was a little feisty and it felt as if we’d taken over the ground. West Ham were on a title charge and we dominated them.

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