It’s probably going to be the worst kept secret of the year because with the East Stand set to carry the name of a Hammers legend, there’s only one contender in town. Billy Bonds is held in high regards by everybody associated with West Ham United.
He is only one contender and if it goes to anyone other than the first winner of the club’s lifetime service award there’s gonna be trouble – from here anyway. Nobody else can be awarded such an honour and when it happens it will mean that the Hammers Holy Trinity of Mooro, Sir Trev and Bonzo will have nailed down once and for all their own personal naming rights at the stadium.
Everybody has been crying out for Bill to be honoured by the club and it would be staggering if anybody else were named as the recipient of this honour. It’s fitting that Sir Trev and Bonzo remain best mates to this day and Bill will admit to anyone who asks that when he arrived at Upton Park from Charlton he was totally in awe of Mooro.
Yet in a Blowing Bubbles poll of the greatest ever Hammers extraordinarily he eclipsed his greatest hero as the best Hammer of all time. That was an amazing result and it’s probably fair to say that of all the surviving players who have served this great club Bonzo is very much the number one.
Beyond his playing abilities I can personally vouch for his humility and generosity of spirit notably when he was ultra quick to respond to a ClaretandHugh request for signed memorabilia to be put up for sale for little Isla Caton’s treatment for a rare form of cancer. When it didn’t reach the target Bill had in mind his disappointment was intense and he immediately wanted to provide a load more items.
He is one of football’s nice guys for whom nothing is ever too much trouble. He, Mooro and Sir Trev were great mates and it’s a given that Bill was one of the the most dedicated guys every to wear the shirt – a Hammers legend in every sense of the word.
So the east stand as the Billy Bonds Stand has a terrific ring to it. The circle is squared with the other two having been honoured. Bill’s honour will be overdue and would carry a nice sense of Hammers completeness with it.