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History (page three)
       
       
With Moore collecting the Jules Rimet Trophy on behalf of the country, and Peters netting the other England goal, most West Ham fans will tell you that it was the Hammers, not England, who won the World Cup in '66! Greenwood's reputation as one of the most intelligent coaches in the game led to his appointment as England manager in 1977, when his training ground protégé, John Lyall, stepped up to become the new Hammers' boss in his own right, having earlier become team manager under Greenwood in 1975. Lyall made a great start to his senior management career, guiding West Ham to their second FA Cup success in his first season in charge.
 
 
     
The '75 final against Bobby Moore's Fulham was no classic but the men in claret and blue were well worth their 2-0 win, thanks to a brace from whippet-like winger Alan Taylor, a bargain signing from lowly Rochdale.

The Cup win meant another crack at the ECWC the following season. West Ham made it to the final again, but this time home advantage counted in favor of the Belgians, as Anderlecht delighted the Brussels crowd with a 4-2 win.

         

Lyall simply continued to imbue all the same qualities of leadership, integrity and tactical nous of his predecessor. West Ham maintained their proud tradition for playing attacking football but, under Lyall, added a more steely edge that was crucial in winning the FA Cup in 1980, followed by the Second Division championship 12 months later with a record points haul.

For the '80 final against Arsenal, West Ham were the Second Division underdogs. But Lyall got his tactics spot on and had the players to carry out his instructions to perfection. Trevor Brooking, a stylish, creative midfield talent who emerged as Hammers' biggest star of the 70s and 80s, netted the winner with his head in a 1-0 victory. Brooking and skipper Billy Bonds, a lionhearted, swashbuckling character who gave everything as a player for 21 years before joining the management team at Upton Park, typified the loyalty that existed at the club, and which Lyall did so much to foster, during this period

   
   

Even after Hammers were finally relegated in 1978, following numerous narrow escapes, Brooking and Bonds never considered leaving. Since the late 70s the club has experienced a turbulent period. After regaining top flight status in 1981, Lyall continued to rebuild the side and in 1985-86 his efforts were rewarded when Hammers achieved their highest-ever league placing – third, behind champions Liverpool and Everton. West Ham went into the final Saturday of that season still in with a chance of winning the coveted title for the first time, only to see the dream shattered by Liverpool's victory at Chelsea. Lyall was unable to build on that promising campaign and, just three years later, the club was relegated and its manager sacked. For the first time since Greenwood's appointment, the Board of Directors sought a replacement from outside the West Ham 'family' – and it backfired on them.

Lou Macari, who had enjoyed some success lower down the league ladder with Swindon Town, didn't really fit it and, amid personal problems, suddenly resigned just seven months into his tenure. His replacement, the legendary Billy Bonds, proved a popular choice and at the end of his first full season in charge Bonzo's boys were promoted back to the First Division in 1991 as runners-up to Oldham Athletic. But what should have been a happy return to the top flight quickly became a nightmare for Bonds and his players.

The Club had introduced a controversial new bond scheme as a the prime means of funding the redevelopment of the Boleyn Ground following Lord Justice Taylor's Report into the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster which required all leading clubs to replace the old concrete terraces with expensive seating. The club hoped to raise £19 million through bonds bought by supporters to secure their seats at discounted prices over a long-term period, but the scheme was drastically under-subscribed and sparked a wave of unrest among die-hard fans whose loyalty was being tested to the limit.

Crowds fell significantly and on-pitch protests and demonstrations ensued as fans made their feelings known. The ultimate effect of this winter of discontent was relegation from the top division for the second time in three years. The 1991-92 season had taken its toll on Bonds' morale and before the start of the following campaign he brought in his former team-mate and good friend, Harry Redknapp, as his assistant. The new duo forged a formidable partnership which resulted in promotion back to the top flight, and a place in the newly-launched FA Premier League, as runners-up to Newcastle United.

         
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