West Ham: Club unveil statue in honour of 1965 European Cup Winners' Cup win

By Simon StoneBBC Sport

West Ham legend Martin Peters had his ashes laid in the foundations of the statue unveiled at the London Stadium today in honour of the club's historic 1965 European Cup Winners' Cup success.

The statue, which also features Bobby Moore and Sir Geoff Hurst, is part of the club's 125th anniversary celebrations.

Peters, who played 11 years for West Ham, died in December 2019, aged 76.

"It is an emotional day," former striker Hurst told BBC Sport.

Hurst, who attended the ceremony along with Moore's daughter Roberta and Peters' wife Kathy, lifted the World Cup with England in 1966 alongside his two Hammers team-mates - a year after their European glory.

"It was such a great time, winning the FA Cup, the Cup Winners' Cup and miraculously, the World Cup," he added. "All three of us, winning all three in the space of three years, it was quite astonishing really."

Former England captain Moore, who also skippered West Ham during his 18 years with them, passed away in 1993 at the age of 51.

Hurst, who remains the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, compared the trio's achievements to 18-year-old British tennis player Emma Raducanu, who won her first Grand Slam title earlier this month.

He said: "When Emma Raducanu won the US Open, Tim Henman was talking about her and kept saying 'it's a joke'.

"This [statue] behind me, with my two colleagues, growing up in the academy, it was a joke. To have a statue here is remarkable.

"This is where it all started. We were very fortunate because the academy had just started and they started to take coaching more seriously. [Former West Ham manager] Ron Greenwood was a revolutionary."

Sir Trevor Brooking, another club icon, paid tribute to the Hammers trio as he added: "You can never forget those three years [between 1964-1966] as a West Ham fan. For a few years we talked about West Ham winning the World Cup because of those three players.

"It was an amazing situation. I don't think you will ever get three players from the same club playing such a key part [for England] in a final and winning it.

"We haven't done it since. More than anything, someone in that era, who was lucky enough to be there, I have never forgotten it."

West Ham take on Austrian side Rapid Vienna in the Europa League group stage on Thursday and Hurst has been impressed with the side's form over the last couple of seasons.

The 79-year-old, who spent 15 years with the club after joining at 15, said: "We seem to be on the way back under David Moyes. There seem to be a lot more 'happy Hammers' than there have been for quite a while.

"The team needed improvements and David has brought that. That is the major difference.

"As Alf Ramsey in our time was fundamentally responsible for the success with England and then Ron Greenwood, a lot of the congratulations are on David Moyes in the last couple of years since he has been here."

The unveiling was tinged with sadness following the deaths of Jimmy Greaves and Roger Hunt - two of Hurst's fellow forwards in England's World Cup-winning squad.

Hurst told how "extremely sad" he was as he recalled memories of their time together in 1966.

"The three of us were vying for two places," he said.

"It looked, prior to the World Cup, as though it would be Jimmy and I. We were given our club numbers eight and 10, Roger was given 22.

"At that stage, we played some friendly games and I didn't play too well. He started with Roger and Jimmy, who were two of the greats of my time.

"Sadly we know the story, Jimmy got injured. There was no way he would have been left out otherwise.

"I took over and made a contribution that made it very difficult for Alf to put Jimmy back in the side."

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