Jump to content
The Education Forum

Ron Greenwood And Goalkeepers


Mark Haley
 Share

Recommended Posts

The first game my Dad took me to at Upton Park was against Chelsea at the start of the 1966/67 season. I was only 5 and have practically no re-collection of it, though I have seen the 'Match Of The Day' highlights since and our World Cup winning trio received a deserved ovation as they ran onto the pitch applauded by players from both teams. Surely this was to be 'our year'...

I only mention it because West Ham lost the game 1-2. A sign of things to come. We didn't win the league that season. Didn't even come close. 16th ! I think the best we managed with Moore, Hurst & Peters in the same side was 8th.

While I'm not going to entirely blame the goalkeeper position, it now seems to be accepted that Sir Ron was given the opportunity to sign Gordon Banks at the end of that season. He decided against it for an old fashioned reason. Principle. He had already made an agreement to sign Bobby Ferguson from Kilmarnock and decided to go through with it.

I admire Greenwood for that. You have to wonder what West Ham would have achieved with a World Cup Winning quartet running through the spine of the team. Having said that, I always liked watching Ferguson in goal. He was fearless, made spectacular saves... but just wasn't tall enough to be the top class keeper that Gordon Banks clearly was.

Tonight I saw a bit of the Sky Sports show 'Time Of Our Lives' while waiting for the cricket highlights to come on. Alex Stepney was discussing the circumstances that resulted in him signing for Man Utd.

Stepney said that Millwall had agreed to sell him to West Ham in May 1966 only for the deal to fall though. All became clear when he revealed he ended up signing for Chelsea instead on the understanding that Peter Bonetti was going to West Ham (A-ha, so that's why the Stepney deal fell through). The Chairman at Chelsea died and his replacement told Docherty he wanted Bonetti in the Chelsea team, not at West Ham.

Either way, in the course of the year West Ham missed out on Gordon Banks (the best keeper in the world) Alex Stepney (European Cup Winner, League Championship winner and FA Cup Winner with Man Utd) and Peter Bonnetti (FA Cup Winner and Cup Winners Cup Winner with Chelsea).

I'm not convinced that Bonetti would have been the final piece in the jigsaw but I wonder what West Ham fans would be re-collecting now if we'd had either Banks or Stepney in goal. Perhaps nothing... perhaps everything. What if...maybe... might've been...

In reality, West Ham came up short in numerous other area and... the cricket highlights are about to start.

Edited by Mark Haley
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
The first game my Dad took me to at Upton Park was against Chelsea at the start of the 1966/67 season. I was only 5 and have practically no re-collection of it, though I have seen the 'Match Of The Day' highlights since and our World Cup winning trio received a deserved ovation as they ran onto the pitch applauded by players from both teams. Surely this was to be 'our year'...

I only mention it because West Ham lost the game 1-2. A sign of things to come. We didn't win the league that season. Didn't even come close. 16th ! I think the best we managed with Moore, Hurst & Peters in the same side was 8th.

While I'm not going to entirely blame the goalkeeper position, it now seems to be accepted that Sir Ron was given the opportunity to sign Gordon Banks at the end of that season. He decided against it for an old fashioned reason. Principle. He had already made an agreement to sign Bobby Ferguson from Kilmarnock and decided to go through with it.

I admire Greenwood for that. You have to wonder what West Ham would have achieved with a World Cup Winning quartet running through the spine of the team. Having said that, I always liked watching Ferguson in goal. He was fearless, made spectacular saves... but just wasn't tall enough to be the top class keeper that Gordon Banks clearly was.

Tonight I saw a bit of the Sky Sports show 'Time Of Our Lives' while waiting for the cricket highlights to come on. Alex Stepney was discussing the circumstances that resulted in him signing for Man Utd.

Stepney said that Millwall had agreed to sell him to West Ham in May 1966 only for the deal to fall though. All became clear when he revealed he ended up signing for Chelsea instead on the understanding that Peter Bonetti was going to West Ham (A-ha, so that's why the Stepney deal fell through). The Chairman at Chelsea died and his replacement told Docherty he wanted Bonetti in the Chelsea team, not at West Ham.

Either way, in the course of the year West Ham missed out on Gordon Banks (the best keeper in the world) Alex Stepney (European Cup Winner, League Championship winner and FA Cup Winner with Man Utd) and Peter Bonnetti (FA Cup Winner and Cup Winners Cup Winner with Chelsea).

I'm not convinced that Bonetti would have been the final piece in the jigsaw but I wonder what West Ham fans would be re-collecting now if we'd had either Banks or Stepney in goal. Perhaps nothing... perhaps everything. What if...maybe... might've been...

In reality, West Ham came up short in numerous other area and... the cricket highlights are about to start.

The first West Ham goalkeeper I saw was Jim Gregory. He was at the end of his career then (played 406 games for the club). Lawrie Leslie was the next regular keeper but it was Jim Standen who played in the glory games in 1964 and 1965. He was a safe but unspectacular keeper. Parkes was probably our best keeper but I don't think Green is too far behind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...