Filed: Sunday, 22nd January 2012
By: Staff Writer
KUMB.com is saddened to learn of the passing of former player and coach, Ernie Gregory.
Gregory, who was 90, passed away in hospital close to the nursing home in Essex where he spent the last months of his life, this weekend.
Ernie joined West Ham United's ground staff in 1936, two years before signing as a player in 1938.
However he was forced to wait another seven years, due to the onset of World War II, before becoming a regular between the sticks - a position he held until 1960, when he called time on his career following the Irons' long-awaited return to (the old) Division One.
During that period, which spanned four decades, Gregory made 408 league and cup appearances for the club - a goalkeeping record that was only superseded in the late 1980s by Phil Parkes (who went on to make 436 appearances).
His sole international appearance was for an England 'B' side in a 1952 friendly against France.
Following his playing retirement at the age of 39, Gregory took up coaching and became involved with both the reserves and first team before taking up an admin role at West Ham.
He eventually retired at the age of 66, having given an incredible 51 years' service to the club, in 1987.
Despite having retired, Gregory remained a regular visitor at the Chadwell Heath training ground for many years after. He regularly popped in to chat with Academy director Tony Carr and other club staff until he was taken ill in 2010.
After suffered a stroke at his Goodmayes home, Gregory spent time recovering at a rest home in Dagenham before moving to his most recent home in Basildon.
Jimmy Andrews 1927-2012 [14th Sep 2012]
Goodbye, Ernie [2nd Feb 2012]
Ernie Gregory: goodbye to a legend [22nd Jan 2012]
Ernie on the up [5th Aug 2010]