Filed: Saturday, 19th May 2012
By: Staff Writer
47 years ago today, Bobby Moore lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup as West Ham beat 1860 Munich in one of Wembley Stadium's greatest ever games.
Having firmly stamped his authority on the team following his appointment as successor to the departing Ted Fenton in 1961, Ron Greenwood already had one trophy (or two if you count the Charity Shield that had been shared with Liverpool) under his belt by the time his side returned to Wembley for a second time in 12 months in May 1965.
It was that FA Cup win against Preston North End a year earlier that resulted in United's participation in the Cup Winners Cup for the first time - and an opportunity they took full advantage of by reaching the Final at the first attempt.
Wins against La Gantoise (Belgium), Spartak Prague (Czechoslovakia), Lausanne (Switzerland) and Real Zaragoza had left United facing German side TSV Munich in the Final; the 'home advantage' of playing at Wembley was to be of considerable benefit as Hammers fans easily outnumbered supporters of the team from the Bavarian capital city.
Although Jim Standen has to be at his very best on the night to deny 1860 on at least three occasions when he found himself left one-on-one with an opponent, Munich's self-appointed 'best goalkeeper in the World' - Petar 'Radi' Radenkovic - was equal to anything the West Ham number one could produce. Time after time he denied the Hammers, who were always on top but unable to make the vital breakthrough.
That was until Alan Sealey - a part-time first team player who made only 21 appearances in all competitions that season and had scored the last of his three previous goals of the campaign more than three months earlier - smashed home the opening goal with 69 minutes on the clock.
Ronnie Boyce, who had hit the post earlier in the half stole the ball in midfield before squaring it to outside-right Sealey who fired home from an acute angle. Two minutes later and Sealey - who had married wife Barbara just a week before the Final - scored his second of the night when slotting home from close range after Martin Peters had made a mess of Geoff Hurst's free kick - a goal almost identical to Hurst's headed goal in the World Cup Final a year later (Bobby Moore providing the delivery on that occasion).
That goal was to prove too much for the Germans and the Hammers played out the rest of the game without reply. Indeed Johnny Sissons could have added a third late on but his thunderous effort crashed back off the crossbar to safety, with Radenkovic well beaten once again; the outstanding Brian Dear, who had been denied a number of times also saw a late effort chalked off for offside.
Fortunately neither miss mattered as Bobby Moore went on to lift the trophy to become the first Englishman to do so (Tottenham, who had won the trophy two years earlier had been captained by Irishman Danny Blanchflower). It was an achievement that West Ham have failed to match since and, after all these years, a performance that has rarely been equalled by any English team, let alone West Ham United FC.
From KUMB.com's 100 Greatest Moments: kumb.com/article.php?id=2883
Speaking of good omens...
In 1966, Ron Greenwood's West Ham beat Blackpool 4-1 away from home and 4-0 at home in League Division One - the same year that West Ham captain Bobby Moore lifted a trophy at Wembley.
In 2012, Sam Allardyce's West Ham beat Blackpool 4-1 away from home and 4-0 at home in the Championship - the same season that West Ham captain Kevin Nolan leads his team to Wembley...
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