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West Ham - Cup Winners Cup 1965

Victorious Versus 1860 Munich

In the modern era, West Ham stays in the shadow of their more remarkable London next-door neighbours like Arsenal and Tottenham. However, periodic ventures into Europe have frequently seen the club punch above its weight. Twelve months on from lifting the FA Cup, West Ham United was back under the Twin Towers for the European Cup Winners' Cup final.

The competition was first staged in 1960/61 and still in its infancy. Spurs won the trophy in 1963 with a handsome 5-1 win over holders Atlético Madrid, and this was the ideal chance for West Ham to evaluate themselves against quality opposition in a competitive environment.

West Ham would play La Gantoise of Belgium in the preliminary. The Hammers acquired important 1-0 lead away from home and going into the 2nd leg. Back in London, La Gantoise went into the lead when Martin Peters put through his own net. Centre-forward Johnny Byrne reduced any doubts with the equaliser 2 minutes from half time. Although a 1-1 draw sufficed to see them through, the home fans anticipated a more decisive victory.

The highly accomplished Sparta Prague were the attraction of the 2nd round. The first leg at Upton Park proved to be a battle of attrition with the Czechs man-marking very stubbornly. West Ham managed a 2 goal lead, but how would the Hammers cope in Prague?

West Ham went 1-0 up in the away leg, but they could not prevent two goals that made for an anxious final 15, however, made it through 3-2 on aggregate.

The Irons were drawn to deal with Lausanne of Switzerland in Round 3, a group rippling with internationals and handled by the redoubtable Karl Rappan. The Swiss favoured a system of players changing positions according to the pattern of the game. It was an early notion of what ultimately ended up being Total Football.

A goal from Brian Dear, and a solo effort from Byrne made it 2-0, however, Lausanne fought back to make it 2-1 on the night, but then also scored first in London to make it 2-2 in the tie. It was a game of toing and froing and West Ham brought back a 2 goal aggregate lead however going 2-1 up on the night, for the Swiss to make it 2-2 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate. Peters scored to go 3-2 on the night before Lausanne came back yet once again 3-3, and it then ended up 4-3 West Ham on the night, and 6-4 aggregate! West Ham was now in the semi-finals and only two video games away from another Wembley date.

The Hammers drew Real Zaragoza of Spain. Zaragoza were holders of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and had scored 15 objectives in the Cup Winners' Cup up until now.

West Ham managed a 2-1 success in the first leg, however, the press felt that this would not be enough to travel to Spain. Zaragoza did lay siege and levelled the tie the second half, but West Ham nicked one on the counter to level on the night and make it through on aggregate. They were now in the Final at Wembley!

The Final At Wembley

Their challengers were the German Cup winners TSV Munich 1860, a great side who had beat US Luxembourg, FC Porto, Legia Warsaw of Poland and Torino of Italy.

As so seldom takes place in the pressurized atmosphere of a final, both teams produced their best, sending the capability 100,000 crowd home drooling over their cumulative ability and undertaking. Referred to as a 'stunning game' that was a 'victory for West Ham and a triumph for the game of football', the showpiece was marked by 90 minutes of 'bold and imaginative' play by both sets of teams

West Ham was the much better side, however, and their supremacy was rewarded two times in the area of three second-half minutes. Alan Sealey scored both, the first from Ronnie Boyce's pass and the 2nd after Martin Peters knocked Bobby Moore's enter his course four lawns from goal.

A little more than 20 minutes later and Moore was climbing the well-known Wembley actions for the second time to raise a trophy for his team.

 

Brian: It was on that night Bobby came around and he said, "Stag, you'll be alright tonight, won't you?" I went numb, then I said, "Definitely, I'm not nervous." He said, "Well, walk behind me." I said, "Why?" He said, "If you come out walking behind me, you will definitely get your photo taken." I've got in my kitchen at home a photo of me and Mooro, Boycey behind me and Hursty. It's the best photo I've got in my life with the best fellow that I ever knew in my life.

It has been mooted about that. That was the finest performance some people have seen from a West Ham side that night at Wembley. Everything just went really well and it was a fantastic evening. We went nowhere afterwards. We had a sandwich and a cup of tea and came back to Upton Park. I got £30 a week then. We got, £800 bonus for winning that game, £100 appearance fee.

Announcer: What a night for West Ham as Bobby Moore receives the trophy. The whole country is proud of the Hammers, winners of the European Cup Winners' Cup.

Brian: I bought my dream house like footballers do today for £5,200 in Hornchurch, £25 deposit from Woolwich Building Society, £7 a week rent and then begged for my dinner from somewhere.