Welcome to the Private memorabilia collection of 'theyflysohigh'
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It all began at the start of the 1968-69 season, the acquisition of my first matchday programme 17th August 1968 West Ham United v. Nottingham Forest. A game which saw Geoff Hurst scoring the only goal of the match, even a 1-4 home reverse against Everton two days later didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for my new found passion West Ham United and memorabilia associated with the Claret and Blue. By then it was too late, I was hooked.
Happy collecting and remember...
Today's throw away is Tomorrow's Collectable
Last Updated : 9 January 2021
The hardest decision a collector of football memorabilia is likely to have to make is what to collect. For me, it was a case of trying to draw a line under what not to collect.
Thankfully for me I didn’t succumb to that decision.
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If you suggested to a top tier club that they embark on a three-week close season tour taking in over 13,000 miles of travel including numerous flights, driving on rough roads and tolerating a hot, humid and often wet climate with no air conditioning, you would be considered a lion short of a full safari!
1962 Summer Tour of Africa
But that is exactly what West Ham undertook when they toured Africa in the summer of 1962.
The club’s history books and local newspapers have given this tour scant coverage. This feature covers it in more detail with references to club secretary Eddie Chapman’s personal account in the 1962-63 club’s handbook, the club’s first home programme of the season in August 1962, Terry Roper’s scintillating book “West Ham in the Sixties The Jack Burkett Story”, Ron Greenwood’s autobiography “Yours Sincerely” and reporting in various Rhodesian and Ghanaian newspapers.
The importance of the 1962 tour has possibly been underestimated as it could be argued that it marked a watershed in the building of manager Ron Greenwood’s first team squad. Greenwood alluded to this in his autobiography:
“The tour had a hidden bonus for us, however. Through all its adversity our team spirit grew even stronger. The problems we shared welded us together. It also taught me a lot about the character of my players. I noted those who had a good sense of humour, those I could count on, those who looked for problems and those who were idle. And on my first tour as manager I discovered much about myself.”
Many of the tour’s players would go on to contribute to the 1963 USA International Tournament, 1964 FA Cup and 1965 European Cup Winners' Cup triumphs while for others the door on their West Ham careers soon closed. Less than three months before this tour commenced, Ron had already made a crucial investment by signing Johnny Byrne.
Nine of the tour’s players would go on to play roles in the 1963, 1964 and 1965 successes. These were: John Bond, Eddie Bovington, Ron Boyce, Ken Brown, Jack Burkett, Johnny Byrne, Martin Peters, Alan Sealey, and Tony Scott. The remaining seven would play their last competitive first team games in the following season.