The First and Last Englishmen. West Ham United in the 1960s
The tale of West Ham United's two 1960's cup winning teams made up entirely of English players. The last time this feat was achieved. It is a compelling book about a unique time in English football.
The young men who played in West Ham's FA Cup Final victory over Preston North End in 1964 were all born and raised in England. In each tie from the third round, only English players had had worn the Hammers over their hearts.
This feat has not been repeated since and is unlikely to be replicated in the future. A year later West Ham fielded another all-English team to win the European Cup-Winners' Cup, something no other English club has ever done.
Thus, the West Ham players of 1964 and 1965 were The First And Last Englishmen, and this is their story. It is a tale told partly from the point of view of Irons striker Alan Sealey, who was right in the middle of the action, and his team-mates.
But the voice of the supporters is just as important in this epic. West Ham's rise to European glory is portrayed through the memories of those who played and of those who watched. It is a compelling book about a unique time in English football.
About the Author
Like so many West Ham supporters Brian Belton was born only five minutes walk from the club ('I heard 'em cheering in me cradle'). As a teenager Brian worked primarily to support his habit of following West Ham around England.
In his twenties the Mayflower Centre shanghaied him to work with young people in the Canning Town area. Brian was now a youth worker and eventually was persuaded/ bullied/ bribed into taking a professional qualification with the YMCA College in London.
He gained a degree at City University and then became a Senior Youth and Community worker in Islington, whilst gaining a Masters Degree at Essex. He has published over 50 books, mainly on football.