A West Ham United footballing legend was the special guest at the King’s Lynn Irons Club’s 2018 Christmas meal on Friday. (See a gallery of our pictures from the night below. If you require a higher resolution image, please email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tony Cottee posed for pictures with members of KLIC at Titchwell Manor, signed West Ham memorabilia and recounted countless stories of his time playing for his home club over two spells, the first ending in 1988 before returning to the team in 1994 after time at Everton.
Cottee also made seven appearances for Norwich City in 2000 before managing Barnet and going on to be a TV commentator for Sky Sports.
The 53-year-old played for the Hammers 212 times, scoring 92 goals, after making his debut with the team in 1983 at the age of 17 and he was the PFA Young Player of the Year in 1986 when West Ham finished third in the then Division One.
His international career saw him win seven caps after his debut for England against Sweden in 1986 and just this year he made a cameo appearance in the film Final Score in which he was murdered!
Mark Steele, KLIC's secretary, said: “Having Tony as the guest at our Christmas meal was a very special occasion in the history of the King’s Lynn Irons Club.
“As well as signing all whole host of things, including football boots and matchday programmes, he also embraced the more unusual request from one member of FaceTiming a family friend!
“The boys of ‘86 with Tony and Frank playing up front was a fantastic era for the club and it was wonderful that Tony came to West Norfolk to meet our members and chat to them about the great times he had with the team.
“One story he did tell from that time was going on a pre-season tour to Amsterdam where John Lyall let the boys go out with an 11pm curfew. He was impressed when Tony and Frank returned at 10.45pm but then they left via the fire escape and stayed out until 3am.
“The next morning at breakfast John said he knew some had been out but asked that the guilty parties anonymously place a fine of £50 on the table. He left the room for a short time and returned expecting to see a couple of hundred only to find £1,200 as the whole squad had been out!
"Another anecdote from that 1985/86 season is that so prolific were Tony and Frank that against Aston Villa Frank offered Tony a bet of £100 as to who could score the best goal. Tony struck a beauty from about 25 yards out, Frank joked you little so and so, a little later Frank scores with a sublime lob, they won 4-1 scoring two each and were arguing long after who scored the best.
"On Monday morning John Lyall called them both into his office, 'now then lads I’ve heard that you two had a bet between on Saturday, is that right?' They owned and John Lyall fined them both £1000. Tony lambasted Frank for the idea!
"Tony also spoke about his spell in Malaysia, where he was the target man as he was tallest player in the team. He said he was also pleased to hear the crowds signing 'Cottee, Cottee, Cottee', until someone said it meant ‘little prick’ in Malaysian.
"Later in the evening Tony did a long Q&A session where Paul Harvey asked who was the biggest influence on his career, to which he replied: 'Professionally John Lyall and personally my Dad'. As for the best players Tony had played with, he said: Parkes, Stewart, Dicks, Bonds, Martin, Gale, Ward, Beardsley, Brooking, McAvennie and lastly he put himself in!
"As for his regrets, he said not remaining a one-club player like Trevor Brooking did, not scoring for England, and playing for Millwall!"
A West Ham United footballing legend was the special guest at the King’s Lynn Irons Club’s Christmas meal meal on Friday 4 December.
Alan Taylor, who played for the Hammers between 1974 and 1979, and scored 25 goals in 98 appearances, was one of the first to arrive and last to leave the annual event, held at the Riverside Restaurant in Lynn.
He posed for pictures with members, signed West Ham programmes and recounted countless stories of his time playing for the East London club during a Q&A session, which included the club's 1975 FA Cup run that eventually saw the Irons beat Fulham in the final thanks to two goals from Taylor.
He also scored two goals in the quarter final against Arsenal at Highbury and bagged another brace in the semi final against Ipswich Town - something that hasn't been repeated since.
The 62-year-old, who also played for Norwich City, Cambridge United, and the Vancouver Whitecaps, also played in West Ham's 1975-76 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup campaign, scoring three goals as the Hammers made the final but lost 4-2 to Anderlecht in the Heysel Stadium.
David Blackmore, media, publicity & communications officer at KLIC, said: “It was wonderful to have Alan as our guest of honour some 40 years after that historic FA Cup victory and it proved to be another very special occasion in the history of the King’s Lynn Irons Club.
"Speaking to members afterwards, what we liked most about his visit was that he made time for everyone and made sure he visited every table to meet members and answered all their questions. It was a really nice touch and certainly impressed me."
The attendance of Taylor followed special guest appearances of fellow West Ham legends Brian Dear and Ronnie Boyce at previous social evenings organised by the club.
Dear, who played in the European Cup Winners Cup winning side in 1965, was the VIP guest at the end of season meal in June and Boyce, who scored the winning goal for West Ham in their 1964 FA Cup Final win, attended King's Lynn Irons Club's Christmas meal in December last year.
CLICK HERE TO SEE A PHOTO GALLERY OF THE EVENING
Fancy watching the Hammers take on the might of Tottenham at the weekend with fellow West Ham fans and drinks at significantly reduced prices? Course you do!
Daran, landlord of The Bentinck Tavern, in Loke Road, (PE30 2AY) is inviting all KLIC members, and any Hammers fans you know, to watch our match against City on TV. Kick off is 4.00pm and all drinks will be reduced by 25% for the duration of the match.
This week secretary Mark Steele, chairman Tony Cudworth, and committee member Tony Langham were joined by fellow KLIC members in visiting the West Ham United Olympic Stadium reservation centre in the Westfield Complex in Stratford.
We travelled up early enough to have a walk around the Queen Elizabeth Park and were able to get our first close-up look at West Ham United's home from next season.
We could not help but be moved by the sheer scale of the magnificent stadium and the park that surrounds it. What a fantastic achievement by Karren Brady, David Gold and David Sullivan in masterminding the club's move to this fantastic stadium!
We then returned to the reservation centre for our appointment. There were 11 people in our party and we were given a warm welcome from Kyla and other members of staff.
After watching the introductory video featuring Ray Winstone, we were invited into the board room (because we were a large group) before Kyla gave us an in-depth briefing on what options were available, ranging from the Club 1966 seats to the Band 1 and 2 options available to us on both the East and West sides of the stadium.
We spent almost an hour and half carefully considering all of the options available to us and we were assisted throughout by Kyla who patiently guided us through the process.
The state-of-the-art technology allowed for us to choose a specific seat option and then be given a very realistic computer generated image of our view from that seat in the stadium.
At the end of the process, our contingent of 11 placed deposits on 28 seats for the King's Lynn Irons Club in the new East Stand which will accommodate around 22,000 Hammers fans in what is one of the largest 'Kop Style' stands in the world.
Before leaving we had a number of photographs taken which will be displayed on the new 10-metre high 'Stadium Wrap' on match days. Finally, we were all presented with a special commemorative 'founders' pin badge.
Our other main KLIC group of around 20-plus members are due to attend the reservation centre in December where they will be selecting their seats in there favoured position in the new Bobby Moore Stand.
We believe that we have achieved something special for our King's Lynn Irons Club members and now we can't wait for August 2016 and those first matches in our incredible new home.
Ex West Ham star Brian Dear makes guest appearance at King's Lynn Irons Club's End of Season Meal 2015
A West Ham United footballing legend was the special guest at the King’s Lynn Irons Club’s end of season meal on Friday 12 June.
Brian Dear, who played for the Hammers in two spells between 1962 and 1971 and scored 39 goals in 82 appearances, was one of the first to arrive and last to leave the annual event, held this year at the Riverside Restaurant in Lynn.
He posed for pictures with members, signed West Ham programmes and recounted countless stories of his time playing for the East London club during a Q&A session, which included the club’s most famous night 50 years ago when they beat 1980 Munich in European Cup Winners Cup final at Wembley.
David Blackmore, media, publicity & communications officer at KLIC, said: “Having Brian as our VIP guest was another very special occasion in the history of the King’s Lynn Irons Club. I had the privilege of sitting with Brian and it was brilliant to hear the stories of his life with West Ham.
“What I liked most about Brian’s visit was that he made sure he went from table to table meeting all of our members, answering their questions but also getting to know a little bit about each and every one of us, which was a really nice touch and certainly impressed the members I spoke to afterwards.
“He also very kindly donated three framed photographs for our raffle, two of them were images of the European Cup Winners Cup team and the other was a rare picture of Bobby Moore meeting Muhammad Ali, or as he was then known Cassius Clay.
“All three raffle prizes proved very popular with our members as did the West Ham shirt Brian brought along with him that had been worn by Hammers defender Winston Reid last season. We auctioned this item following our raffle and the winning bid came from Joe Rudd.”
Born in the shadow of West Ham’s Boleyn Ground, Dear made his debut for the Hammers away at Wolverhampton Wanderers in August 1962. He then made the headlines in April 1965 when he scored five goals in just 20 minutes either side of half time against West Brom at Upton Park – a record he still holds today.
Nicknamed Stag, Dear played five games in the European Cup Winners Cup in 1965 and scored his first goal of the competition away to Lausanne in round three. He went onto score two more goals in the return leg against the Swiss club and one more in the semi-final win against Spanish side Real Zaragoza.
David, who also edits West Ham United monthly magazine Blowing Bubbles, added: “Brian was refreshingly honest during our Q&A session and we all really liked everything about him. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Brian for making so many KLIC members happy and for giving up his time to travel up from his home in Essex to be our guest.”
The attendance of Dear followed a guest appearance at the supporters’ clubs Christmas meal last year by his former teammate Ronnie Boyce, who played for the Hammers 342 times including the 1964 FA Cup Final win and the European Cup Winners Cup final the following year.
The King's Lynn Irons Club, one of the largest West Ham United supporters' clubs, aims is to give fans in the King's Lynn and surrounding area the opportunity to get tickets to watch West Ham United at home and away.