Alvin Martin, who played nearly 600 times for the Hammers in a successful 19-year professional career at Upton Park, was one of the first to arrive and last to leave the annual event, held this year at Titchwell Manor.
Alvin, who represented England 17 times, posed for pictures with members, signed West Ham memorabilia and recounted countless stories of his time at West Ham from signing as an apprentice in 1974 to making his first team debut in 1978 and leaving the club in 1996.
The 61-year-old also shared his tale of achieving the rare feat of scoring a hat-trick against three different Newcastle United goalkeepers — Martin Thomas, who was then injured, and outfield players Chris Hedworth and Peter Beardsley — in a First Division match in April 1986 which the Hammers won 8–1.
Mark Steele, the club's secretary, said: “Having Alvin 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 Alvin and it was brilliant to hear the stories of his life with West Ham as well as his thoughts on the current West Ham side.
“What I liked most about Alvin’s visit was that he made sure he met all of our members, answering their questions, and he also very kindly donated two very special, money-can't-buy prizes for our raffle, which proved very popular with our members.
"Alvin was also 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 Alvin 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.”
Alvin's son, David Martin, played a starring role in West Ham's weekend win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge where images and video of him tearful and being swamped by teammates before climbing up to the press box to hug his dad have gone viral.
Alvin made his first team debut for West Ham on 18 March 1978 as a substitute against Aston Villa, and his final appearance was as an 88th-minute substitute on 5 May 1996 against Sheffield Wednesday.
He is one of only two players, along with Billy Bonds, to be awarded two testimonials. The first was against Spurs on 21 August 1988 and the second against Chelsea on 11 November 1995.
It was alongside Bonds in the centre of defence that Martin — nicknamed 'Stretch' — enjoyed his most rewarding years, winning the FA Cup and Second Division winners medals in successive seasons, 1980 and 1981. He was also part of the West Ham side in 1986 that recorded their highest ever top flight finish.
The attendance of Alvin followed guest appearances by fellow West Ham legends Tony Cottee, Brian Dear, Alan Taylor and Ronnie Boyce in recent years.
The King's Lynn Irons Club, one of the largest West Ham United supporters' clubs, aims 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. For more information about the club visit www.kingslynnirons.com
Barking Dog Media
We provide a range of media services to help you promote, market and represent you or your organisation, club or business in public.