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.
For more information about the club visit www.kingslynnirons.com. You can also follow them on Twitter @KingsLynnIrons.
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