Thursday, April 20, 2006

John Lyall RIP

Just two months after attending the funeral of Ron Greenwood, his predecessor as manager of West Ham, John Lyall has also died. Lyall won two FA Cups during his time in charge of West Ham and the 1980 triumph was the club's last major trophy.

Lyall who went onto manage Ipswich after leaving Upton Park served West Ham as office boy, player, coach and manager for 32 years. He joined the club as apprentice/office boy in 1957 and had a short playing career as a left-back which was cut short by injury. He then became assistant manager to Ron Greenwood, whom he succeeded in 1974, with Greenwood remaining as general manager for three years. The pair went on to win the 1975 FA Cup and reached the European Cup-Winners' Cup final the following year. When Ron Greenwood retired Lyall continued the articulate, inventive style of football that had been established at the club and led West Ham in their 1980 FA Cup victory over Arsenal.

West Ham were relegated in 1978 but under Lyall returned to the top flight in 1981 as champions and he led them to their highest finish of third, in 1986. Lets hope the club can honour Greenwood and Lyall by reaching the FA Cup final once again this year.

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