Today marks 50 years since West Ham United's only ever European cup win

West Ham Upton Park

West Ham United today celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 2-0 victory over TSV 1860 Munich which sealed the club's only ever European cup win.

It was to be the crowning moment of a special era in the history of the club, which had qualified for the European Cup Winners' Cup that season after beating Preston North End to win the FA Cup the summer before.

The 2-0 win over German side 1860 Munich is the most prestigious honour the East Londoners have ever won. And it preceded what Hammers fans like to remember as the year their club won the World Cup for England.

That's because three of their players, the captain Bobby Moore and the scorers of the goals in the Three Lions' 4-2 victory over West Germany, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, lifted the Jules Rimet.

It meant Wembley was a happy hunting ground for West Ham players in the 1960s.

And there was no happier moment for Hammers fans than that balmy night at the national stadium on May 19, 1965.

Having defeated La Gantoise, Sparta Prague, Lausanne and Real Zaragoza to reach the final, only 1860 Munich stood in their way as the Hammers looked to win their first European crown.

Going into the game, West Ham, led by the legendary manager Ron Greenwood, had not played for nearly four weeks after their semi-final victory over Zaragoza.

But it did not have an adverse effect on skipper Moore and his team as the Londoners were triumphant thanks to a brace in two second half minutes from Alan Sealey to set the seal on a remarkable few years for the club.

Sadly, ahead of the anniversary, legend Ken Brown had his winners' medals from the FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup victories stolen. The club have appealed for help on their official website to reunite him with the precious mementoes.

Unfortunately for Hammers fans, the Cup Winners' Cup triumph would remain their only European trophy half a century on. They came close 11 years afterwards but were beaten 4-2 in the final of the same competition by Belgian side Anderlecht.

Ironically 50 years on, the Hammers look set to qualify for the Europa League next season through the FIFA Fair Play route.

The club are the highest placed Premier League side in the Fair Play table who have not already qualified for Europe through their league position.

It would be a fitting way to mark the anniversary as next season will be West Ham's last at their famous Boleyn Ground before they move to their new Olympic Stadium home.

The West Ham team that memorable day vs TSV 1860 Munich: GK Jim Standen, Joe Kirkup, Jack Burkett, Martin Peters, Ken Brown, Bobby Moore (c), Alan Sealey, Ron Boyce, Geoff Hurst, Brian Dear and John Sissons.

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