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Publisher Description

On 1 April 1972 West Ham United made sporting history by becoming the first club from the highest echelon of English football to field three black players in League competition. What seems commonplace now was unheard of at the time. Their manager, Ron Greenwood, picked: Clive Charles (born in Canning Town, just a few miles from the Hammers' Upton Park home); Ade Coker (from Nigeria); and Clyde Best, who had made his way to London's Docklands from Bermuda. Together, these three players smashed a social barrier playing for this most romantic and enigmatic of clubs.East End Heroes, Stateside Kings tells of the origins of these players, that fateful day in '72 and their lives over the following 30 years as they became pioneering figures in the success of the North American Soccer League.After being named by Pele in the all-time greatest NASL team, Charles managed the leading College side Portland Timbers, guided the American Women to World Cup glory and achieved historic results in Olympic competition with the US Under-23s.Coker was another leading light in the modern American game and represented the USA at international level, overcoming devastating injury problems.Best grew to be a legend in the NASL and, along with Charles, was one of only four former West Ham players to manage at international level when he took over the Bermudian national side. He has recently been awarded an MBE.Painstakingly researched and including a foreword and interview with Kenny Lynch, one of Britain's best-loved entertainers and lifelong West Ham fan, this book tells the story of three young black men who genuinely broke the mould.

Biographies & Memoirs
7 January
John Blake
Hot Key Books Limited

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