Lyall family's gratitude to Hammers

A HOST of Ipswich Town and West Ham United greats were in attendance at Upton Park to mark the unveiling of a special plaque in John Lyall's honour.

Derek Davis

A host of Ipswich Town and West Ham United greats were in attendance at Upton Park to mark the unveiling of a special plaque in John Lyall's honour.

Former Ipswich players Charlie Woods, Chris Kiwomya, and Geraint Williams attended the ceremony that saw Lyall, who died suddenly in April 2006 at his Tattingstone home, commemorated with a plaque outside the Dr Martens stand.

Lyall's son Murray said: “It was very emotional to see dad's name alongside legends such as Bobby Moore and his managing mentor Ron Greenwood.

“The Lyall family would like to thank the Heritage Foundation and the staff at West Ham for a magnificent day.”

Lyall's grandsons Sam, 10, and Charlie, 12, unveiled the plaque as Scottish bagpipers played the famous West Ham anthem I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles.

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West Ham legends Sir Trevor Brooking and Terry Venables addressed a 300 strong audience during a luncheon at the club which also included, among others, Billy Bonds, Martin Peters, Tony Gale, Tony Cottee and Alan Devonshire.

With Sunday's event organised by the arts charity the Heritage Foundation, celebrities including the former Bee Gee Robin Gibb and Rick Wakeman were also in attendance.

Cottee and Gale then led a charity auction, the proceeds of which will go to Lyall's grandchildren's football team the Lawford Lads.

Lyall is fondly remembered in Suffolk for leading Ipswich Town to the old Division Two title in 1992, an achievement that booked Town their place in the inaugural Premiership season.

However, it is his previous 15 years in charge at West Ham that Lyall is best remembered after he led the East London club to two FA Cup titles ('75 and '80) and their highest ever league position of third place.