Richard Lewis

England's Eastenders

England's Eastenders

From Bobby Moore to David Beckham


Bobby Moore lifting the World Cup at Wembley on a July afternoon in 1966. England had triumphed against West Germany thanks to a hat-trick by Geoff Hurst and a goal by Martin Peters. All three heroic players were from West Ham, the most famous club of London's East End. This is an area synonymous with football success worldwide, largely because of the legendary Sunday football Mecca of Hackney Marshes. There are more football pitches on this one expanse of grass than in any other part of Europe, and it is a training ground which, over the last 35 years, has developed star after star for English football.

The majority of clubs in the country today have at least one player on their books who has links with the east of the capital. The famous names from the past include Jimmy Greaves, Terry Venables and Harry Redknapp, and the tradition has been carried on by Paul Ince, Ashley Cole and the finest modern-day footballing hero of them all, David Beckham.

With profiles of famous players past and present and engrossing details of the life and characters of the East End, England's Eastenders celebrates a tradition of excellence that began in the swinging Sixties and moves through the decades to show how the precedent set by Moore when he walked up those 39 steps at Wembley was just a stop-off point in the history of this breeding ground of brilliance.