WHO Poll
Q: 2023/24 Hopes & aspirations for this season
a. As Champions of Europe there's no reason we shouldn't be pushing for a top 7 spot & a run in the Cups
24%
  
b. Last season was a trophy winning one and there's only one way to go after that, I expect a dull mid table bore fest of a season
17%
  
c. Buy some f***ing players or we're in a battle to stay up & that's as good as it gets
19%
  
d. Moyes out
37%
  
e. New season you say, woohoo time to get the new kit and wear it it to the pub for all the big games, the wags down there call me Mr West Ham
3%
  



clack 12:32 Wed Nov 5
Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
I've always wondered how much of the Greenwood turning Banks down due to a gentlemen's agreement with Kilmarnock for Ferguson, is true and how much is myth?

At the time (1966) there was no mention of it in the press - the only specualtion was that Banks would go to Man City (Leicester had announced they were prepared to let him leave as they had Peter Shilton coming through).

In a Malcolm Allison's biography I read, it talks about how Man City were in negotiations with Banks, and how Allison was cheesed off with the Man City board when the deal fell through, cos they wouldn't pay the wages Banks was demanding, and he signed for Stoke instead. Again, there's no mention of West Ham being involved.

The one and only time West Ham are mentioned regarding Banks, is in Ron Greenwood's autobiography in 1982, and the whole story, which regularly gets brought up by fans, is based on that, as far as I'm aware.

Greenwood, a church man, mentions it in his book as he was using at as an example of how principles are important, and how he always stuck to his gentleman's agreement with the Kilmarnock manager (who had been a friend and team-mate of his at Brentford)

But I wonder if West Ham really had the chance of signing Banks? Or at what stage their intertest was, if there had been any at all? If the Man City board, who were big spenders at the time, weren't prepared to meet Banks' demands then I doubt the WHU board would have been?

Can anybody shed any more light on this?

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Billy Blagg 12:15 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
Far Cough, it was Moore who urged Greenwood to sign Maurice Setters but Ron had set his heart on Cushley. His first appearance for West Ham was in a friendly against a German side (not sure who) and he came up against Ziggi Held (sp) the great West German international. In Moore's words 'Cushley kicked him all over the place and the German run up the white fllag - he's had enough' but when Greenwood got Cushley back in the dressing room he told him he couldn't dpo that to a revered international and he had to hold of him and try to play him. Again in Moore's words Cushley said 'the gaffer doesn't like me' and 'he never kicked another ball for West Ham' (figuratively not literally, of course)

Billy Blagg 12:11 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
It's all true both Moore in his bography and, more importantly, Greenwood in his state it as a fact. It's hard to imagine now (as it was then) but football was much more about agreements and Gentleman's pacts back then

Far Cough 9:16 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
Weren't we supposed to sign Maurice Setters but ended up with John Cushley instead?

Lertie Button 8:19 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
Seem to remember my West Ham annual 1970 referred to it & the main reason given was that Ferguson was younger.
But the gentleman's agreement story sounds about right.

Can we ever forget Kerry Dixon fucking John Lyle about for an entire season just to get new contact out of Chelsea, luckily Leroy Rosenior can in & did a job.

LeroysBoots 6:38 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
We wanted to sign him..... After his accident.... It's the West Ham way !

Hugh Monteith 5:48 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding GREENWOOD turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby FERGUSPONn
Ron was a principled man.and a phenonimal coach.
Both of these need to be seen as necessary requirement for a job like he had.

The signing of Fester was in many ways a good one..
Ron would have loved to have got Gordon to West Ham.

Docherty and Stepney and Chelsea football club behaved abyssmally

Itchy Scratchy 4:02 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
John Lyall said that a good goal keeper was worth half a team. Imagine what a world class keeper must be worth eh. Especially with Sir Bobby, Sir Geoff and others in the side, Billy Bonds joining shortly thereafter along with Lampard Snr, Sir Trevor, Saint Clyde and Pop Robson. Fuck we would have been awesome..

Shame we still had Tommy Taylor, BertieLutton and others to dag us down, but hey I am dreaming of what might have been had we got Banks. Imagine the other players who would of have wanted to join us?? Charlton, (both of em), Best, (George, not Clyde). Oh the European nights, the league wins, the trebles we would have won....

Quick nurse, the screens.................

SDKFZ 222 3:06 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
Ferguson wasn't very good at all, in fact the supporters breathed a huge sigh of relief when a 17 year old Day displaced him through injury in 1973-74 and when fit he couldn't regain his place.

My very first match at the Boleyn was in 1972 v Man Utd and I remember Peter Grotier playing in goal, even then I think Ferguson had been dropped.

Bullet 2:48 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
Banks was the best ever. Ferguson was decent but I thought Parkes was better and Miklosko. Shilton, Jennings, Stepney , Clemence....we had some good ones.

Would like us to spend big on a top keeper.

Hammerhermit 2:08 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
Banks has always said after it all came out he wanted to come to us.

Ferguson though let some absolute howlers in. 2-0 up against Ipswich away he let one in that i thought i could have saved i played average standard as a keeper. Then he had a ball driven at him just above head height. He put his hands up it brushed his fingertips and went in. He was gutted so were we but we didn't boo though, just asked for a minutes silence at Anfield.

terry-h 1:32 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
According to Greenwood,the phone call from the Leicester manager Matt Gillies about Banks' availability came after West Ham had made the £65000 bid for Ferguson. So his conscience prevented him from going back on his word to the Kilmarnock manager. ( silly fucker!)

clack 1:26 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
Cheers, Terry, and others.

It seems that maybe West Ham didn't even enter into the bidding/ negotiating stage?

I'm intringued, because in the Malcolm Allsion version, you get the impression it was a two-way battle between Man City and Stoke (no mention of WHU at all).

So, maybe, due to Greenwood's principles, we never even entered into the bidding?

HammerFan43 1:10 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
Can't help.

I do remember Ferguson was signed for a record 65,000 - which was the highest ever payment for a goal keeper.

terry-h 1:06 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
Ron Greenwood's autobiography Yours Sincerely (1984)
Page 219.
"We could certainly have afforded him and I was told Banks was keen on joining us."

I don't think you could be clearer than that. On Page 220,Roland Brandon a West Ham director at the time tells Greenwood it was one of the biggest mistakes West Ham ever made.( to sign Ferguson and not Banks.)

Hugh Monteith 1:05 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
What Herm said

Hammerhermit 1:03 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
I used to go home and away then and never heard anything. Ron was a very Victorian man like my dad, i do believe a promise to buy Ferguson would have mean't as much to him as any signed contract.

cygnet 12:57 Wed Nov 5
Re: Question regarding Greenwood turning down Gordon Banks for Bobby Ferguson
I do remember the signing of Bobby Ferguson was a world record fee paid for a goalkeeper - and stayed that way for a long time.
There was some talk of signing Alex Stepney around that time as well.





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