West Ham United legend Clyde Best was at London Stadium this evening, signing copies of his new autobiography, ‘The Acid Test’, at the Stadium Store ahead of the West Ham United 1 - 0 Premier League win over Burnley.
The West Ham cult hero has travelled over from Bermuda for the launch of the book, which explores the trials and tribulations he faced as one of the first black players to make an impact on English football.
In August 1968, a 17-year-old Best arrived in London for a week long trial with West Ham United. It was his first time away from home, and he reveals that he felt so alone he would have flown straight back to Bermuda had he possessed the return fare.
Thankfully, though, Clyde remained in England and at Upton Park, where he would become a terrace hero and one of the most influential figures in British football. Best was the first black goalscoring hero on these shores, despite being targeted with vile abuse in an era where racism was rife on the terraces.
In the book he details how he overcame such discrimination, while he also chronicles his relationship with legendary manager Ron Greenwood, and his rapport with Hammers greats of that time, such as World Cup-winners Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst.
Best also developed a special bond with the Club’s fans during his eight-year spell at the club, in which he found the net 47 times in 186 appearances, before he left to go and play in the USA.
He would later manage the Bermudian National team, before being inducted into the country’s National Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. Two years after that Best received an MBE for his services to football and the community in Bermuda.