Clyde Best

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Clyde Best
MBE
Ex-West Ham United footballer Clyde Best, Boleyn Ground Aug 2012.jpg
Clyde Best at West Ham United's Boleyn Ground, August 2012
Personal information
Full name Clyde Cyril Best MBE
Date of birth (1951-02-24) 24 February 1951 (age 63)
Place of birth Somerset, Bermuda
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Somerset Trojans
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1968–1976 West Ham United 186 (47)
1975 Tampa Bay Rowdies (loan) 19 (6)
1976 Tampa Bay Rowdies (indoor) 4 (7)
1976 Tampa Bay Rowdies 19 (9)
1977–1981 Portland Timbers 118 (38)
1977–1978 Feyenoord 23 (3)
1979–1980 Cleveland Force (indoor) 30 (33)
1980–1981 Portland Timbers (indoor) 6 (2)
1981–1982 Toronto Blizzard 22 (2)
1981–1982 Toronto Blizzard (indoor) 18 (3)
1982–1984 Los Angeles Lazers (indoor) 90 (29)
National team
1968 Bermuda 2 (1[1])
Teams managed
1997–1999 Bermuda
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Clyde Cyril Best MBE (born 24 February 1951 in Somerset) is a Bermudian former football player. He was one of the first black players in First Division football in Great Britain, scoring 47 goals as a striker for West Ham United.

As one of Britain's first black footballers, Best was regularly targeted with racist chanting from the terraces but eventually became a fan favourite at Upton Park. He was a strong, powerful player with the skills of the traditional English centre forward, tough to dispossess when he had the ball and good in the air. He made his debut for West Ham in a 1–1 home draw against Arsenal on 25 August 1969 at the age of 18. His first goal for the Hammers came during League Cup competition, in a 4–2 win against Halifax Town, on 3 September 1969. Best played 218 games and registered 58 goals for West Ham over 7 seasons between August 1969 and January 1976.[2]

Best also played in the Dutch Eredivisie for Feyenoord where he was generally viewed as a failure, scoring only 3 goals in 23 matches,[3] and in the United States for Tampa Bay Rowdies, Toronto Blizzard and Portland Timbers of the North American Soccer League. While playing for Tampa Bay in Soccer Bowl '75, he scored an 88th minute insurance goal to secure the Rowdies' first NASL championship in a 2-0 victory over Portland Timbers.[4] The following spring he led the Rowdies to the 1976 indoor title and was named tournament MVP.[5] Best was also an assistant coach for the San Diego Sockers for a brief period in the early 1990s.[6] Best coached the national team from 1997 to 1999.

Best was also instrumental in the origins of football at Irvine Valley College in Southern California, as a founding member of the coaching staff along with Head Coach Martin McGrogan in 1993.

Best was inducted into the Bermuda National Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He was awarded an MBE in the January 2006 New Year's Honours list for services to football and the community in Bermuda.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ FIFA player statistics
  2. ^ The Wonderful World of West Ham United statistics Clyde Best
  3. ^ The worst buys in Feyenoord's history (Dutch)
  4. ^ http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CoqWWZryDfU/Tk-SyjDtXOI/AAAAAAAALNs/QprEBSLeOSg/s1600/1975-8-24+Soccer+Bowl+Report+2.jpg
  5. ^ http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XkD8CXfcufQ/TnMFho6qCMI/AAAAAAAALRk/BwoPC8IkDO4/s1600/1976-3-27+Rowdies+vs+Lancers+id+Final+Report.jpg
  6. ^ http://bernews.com/bermuda-profiles/clyde-best/
  7. ^ Determined to look the part, Best went into a swish London outfitters to buy a top hat. He was somewhat taken aback to find out it would cost him 500 GBP, but, unwilling to go incorrectly dressed to his investiture, paid up – only to have it confiscated on his arrival at the Palace as a security risk page (S5, Sports section Sunday Telegraph issue no 2,428 dated 23 December 2007)

External links[edit]