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Clyde Best
OBE
Ex-West Ham United footballer Clyde Best, Boleyn Ground Aug 2012.jpg
Best at West Ham United's Boleyn Ground, in August 2012
Personal information
Full name Clyde Cyril Best MBE
Date of birth (1951-02-24) 24 February 1951 (age 73)
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)
Teams managed
1997–1999 Bermuda
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Clyde Cyril Best OBE (born 24 February 1951) is a Bermudian former football player. He was one of the first black players in First Division football in England, scoring 47 goals as a striker for West Ham United between 1968 and 1976.

Early and personal life

Best moved from Bermuda to England at the age of 17, to play for West Ham United. Upon his arrival he was looked after by club captain Bobby Moore. He has credited Moore and fellow West Ham players Harry Redknapp and Billy Bonds with helping him deal with racist abuse.

Playing career

As one of England'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 United 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. In 1973 Best deputised for an injured Bobby Ferguson in goal against Leeds United. Best played 218 games and registered 58 goals for West Ham over 7 seasons between August 1969 and January 1976.

Best also played in the Dutch Eredivisie for Feyenoord where he was generally viewed as a failure, scoring only 3 goals in 23 matches, 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 goal to secure the Rowdies' first NASL championship in a 2–0 victory over Portland Timbers. The following spring he led the Rowdies to the 1976 indoor title and was named tournament MVP. He was the Rowdies leading scorer for the brief 1976 indoor season with 11 goals, 5 assists for 27 points.

Managerial career

Best was an assistant coach for the San Diego Sockers for a brief period in the early 1990s. Best coached the Bermuda national team from 1997 to 1999.

Later life

After his coaching career finished he retired back to Bermuda.

Honours

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

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Clyde Best para niños

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