R.I.P John Bond – Former West Ham Right-Back, Norwich & Man City Manager Dies, Aged 79

Chris Wright

26th, September 2012

By Chris Wright

Sad news filtering through this morning that former West Ham player, as well as Norwich and Man City manager, John Bond – father of Harry Redknapp’s assistant at Tottenham, Kevin – has died at the age of 79…

After joining from non-league Colchester Casuals in 1950, Bond, renowned as a goal-scoring right-back, went on to make 444 appearances for The Hammers during a 16-year stint at Upton Park, lifting the FA Cup in 1964.

He then moved on to Torquay, playing under former West Ham teammate Frank O’Farrell for a further three years before calling time on his playing days in 1969 – having opened a sweet shop in the South coast town by the name of ‘Bondy’s Tuck Shop’.

Bond in his West Ham days, 1958

Once the glitz and glamour of the confectionery world had lost its lustre, Bond took over as Norwich manager in 1973, bouncing back from relegation to the Second Division in 1974 with an instant promotion and a run to the League Cup Final the very next season, before going on to manage Manchester City (taking over from Malcolm Allison) where, despite not going down as one of the club’s greatest ever managers, he reserves a special place in the hearts of fans of a certain vintage for presiding over the 1980/81 season in which City reached the FA Cup Final – the pulsating replayed 3-2 game, settled in Tottenham’s favour by Ricky Villa’s famous slalom goal.

Spells at Bond went at Burnley, Swansea, Birmingham and Shrewsbury followed, though Bond never managed to match his earlier successes. Here he is talking to ITV about his appointment at Burnley and the changes he was hoping to bring about at the club back in 1983…

And here’s a bit more on Bond’s relationship with Big Mal and the state that Man City were in when he took over (contains a bit of choice language)…

John Bond R.I.P – One of football’s nice guys and thoroughly respected throughout the game.