England head coach Eddie Jones has revealed that he grew up supporting West Ham United due to their mix of artistic forwards and rugged defenders.
Jones welcomed Hammers assistant boss Stuart Pearce to his squad’s training base this week, and it seems he may have had an ulterior motive for the invite.
The Australian was introduced to West Ham by Match of the Day and fell in love with some of the club’s biggest names of the 1960s and ’70s, including Sir Trevor Brooking, Billy Bonds and Frank Lampard Sr.
“We had some great chats about West Ham,” Jones said of Pearce’s visit. “I used to be a West Ham supporter. I used to love Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking, Frank Lampard all those guys.
“They had those big tough defenders and Brooking was the artist at the front. It was interesting talking about how [West Ham manager David] Moyes is trying to revive West Ham now.
“Stuart Pearce is an icon of the game. We had a great chat about what they are doing there and how they are trying to rebuild the club.
“They have certainly got some challenges ahead but they seem like they are moving in the right direction.”
Pressed on why he became a Hammer, Jones added: “I loved Billy Bonds for some reason, maybe because he was that big tough defender. Brooking always reminded me of Greg Chappell playing football, bit of an artist and they have that claret and light blue jersey I liked.”
England centre Ben Te’o also professed to being a West Ham fan during Pearce’s trip to Surrey on Tuesday. But when asked who the Trevor Brooking in his side was, Jones elected for two different backs.
“Anthony Watson is a bit like that,” he said “JJ [Jonathan Joseph, too]. They’re artists in their own way.”