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Happy Birthday Captain! Re-live Winston Reid’s historic Boleyn moment

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The score stood at 2-2. 80 minutes on the club. Dimitri Payet (forgive me for my profanity) stood eerily over the free-kick on the wide left.

Was it to be a trademark dipping effort from the Frenchman? Or would he deliver?

The weight of over a century of football could be seen on his shoulders.

It was 1904, the first time the colours of Claret and Blue graced the Boleyn Ground to face bitter rivals Millwall. That day, the Hammers ran out victorious, 3-0 winners.

It started with a victory, and to end it with won would be the only send off. 10 minutes of Boleyn football left. 10 minutes to write yourself in folklore.

The referee, nervous himself, blew into his whistle.

“They were 2-1 down. It is now 2-2. Here comes ….. Payet …. again.”

A solitary figure rose to meet the ball, the crowd fell silent.

As David De Gea fell to floor in the United net, an eruption of noise began.

“And it’s Winston Reid. He is the man!”

The New Zealand international, club captain and Hammer for six years, had done it. Not only had he written his own name in West Ham history, but he had given the fans, the manager, the players, the greats and the ground what they deserved.

Overcome with emotion, Reid runs to the corner. Mobbed by his fellow players, he screams in elation.

For the last and greatest goal scored at the Boleyn Ground, we thank you, Winston Reid, 27 yesterday, 28 today, but forever a West Ham great.

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