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Billy Bonds

My good friend Simon has been fighting Bowel cancer for many years. Unfortunately, Simon is a West Ham fanatic and he has one hero, Billy Bonds. Simon was invited to the New Inn in Hayes last week and was told to expect a surprise. He wasn't feeling great but decided to go along. He was then directed to a table in the corner of the restaurant where Billy Bonds was sitting. "Hello Simon" Bill said, " Come and join me". For over 2 hours Bill sat and spoke to Simon about everything from his fall out with Redknapp to getting the runaround by Paul Gasgoine when in his 40's. Simon is one of the bravest people I have ever met. He modelled himself on Billy Bonds and was a no nonsense player who was still playing vets football up until his illness prevented him doing so. Makes you proud to know this Charlton legend has a heart of gold. Thanks Bill.
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Comments

  • edited January 2014
    Wonderful stuff.

    My mate interviewed Bonds at the Wet Spam training ground in about 1993 for a student magazine and said he was an absolute diamond, went out of his way to help when there was nothing in it for him.

    This was just after Bonds had signed Lee Chapman and when he found out my mate was a mad Leeds fan he insisted on bringing Chapman into the interview too!
  • Great story. Bily was a legend and looks like he still is. Top man.

    Very best wishes to Simon too, Masicat.
  • Saw Billy at Charing Cross station a few years ago and went over to say hello.

    He was the most likeable, unassuming person you could meet.

  • Good stuff. Hope your friend gets better.
  • Top man Bonzo,
    Best wishes to your friend, masicat.
  • Great story. Thanks for sharing it and my very best wishes to your mate. Hope he fully recovers.
  • Best wishes to your friend!
  • Funny was thinking about Billy Bonds when reading about transfers that really hurt Lifers. For me Billy Bonds going was the one that hurt. He played in the same school team as my cousin so he was like family. When he was transferred it suddenly dawned on me as a little lad that Charlton weren't a big club.
  • I wish your friend all the best in the world. I met Billy last year and he was a true gent. Still refers to Charlton as "we" not they.
    Once again I wish your mate all the best.
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  • Great bloke Billy, terrific player and a gent. I also want to wish your friend Simon all the best and hope that he gets better soon.
  • Billy Bonds .. very good player and a great bloke .. what more can one say ? .. once more, I also wish Simon all the best .. as a bowel cancer survivor, I know what he's going through .. Simon - You'll be OK
  • Best wishes to Simon and thanks for sharing this masicat.

    I know that it shouldn't but this story intensifies my dislike of his former assistant at West Ham.
  • I live in Charlton Lane and few years back I was putting the rubbish out before heading to the Oak for a pre-match pint when a familiar looking bloke in his 50's strolled up the road. He caught my eye and said "morning" with a big smile. I was taken aback because I recognised him but couldn't place him. Billy Bonds. Top Man.
  • Top, top man Billy Bonds
  • Funny was thinking about Billy Bonds when reading about transfers that really hurt Lifers. For me Billy Bonds going was the one that hurt. He played in the same school team as my cousin so he was like family. When he was transferred it suddenly dawned on me as a little lad that Charlton weren't a big club.

    I was thinking much the same. When I first started going to Charlton in '66 Billy Bonds was my first 'favourite player' and it hurt when he left. The other 2 that hurt were Len Glover and Alan Campbell. By the time Campbell went I was old enough to accept that it'd always happen at Charlton, didn't hurt any the less though.

  • Some smashing comments, many thanks.
  • Good story, nice to hear something positive football related during this money and greed orientated time of our sport. Billy Bonds is a top bloke and anyone who sees Redknapp for what his is gets my vote. Good wishes to Simon.
  • All the best to Simon, masicat. Lovely story & great to see everyone else sharing similar memories of what a top man Billy Bonds is.
  • Best wishes to your friend.
    Your battery will probably need charging soon ;o)
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  • Met Billy on a train coming back from Newcastle back in the mid 2000's. He was doing radio work on our game up at St James's. A really friendly bloke.
    All the very best to your mate Masicat.
  • A very rare human indeed.
    I always claim Billy as Charlton
  • Billy B is Charlton. All that silly claret and blue rubbish is just nasty after taste... ;0)
  • That's lovely Masicat. Hope your friend makes a recovery - bowel cancer is an absolute bastard.

    I know several people who have met Bonzo in the past, I think it's a very rare individual indeed who you'll never hear a single bad word about. Always an Addick :)
  • PaulCAFC said:

    Good story, nice to hear something positive football related during this money and greed orientated time of our sport. Billy Bonds is a top bloke and anyone who sees Redknapp for what his is gets my vote. Good wishes to Simon.

    My sentiments exactly.
  • Lost his battle this morning. Worth mentioning Billy Bonds has not only stayed in touch, he has popped in to see him a couple of times. Legend indeed. RIP Simon. A true hammer.
  • Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend masicat. Your story of him and Billy was heartwarming stuff. Condolences to you and Simon's family & friends.
  • So sorry to read this.

    RIP Simon
  • I just started reading this thread and didn't want to get to the end as I feared what your post might be.

    RIP Simon.
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