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Clyde Best

Personal information
Full nameClyde Cyril Best MBE
Date of birth24 February 1951(age 65)
Height1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing positionStriker

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Clyde Cyril Best MBE (born 24 February 1951 in Bermuda) is a Bermudian former football player who most notably played as a striker for West Ham United, and was one of the first post-World War II black players in British football. He was also the very first black player to play professionally for the Hammers.

While he initially suffered through some racist chanting from rival fans, Clyde became a true 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 first team debut for West Ham in a 1 1 home draw against Arsenal on 25 August 1969 at the age of 18. His first goal for the Hammers being in the League Cup in a 4 2 win against Halifax Town, on 3 September 1969. 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 and in the United States for Tampa Bay Rowdies, Toronto Blizzard and Portland Timbers of the North American Soccer League. He was also an assistant coach for the San Diego Sockers for a brief period in the early 1990s.

Best received his first cap at the age of fifteen playing for the Bermudian national team. Best also coached the national team from 1997 to 1999.

Best was also instrumental in the origins of football at Irvine Valley College in Southern California, as a founding member of the coaching staff along with Head Coach Martin McGrogan in 1993.

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

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