On 1 April 1972 West Ham United became the first club from the highest echelon of English football to field three black players in League competition. Clive Charles was born in Canning Town, just a few miles from the Hammers' Upton Park home; Ade Coker came to London from Nigeria and Clyde Best had made his way to London's Docklands from Bermuda. "East End Heroes, Stateside Kings" tells of the origins of these players and what happened to them over the next 30 years. All went on to great success in the USA.After being named by Pele in the all-time greatest NASL team, Charles managed the leading College side Portland Timbers, guided the American Women to World Cup glory and achieved historic results in Olympic competition with the US Under-23s. Best grew to be a legend in the NASL, and along with Charles was one of only four former West Ham players to manage at international level when he took over the Bermudan national side. Coker was another leading light in the modern American game and represented the USA at international level, overcoming devastating injury.The book is the product of extensive interviews and research and includes a forward/interview with Kenny Lynch, the well known entertainer and long-time West Ham fan; giving a viewpoint on the nature of support in the 1970s from a black perspective.
Dr Brian Belton, is now a Senior Lecture at the YMCA George Williams College in Canning, an experienced author, sociologist, critical anthropologist and social historian, he continues to work in the heart of the docklands, his blood maintains the hues of 'Hammer Crimson' and the cobalt of hot iron.