The Hammers triumphed 2-1 against Fiorentina thanks to a dramatic late goal from Jarrod Bowen, and Moyes was quick to recognize the part played by his family after making such a triumphant start with the London club. He explained: “He was the first one I thought I should get it round his neck. My dad’s watched many games over the years and I hope he enjoyed this.”
Jarrod Bowen’s last-minute winner enabled West Ham to write a new chapter in club history, as they celebrated a dramatic and historic 2-1 victory over Fiorentina in the Europa League final in Prague. Not only did this win mark the team’s first silverware since 1980’s FA Cup, but also their first European trophy since 1965. After being on every step of West Ham’s European journey, 87-year-old David Snr., Moyes’ father, was in attendance for the magical moment and joined his son on the pitch after the final whistle. As a proud Moyes beamed with joy, he said: “He was the first one – I thought I should get it round his neck! He’s watched a lot over the years, and I hope he enjoyed it.”
Moyes added: “He’s still going strong and is keen to be at the game. It doesn’t happen often that you get to experience something like this as a manager. You work hard for these types of moments and it’s great to have the family there, especially the young boys supporting me – they give you those good moments in football. Just nine weeks ago it was a different story; I watched as an ‘Moyes Out’ banner was displayed during a 1-0 victory against Fulham, which likely saved my job.”
Manager David Moyes, who ended West Ham’s 43-year wait for a trophy, will now be remembered in east London club folklore alongside the likes of Ron Greenwood and John Lyall as a victorious manager. Furthermore, their qualification for next season’s Europa League marks three consecutive seasons with European football for the Hammers, a feat that has never been accomplished before. Speaking to BT Sport about the occasion, Moyes shared his delight: “It’s definitely my best day in management; it’s not often you get these moments to celebrate with your family and win in the closing minutes of the game – like we did against Alkmaar too. Tonight was brilliant and I’m feeling really great!”
When I was first offered the job three years ago, many would have felt that avoiding relegation and qualifying for Europe were impossible feats. Yet here we are, repeating this extraordinary accomplishment two consecutive years and then reaching a semi-final and a final – it’s simply astonishing!’
This year has not been a shining success in terms of our Premier League performance, but the cup competition has been wonderful. The players have put their hearts and souls into it, and this feat is to be lauded: three consecutive campaigns of European qualification is the club’s first!
Moyes reflected on his past two years, calling it an amazing journey.
It’s an amazing feat to perform so well in Europe, particularly when you consider how difficult it is even for the finest teams. It’s an outstanding accomplishment; we’ve managed to transform a disheartening season into an incredible one.
Bowen declared that the success was the pinnacle of his career. He commented that it was an unforgettable moment, one he would always remember fondly.
Bowen admitted he was close to tears as he celebrated scoring the winner for West Ham in the Europa Conference League match.
Bowen sped onto Lucas Paqueta’s superb pass in the 90th minute and expertly fired past Pietro Terracciano to notch his thirteenth goal of the season, prompting ecstatic West Ham celebrations. On BT Sport he enthused: “There’s not much better than scoring right at the death and doing so here in front of our supporters; I could barely contain my emotions.”
I am ecstatic! This season has been tough for us, and for me personally, but to pull it off here tonight is truly a delight.
I believe that in my current role, the chances of successfully getting the ball are slim. However, once it is acquired, you mustn’t let it go. It’s an absolutely incredible feeling for me – one that I have never experienced before in my career.
When I went through, I had plenty of time to make sure I put the ball in. The keeper advanced and, as I stumbled, I looked up to see the ball crossing the line. To my dismay, it had gone in!
Before speaking to my family, I had imagined what it would be like to score a goal in the last minute. Winning a trophy for this club is an incredible accomplishment and by far the most memorable moment of my career.
The supporters also left me speechless after the match. Winning a European trophy was something I could have never even imagined in my wildest dreams! It was an unbelievable feeling.
I’m absolutely elated – it’s time for us to let loose! The final whistle was the trigger that sparked the impending celebration. It’s overwhelming realizing how far I’ve come, especially as a small-town boy from Leominster! My family are in tears, and I can’t help but be humbled by this moment.
I’m feeling something I never have before. It’s the most important game of my life and it came with so many emotions. I got a final chance – and I’m certainly elated about it! Can’t wait to celebrate tonight – just listen to the atmosphere!
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