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Hammers hero wants United to suffer again

13:00 12 March 2016

West Ham United

West Ham United's Ronnie Boyce (centre) starts to celebrate as his shot beats Manchester United goalkeeper Albert Gaskell for West Ham's second goal in the 1964 FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough (pic: Empics)

EMPICS/Alpha

Boyce is backing Bilic’s boys to keep their FA Cup dream alive

Ronnie Boyce believes the current West Ham team can follow in his footsteps and achieve FA Cup glory against Manchester United.

The former midfielder, famously nicknamed ‘Ticker’, scored twice against United in the semi-final in 1964 to send Hammers through to the Wembley showpiece.

Boyce and his team-mates beat the Red Devils 3-1 despite their opponents having the likes of George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton playing in the last-four clash at Hillsborough.

Now it is Slaven Bilic’s turn to try and book a date at Wembley when his side visit Old Trafford on Sunday for a 4pm kick-off.

West Ham will be roared on by a large away support for the last-eight tie and one of the 1964 cup-winning squad believes their name may be on the trophy again.

Boyce said: “Whenever they play, it doesn’t matter who they are against or where, they always look like they can get something from the match.

“They have beaten some of the big boys already away from home this season so I’m confident. I can’t see them not getting something from the game, I really do think a West Ham win could be on the cards this weekend.”

He was full of praise for the job Bilic has done so far since taking over last summer, with recent wins leaving West Ham just one point off the top four.

And Boyce feels more success could be secured at Old Trafford, adding: “Slaven has gone there and got lots of players in.

“I don’t know how much input he had with that, but he would’ve been involved in some capacity with the transfers. He always comes across as a very good and down to earth person and manager.

“He has played for West Ham before so knows what type of football the fans want to watch. It is nice to see things going so well and it would be lovely if we could win the FA Cup this season.”

But what about that famous encounter against United over 50 years ago?

“The draw most definitely brought back memories of the semi-final match and of course the biggest thing I can think of from that day was the weather,” said Boyce.

“It was piddling it down all throughout the game and afterwards too. We were the underdogs and I always thought in my mind it was going to be a very hard game.

“We got a great 3-1 win and I think the nicest thing was going home on the train with all the fans and seeing the smiles on their faces.”

It would be fantastic if they were smiling again on Sunday.

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