European success and Bunny girls !


The Inter Toto cup, Steve Lomas and the Bunny girls

There is a  “typical West Ham” story in The Sun about our last bit of success on the European stage. In 1999 we won the  Intertoto Cup – a competition which ceased to exist in 2008. When we beat the French side FC Metz 3-2 on aggregate to claim our first European silverware since the 1960s.

West Ham travelled to Romania to take on Steaua Bucharest in the second round. The then West Ham captain Steve Lomas revealed they stayed in a hotel with Playboy bunnies.

He joked: “When we got there Harry was taken aback by the place. Our hotel was bang in the centre of town and there was a Playboy Bunny convention going on. You couldn’t make it up.

“We were meant to be flying home after the game and there was Neil Ruddock making us all laugh, on his knees clowning around and pleading with Harry to let us stay another night. He even offered to pay the entire hotel bill if we did.

“The girls were on a separate floor to us and it was all just mucking about but I remember Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand were young, single lads at the time and their eyes were on stalks.”

Lomas, who made 187 appearances for the club, also said that he was shocked by the small “egg-shaped trophy” – which was then volleyed across the changing room by an unnamed fellow Hammer.

The team-mate had asked if that’s what they had all come back two weeks early for, before kicking the “sort of egg cup”. The Northern Irishman joked there’s still a dent in the trophy to this day as a result of the volley.

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