Moncur’s Munich Mauling


Our trip to Germany this week reminded me of a story…

John Moncur, West Ham legend (well, maybe “cult hero” is more accurate), came clean in his recent book “United We Stand” about a prank so epic, so monumentally misguided, it makes Joey Barton’s tweets look like Shakespearean sonnets. Buckle up, Hammers fans, this one’s a knee-slapper (although for the victim, it probably wasn’t).

Apparently, Moncur and his merry band of (presumably) hungover Hammers were in Munich celebrating the anniversary of their 1965 Cup Winners’ Cup victory. Yes, that’s right, folks, celebrating a trophy most teenagers these days haven’t even heard of. Anyway, the festivities included a friendly against 1860 Munich, the team they beat in that glorious (and slightly obscure) final.

Now, Moncur, a man known for his…shall we say…enthusiastic approach to the beautiful game, decided the pre-match pleasantries needed a little extra spice. Enter the 1860 Munich mascot, a giant, cuddly lion. Most people would high-five the fluffy fella, maybe take a selfie. Not Moncur. No, our John decided a full-on, Tomas Repka-esque rugby tackle was in order. Comic gold, right?

Wrong on all counts. Turns out, that cuddly lion wasn’t some bloke in a costume . Nope, it was a former 1860 Munich captain! And let’s just say Moncur’s miscalculated maneuver left the poor bloke needing knee surgery. The kind that involves scalpels, not sticking plasters.

West Ham manager Harry Redknapp, bless his grumpy soul, was none too pleased when he found out about Moncur’s “hilarious” antics. Imagine Redknapp on a bad day, then add a sprinkle of international incident and a hefty dose of “don’t you dare get us banned from Europe again, Moncs!” Apparently, Redknapp went full Liam Neeson in “Taken,” demanding a police escort to get the West Ham team safely out of Munich.

Do Bayer Leverkusen have a fluffy mascot?

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