West Ham United manager David Moyes has spoken of his pride after he saw his team claim their first major silverware in 43 years by winning the UEFA Europa Conference League on Wednesday.
“This is fantastic,” Moyes said. “I’ve had a long career in football and you don’t get many moments like this but thankfully tonight we’ve got the result we’ve wanted.”
Moyes celebrated the moment with his father, hanging his winner’s medal around the 87-year-old’s neck.
“My Dad was here,” he told the club's official website.
“I’ve just had a picture with him on the pitch and it was great. He’s still going strong and he wanted to come to the game. It’s a great moment to have your family at the game for. These moments, as a manager, they don’t come around too often.
“It means just as much to my dad as it does to me. The family, from when you’re a young boy, they support you in football. You don’t always get good moments in football but today is a great moment for us.”
When Bowen scored, Moyes rushed on to the pitch in celebration, but joked that he could not emulate Jose Mourinho’s famous celebration for Porto at Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League in 2003.
"I was halfway down the touchline but I couldn't do a full Mourinho as I can't slide on my knees and the grass was a bit dry. I was worried that I was going to go on my belly so I just ran down.
Our gaffer as you've never seen him before! 🤣 pic.twitter.com/e1JzNuioA4— West Ham United (@WestHam) June 8, 2023
An emotional Bowen said he almost cried after scoring the goal.
“I obviously dreamed of scoring but to score the winner in the last minute…you always say you want to score a last-minute winner!” he said.
“To do it in front of these fans, I thought I was going to cry. I’m just so, so happy. I can’t put it into words.”
The victory in Prague means West Ham will play in next season’s UEFA Europa League, a sign of the progress that Moyes believes the club are making on and off the pitch.
“West Ham is a brilliant club in the east end of London who do a lot of work in the community,” he said. “It’s a big family club and I think it’s getting better and stronger.
“We’ve got a massive stadium that we’ve filled all season and tonight is another step on the road towards continued progress.”