Filed: Monday, 30th May 2011
By: Staff Writer
Back in 2004, readers of KUMB.com voted for their greatest West Ham moments. With seven years having passed since - during which we've witnessed a number of memorable occasions, matches and goals - we decided to revisit the list in order to include some of these more recent events.
We'll be bringing you the full top 100 over the course of the next few weeks; for now here's part three of our countdown - entries 80 to 71...
On a chilly November day in 1970 West Ham were entertaining Wolves in a Division One fixture. With the game barely minutes old a Bobby Moore headed clearance - described elsewhere as 'thunderous' - caught Welsh referee Gerrard Lewis squarely on the side of the noggin, knocking the unfortunate official out cold.
As the game continued around him, Moore noticed that Lewis was struggling to respond and immediately ran to the referee before calmly picking up his whistle and blowing it to bring the game to a halt, allowing medical assistants from both clubs to attend to the stricken Lewis. Having deployed the smelling salts, Moore checked with Lewis to see how we was before handing the official's whistle back to him upon which the game continued.
The two sides went on to play out an entertaining 3-3 draw; referee Lewis - whose unfortunate accident was chuckled at by millions on Match of the Day that night - continued to officiate at the highest level for many years after - however it is for the Moore incident that he remains remembered today.
West Ham, struggling to recreate the form of the previous season went into this Today League Division One fixture with Watford just four places above the relegation zone and with just ten games of the season remaining. With game against Arsenal, Everton and Man Utd to follow a win was essential in order to give themselves a little breathing space. However with the game entering the last minute - and with neither side yet to score - a point appeared the likely outcome.
Left-back George Parris had been moved into midfield by John Lyall to allow for the debut of Scottish full-back Tommy McQueen. As the ball goes out of play Parris asks referee Ian Borrett (who famously responded to a complaint by former Crystal Palace manager Alan Smith with 'I'm having a crap game and nothing you say will change it') how long is left, to which the official replies 'a minute'. Fuelled by his newly-acquired knowledge, Parris picked up the ball 30 yards from goal, took aim and fired - sending the ball into Tony Coton's top corner to win the game - West Ham's first win since New Year's Day and one that inspired them to a 3-1 victory over Arsenal 10 days later.
Liam Brady was quite simply a footballing genius. Whether at Arsenal, Juventus, Inter or, clearly the pinnacle of his career, at West Ham, he was a Messi of his day; a European Maradona. The affable Irishman arrived in east London in 1987, aged 31, following a season with Italian side Ascoli and immediately became a crowd favourite - despite being part of the squad relegated in 1989. Having featured 89 times for the Irons he made his farewell appearance on a sunny May day in West Ham's final game of the 1989/90 campaign against Wolves.
With West Ham already three-nil to the good through goals from Keen, Morley and Robson, Brady delighted the home fans with an 88th minute trademark finish to secure a 4-0 win. A spontaneous pitch invasion ensued and referee Allison, having deemed the final two minutes of the game unnecessary, blew for time as Brady was raised aloft by jubilant fans.
Not for the last time in this list we turn our attention to international matters. In June 1984 an under-pressure England, fresh from a surprise 2-1 defeat in Switzerland travelled to Hungary for a World Cup qualifier in a tight group also also involving Romania and minnows Norway - who England are famously humbled by in Oslo in their next game. However on this occasion the Three Lions secure a 3-1 victory - a win best remembered for Trevor Brooking's second half strike.
Brooking had given England an encouraging lead after 16 minutes when he finished from a similar position to his goal at Wembley in the FA Cup Final a year earlier. However Ron Greenwood's side are pegged back just before the break. On the hour mark a slick move on the left flank saw the ball find Brooking, poised just outside the penalty box. The Hammers' midfielder struck the ball instantly, firing into the top left stanchion where the ball remained for all to see. It remains an iconic moment; a wonderful example of the almost telepathic communication Brooking shared with Kevin Keegan - and his most famous international goal.
It was the dawn of a new era. A newly-professional West Ham United had risen from the ashes of the disbanded Thames Ironworks FC, the works football club established by Old Harrovian Arnold Hills five years earlier in 1895. United's first fixture in the 1900/01 Southern League First Division campaign was against Gravesend, a game played in front of 2,000 supporters at Plaistow's Memorial Ground - one of a number of venues the club called home before finally settling at the Boleyn Ground in 1904.
The day - 1st September 1900 - belonged to William Grassam, who scored four of West Ham's seven goals and in doing so, became the club's first player to record a hat-trick. Also getting in on the act were James Reid (2) - a Scot like Grassam who also arrived at United via Burslem Port Vale - and Yorkshire-born Fergus Hunt. The 7-0 win was the club's biggest win of the season - and one that has rarely been beaten in the 111 years since.
Match stats: http://www.westhamstats.info/...01_Sep_1900
April 2003: West Ham had been rocked by the news that manager Glenn Roeder was in a critical condition having collapsed after the narrow 1-0 home win against Middlesbrough that kept United's faint hopes of avoiding relegation alive. The club needed someone who could galvanise the players and the fans for the final three games of the season - at which point the much-maligned Terry Brown made one of the smartest decisions of his tenure.
Club legend Trevor Brooking, then in an advisory role at the club was installed as temporary manager to the delight of supporters. A tough trip to Manchester City was the first test for Brooking and his new charges, but carried along on a wave of newly-found hope and optimism his team snatched a vital three points thanks to Freddie Kanoute's 81st minute winner - a goal scored directly in front of the delirious travelling West Ham fans. The great escape was on...
When West Ham faced Wolves at the Boleyn on 6th March 1993 it was more than a week since West Ham's favourite son had passed away. The previous weekend had seen a minute's silence observed across the country - yet none more impeccably than at Roker Park, where West Ham played out a half-hearted 0-0 draw with Sunderland. But it was the following weekend that gave the club and its supporters the first chance to join together in grief at Moore's passing.
Both Green Street and the Boleyn Ground itself were awash with wreaths, memorials, replica kits and all sorts of other pieces of memorabilia depicting the great man left by football fans from around the world. It truly was a sight to behold. The game was preceeded by Moore's fellow World Cup-winning Hammers Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst laying a huge wreath, with a number 6 at it's centre-point, on the centre circle. Goals from Morley (who wore a number 12 shirt instead of 6), Dicks and Holmes cement a fitting result.
Tipped for the drop by many and having dipped in and out of the relegation zone for much of the season it was a therefore a pleasant surprise when Harry Redknapp's side went into the final game of the 1994/95 campaign safe in 14th spot. But whilst Redknapp's team - minus injured talisman Julian Dicks - may have had little but pride to play for, opponents Manchester United needed a win - and for Blackburn to lose at Liverpool - to secure the Premiership title.
Michael Hughes threw a huge spanner in the works by giving West Ham a 31st minute lead much to the delight of the majority in the 24,783 crowd - an advantage Redknapp's side carried into the half time break. But with danger man Mark Hughes thrown into the mix at the interval the Mancunians were a different prospect - and it was no surprise when they pulled level through Brian McClair just seven minutes after the restart.
With news that Blackburn were behind at Anfield, Ferguson's side sniffed victory and a Championship - but Ludo Miklosko had other ideas. Time after time the big Czech 'keeper denied Man U; even still, a second goal seemed inevitable due to the visitors' total domination of the game. When Andy Cole was presented with a gilt-edged opportunity with moments to go it looked like West Ham's staunch resistance had all been for nothing - until Miklosko pulled off a stunning close-range save that sent the title to Ewood Park, despite Rovers having been beaten By Man Utd's arch rivals.
Since being promoted from the old DIvision Two in 1959, West Ham had enjoyed a 19-year run in the top flight - a period which represented the club's golden era and included two FA Cup wins and two European finals. But having flirted with relegation for a number of years, the club's presence in the top flight was under serious threat as the Hammers went into the final game of the 1977/78 campaign still in the relegation zone.
In truth, John Lyall's side should have been relegated long before but a run of six wins in eight games had suddenly made the impossible tantalisingly possible. Division One runners up - and champions of Europe - Liverpool stood in their way, just to make a difficult task even more so. A good start from the home side offered a glimmer of hope but once Terry McDermott had given the visitors the lead - and David Fairclough had added a second 23 minutes from time - the game was all but up.
As the final whistle blew it was too much for Billy Bonds, West Ham's colossus, who wept openly as he trudged slowly, sadly, back to the changing rooms. Wolves' win against Aston Villa a few days later finally condemned West Ham to Division Two for the first time since the 1950s.
With West Ham bottom of League Division One and heading for relegation the 1988/89 FA Cup was a chance for brief respite from a punishing league campaign. But United's third round pairing with eventual league champions Arsenal looked too big an ask for John Lyall's men, who at least had home advantage to draw comfort from.
The first tie, broadcast live by ITV ended in a 2-2 draw. West Ham had held a two goal advantage before capitulating (sound familiar?) and in the end, were forced to hang on for a replay. Given the difference in quality during the second half of the first tie, few gave Lyall's men a chance in the Highbury replay - but as history has proved time after time, it is in these situations that West Ham are at their most dangerous and having held Arsenal's previously free-scoring strikers at bay for 77 minutes, Leroy Rosenior bagged one with his head to send the Irons into the fourth round.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
12:55AM 30th May 2011
''Is number 79 in 1987? By your write-up it is and it's one I remember as it was my first game - and I will never forget George Parris for it.''
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