Filed: Wednesday, 21st December 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 new memorable occasions, matches and goals - we decided to revisit the list in order to include some of the more recent events.
With just three more parts to follow, we'll be bringing you the remainder of our top 100 before the New Year. For now, here's part seven of our countdown - entries 40 to 31...
West Ham, on their way to a ninth place finish in the Canon League Division 1 had been paired with minnows Bury in the second round of the Milk Cup, having received a bye in the first. Torrential rain in the first leg at Gigg Lane saw West Ham take an early lead through Paul Goddard before being pegged back by Craig Madden's equaliser. West Ham eventually won the match 2-1 - against the run of play - through Neil Orr.
With West Ham's history of falling foul of lower-league clubs in the cups, it's fair to say that there were a few nerves at the Boleyn Ground ahead of the second leg. Tony Cottee's second minute opener should have settled those nerves but Billy Bonds gave away a penalty two minutes later. John Bramhall should have make it 3-2 on aggregate but his spot kick hit the post - signalling the start of a quite astonishing collapse by the 4th Division side. Three more for Cottee, two each for Trevor Brooking and Alan Devonshire plus the ubiquitous Ray Stewart penalty gave West Ham a record 10-0 win on the night, 12-1 on aggregate.
Having lost the first leg in Frankfurt 2-1, West Ham are 1-0 up in the second leg of the 1975/76 Cup Winners Cup semi final second leg through Trevor Brooking. Midway through the second half, the England international spots Keith Robson in an advanced position and threads a long ball through to him. The Boleyn crowd sighs as Robson appears to dally in the quagmire, allowing the out-of-position Frankfurt defenders to re-organise. For Robson however there is but one thing on his mind as he unleashes a dipping, 30-yard drive over the head of the delightfully named Peter Kunter, the German's 35-year-old reserve 'keeper to put West Ham two-up on the night and ahead on aggregate.
Brian Dear is one of the lesser lights in West Ham United's history, understandably perhaps given his contempories. However on one memorable occasion back in April 1965 he set a First Division record when scoring FIVE goals in one game - and all in just TWENTY minutes. The opponents at the Boleyn Ground that day were West Brom, who were to end the season in 14th place - five spots below West Ham.
Martin Peters had already opened West Ham's account before Dear - who was only playing because first choice Johnny Byrne was sidelined through injury - made it 2-0 a minute ahead of the break. Jeff Astle pulled it back to 2-1 seconds later but West Ham still led going into the break. Dear then struck in the 53rd, 56th, 59th and 64th minute to give West Ham a stunning 6-1 victory and to record a record that, to our knowledge, is yet to be beaten in either the old First Division or Premiership/Premier League.
West Ham's first foray into Europe since losing the 1976 Cup Winners' Cup final to Anderlecht had been an unmitigated disaster. Beaten 3-1 on the pitch, the supporters - pictured in the next day's papers apparently urinating on home fans in the tier below - were battered by Spanish Police, whilst one Hammers fan lost his life after being crushed by a coach. As a result of the disturbances UEFA demanded that the second leg should be played at least 300 kilometres away from east London before an appeal saw permission granted for the game to take place at the Boleyn Ground - albeit behind closed doors. Only essential staff and the media would be able to attend - all of which led to an incredibly eerie atmosphere as less than 450 people saw the two teams take to the field.
Fortunately for West Ham the game itself couldn't have gone much better. Geoff Pike's 19th minute strike brought West Ham to within a goal of Castilla (Real Madrid's reserve team, for the record) before David Cross made it 3-3 on aggregate on the half hour mark. Paul Goddard's third shortly before the half time whistle put West Ham 3-0 up on the night and 4-3 ahead in the tie. However Bernal's second half goal saw the tie go to extra time, when a further two goals for West Ham by David Cross saw John Lyall's side through to a second round tie with Romanians Poli Timisoara. Hilariously, false crowd noise was later added to TV highlights - although most at West Ham agreed that the lack of atmosphere and nerves in the crowd had actually helped them through the latter stages of the game.
It was the days of endless replays - no penalty shoot-outs back then - and West Ham's epic League Cup semi final tie with Stoke was entering a fourth game. Whilst the original two-legged affair had ended 2-2 after extra time a first replay, played at the neutral Hillsborough, finished goalless (also after extra time). Old Trafford was the venue for the fourth match in the series which was taking place SEVEN weeks after the first leg had been held in Upton Park.
With Hammers 'keeper Bobby Ferguson temporarily off the field having been concussed following a collision with City's Terry Conroy, Bobby Moore stepped up to take the number one jersey - and within minutes, Stoke had been awarded a penalty after a shocking back pass by John McDowell saw the defender foul John Ritchie. "It must be 100 to 1 against", commentator Gerald Sinstadt remarked on Moore's prospects of saving Mike Bernard's spot kick - but that's precisely what he did. Sadly he couldn't stop the rebound and West Ham eventually went down 3-2 on the night, despite briefly recovering to lead 2-1 at one stage.
Locked at 0-0, there were just two minutes of a closely-contested FA Cup quarter final against First Division Aston Villa remaining when Villa's Ken McNaught's hand struck Trevor Brooking's corner. Referee David Richardson had no doubt and pointed immediately to the penalty spot - to the delight of more than 36,000 fans crammed into the Boleyn Ground. With several of his team mates unable to watch, 20-year-old full-back Ray 'Tonka' Stewart - at Second Division West Ham for less than a year following his £400,000 move from Dundee United - stepped up to smash the ball into Jimmy Rimmer's bottom right corner to send the happy Hammers through to a semi-final clash with another First Division team, Everton.
Alan Taylor cost West Ham just £40,000 when John Lyall signed the centre forward from Rochdale on his 21st birthday in November 1974. Having been rejected by Preston as a youngster, the Hinckley-born Taylor had found his way back into professional football by way of non-league Morecombe and Lancaster City. By the time the FA Cup quarter final came around in March 1975, Taylor was yet to complete a full 90 minutes for his new club - but was a surprise inclusion in the side to face Arsenal at Highbury.
Said to have been included to take advantage of the ageing Terry Mancini's lack of pace, Taylor put the Hammers 1-0 up after just 15 minutes when he converted Paddon's cross (the striker celebrating in iconic fashion by hanging from the goal net). The game was won in the first minute of the second half when Taylor pounced on a Brooking pass to fire through the mud. After a goalless semi-final with Ipswich, he scored both of West Ham's goals in the replay to book a date at Wembley against Bobby Moore's Fulham - where he hit a third successive brace in the competition to secure West Ham's first Cup win since beating Munich at the same venue ten years earlier. Sadly Taylor failed to match that high after and was eventually sold to Norwich in 1979.
Believe it or not, there was once a time when Paul Ince wasn't universally reviled in the east End of London - and never more so than the night in November 1988 when he almost single-handedly destroyed reigning league champions Liverpool at the BG. Still just 19, the precocious teenager produced the kind of performance that suggested his long-term future may not lay at West Ham, as the mighty Liverpool fell to their heaviest defeat since the Second World War.
Ince scored the first two of West Ham's four goals on the night - in the 21st and 24th minute - as Liverpool were simply brushed aside. An own goal from Steve Staunton and one from Tony Gale sent the Hammers through to the quarter finals where Aston Villa awaited; Liverpool eventually finished runners-up in the league behind Arsenal whilst West Ham were relegated - and John Lyall subsequently dismissed. Ince was to play just once in the second division for West Ham before moving to Manchester United; the less said about that, the better.
The 1966/67 season was, quite frankly, an absolutely mental year as far as first team results went. The Hammers - whose World Cup winning-trio were still basking in the glory of the previous summer's success - had been beaten 5-4 at Leicester in the third game of the season before going on to record a 6-1 win over Fulham, a 4-3 win at Tottenham, a 5-5 draw at Chelsea plus 6-2 and 6-1 defeats against Southampton (away) and Man Utd (at home) respectively.
For title-chasing Leeds complete with superstars such as Billy Bremner, Jack Charlton, Norman Hunter and Jimmy Greenhoff the fourth round League Cup tie was one for which they were considered strong favourites. However it couldn't have turned out any different as they were simply destroyed by Ron Greenwood's men. Johnny Sissons and Geoff Hurst both grabbed a hat-trick - with Martin Peters scoring a seventh - to condemn Leeds to a humiliating 7-0 defeat. And in case you're wondering, the match ball went to Sissons - as Hurst's first goal was initially attributed to Johnny Byrne!
Having disposed of Walsall in the third round by three goals to two, West Ham were left cursing their luck when they were drawn away to the all-conquering Manchester United in the fourth round. Few gave the Hammers a cat-in Hell's chance of toppling the mighty Mancunians - not even the fact that ITV were broadcasting the game live stopped some 9,000 Happy Hammers from making the 200-mile trip up the M1.
However there wasn't a single fan regretting the journey when Paolo Di Canio was on hand to score the game's only goal with just 14 minute remaining. Put through on goal by Freddie Kanoute, the Italian strode towards goal; Man U 'keeper Fabien Barthez bizarrely attempted to psyche the striker out by raising his arm for an offside that never was - and Di Canio swept the ball beyond the crazy Frenchman to send 9,000 Eastenders delirious and West Ham into the fifth 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.
comments powered by Disqus