Filed: Tuesday, 27th 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 two more parts to go, we'll be bringing you the final 20 of our top 100 later this week. For now, here's part eight of our countdown - entries 30 to 21...
West Ham's first foray into the Intertoto Cup had taken Harry Redknapp's men to the final of the competition, with the prize - in addition to a thumb-sized Intertoto 'trophy' - being automatic entry into the first round of the UEFA Cup proper. However a 1-0 defeat at the Boleyn Ground in the first leg - courtesy of a young Louis Saha, now of Everton and a missed Frank Lampard penalty - meant that West Ham had an uphill task awaiting them in France.
A 3,000 strong travelling contingent of Hammers fans got behind their team from the start and were rewarded when Trevor Sinclair fired home from the edge of the penalty box on 23 minutes to level the tie. Frank Lampard then atoned for his first leg spot kick miss by putting West Ham two up on the night and ahead on aggregate two minutes before the half time whistle. The home side pulled one back through Jestrovic on 68 minutes before Paulo Wanchope rounded 'keeper Letizi with just over ten minutes remaining to make it 3-1 on the night, 3-2 on aggregate and send West Ham into to the UEFA Cup proper for the first time in the club's history.
West Ham had been languishing in the old second division since having been relegated some 26 years earlier in 1932. At the time, there was little to suggest that the Hammers deserved to be anywhere else having spent just eight years of their existence playing in the nation's top flight during the 1920s/early '30s - although that was all about to change.
Manager Ted Fenton, in place since 1950 having replaced Charlie Paynter was beginning to see the fruits of his labour materialise after he instigated what amounted to the club's first Academy. Although Fenton's young West Ham were beginning to make an impression by 1957 - an appearance in the FA Youth Cup Final, a second successive Southern Junior Floodlit Cup win and strong performances in continental competitions all contributed to their growing reputation - it was upon a couple of imports that Fenton relied to drive his side to unexpected promotion in 1958.
John Dick and Vic Keeble emanated from Glasgow and Colchester (via Newcastle) respectively but between them scored 40 goals to help fire West Ham towards Division 1 in 1957/58 - with able assistance from the 30-year old Billy Dare (14 goals) and 18-year-old local boy John Smith (11 goals). On 26th April 1958, Fenton's Hammers travelled to Middlesbrough needing a win to guarantee a return to the top flight with Blackburn, Charlton and Liverpool all also in with a shout. In front of a capacity crowd of 30,000 Keeble and Dick both struck - as did Malcolm Musgrove (a tough ex-squaddie from Northumberland) - to give West Ham a 3-1 win that not only guaranteed the club Division 1 football for the first time since the Second World War but also their first Football League trophy as Division 2 Champions.
Highlights v Fulham from 1958: http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=35083
Tony Carr has been working with West Ham's youth players since 1973 with varying degrees of success. A number of top flight players - such as Alan Curbishley, Ray Houghton, Tony Cottee and Paul Ince had started their footballing careers under Carr's watchful wing - but it wasn't until Harry Redknapp returned to the club as manager that the Academy hit the heights for which it ultimately became world famous.
During the mid 1990s, as a result of an aggressive recruitment policy instigated primarily by Redknapp, Carr unearthed what he calls his "golden nuggets" - a once-in-a-lifetime string of players who would go on to feature at the very highest level. Rio Ferdinand, a striker at the time had been playing for a team in Blackheath whilst Frank Lampard was only going to play for one club. Michael Carrick came from Wallsend Boys Club and Joe Cole from Camden. Together they earned West Ham nearly £40million in transfer fees during the next few years with Ferdinand eventually going to Manchester United via Leeds for some £30million. All four played for England - as did fellow Academy players Glenn Johnson and Jermain Defoe (another £13million in the bank). Sadly, West Ham sold each and every one before they reached their peak.
In the wake of the Taylor Report, commissioned following the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy, all first and second division clubs were obliged to introduce all-seater stadia. West Ham, in the very last Barclays Division 1 before the Premiership began in 1992/93 decided in their infinite wisdom to offset the cost of redevelopment by introducing a Bond Scheme, in which supporters could only purchase a season ticket if they had previously bought a bond (for around £500).
This, combined with a national recession and the team's woeful form (that eventually saw them finish bottom of the league) contributed to an air of anarchy on the terraces. From that growing discontent HISA - the Hammers Independent Supporters Association - emerged to become the voice of the anti-Bond Scheme movement. Their high-profile campaign - backed privately by Julian Dicks - reached its zenith on 29th February 1992 when one disgusted fan picked up a corner flag before ceremoniously planting it in the centre circle before sitting down. A fortnight later a second protest - this time in tandem with Arsenal, who were also planning to introduce their own Bond Scheme - resulted in hundreds of balloons being released above Upton Park. HISA eventually won the day with West Ham's board caving in after less than 1,000 Bonds were sold; the protests remain the last occasion on which the solidarity of the supporters effected direct influence at Boadroom level.
Sixth-placed West Ham arrived at Stamford Bridge for this Easter weekend Canon League Division 1 clash two places below fellow title-chasers Chelsea. What was to follow was one of the most extraordinary derbies between the two sides ever as the Hammers strengthened their own title credentials with a stunning 4-0 win - an all the more remarkable result given that John Lyall's side had scored just six goals in their previous eight league outings.
Alan Devonshire started the rout with a long-range piledriver midway through the first half before Tony Cottee doubled West Ham's lead ten minutes into the second half when converting George Parris' low centre. Frank McAvennie beat Chelsea's offside trap before centreing for Cottee to make it 3-0 with 64 minutes on the clock and finally, McAvennie smashed home a mis-hit Cottee effort to make it 4-0. The three second half goals all arrived within 13 minutes of each other; West Ham went on to win nine of their last 12 games to finish in third place. Chelsea followed this resounding defeat by being thrashed 6-0 at QPR 48 hours later, effectively ending their own title hopes.
The late 1970s are famous for being the time when the first million-pound footballers changed hands (Trevor Francis, Steve Daly and Andy Gray all moved for fees in excess of a million within seven months during 1979). Whilst West Ham were never going to be invited to that particular party (Syd Puddefoot's £5,000 switch from Falkirk to West Ham in 1922 being the only occasion on which the club have held the British record), one transfer that took place in the same year did indeed make the World sit up and take notice of east London once again.
Philip Benjamin Neil Frederick Parkes - 'Phil' to his pals - began his professional career at Walsall, close to Sedgley where he was born in 1950. After a couple of years learning his trade the goalkeeper moved to the bright lights of London with QPR, with whom he finished runners-up in the league in 1975/76 (as part of a team considered by some to be the best never to have won the First Division). His sole international cap also came during his spell at Loftus Road. In 1979 he became the centre of a two-way tussle between Uniteds Manchester and West Ham for his services; the Mancunians, managed by former QPR boss Dave Sexton are said to have had as many as six offers rejected by Rangers before they were made an offer they couldn't refuse by West Ham. The fee was an astonishing £565,000, a world record at the time for a goalkeeper. Parkes, 29 at the time moved from west to east London and despite concerns over his dodgy knees repaid the fee in full by becoming West Ham's number one for the next decade.
It was billed as the most valuable club game in World football. For the winners, a crack at the Premiership and around £40million in additional revenue awaited. For the losers, another season in the Championship and trips to Barnsley and Coventry. West Ham, still sore from having been beaten by Crystal Palace at the Millennium Stadium the season before were set to meet Billy Davis' Preston, who went into the play-offs in sparkling form. West Ham had deposed of Ipswich - again - to reach Cardiff (Wembley being temporarily closed due to reconstruction) whilst North End - who finished above the Hammers and beat Alan Pardew's side both home and away in the league - had seen off the challenge of Derby.
A tense game, played in front of a capacity crowd remained at 0-0 as it entered the closing stages. Whilst West Ham had perhaps enjoyed the lions' share of possession and chances, North End always looked threatening on the break. With 14 minutes left to play Matthew Etherington burst down the left and centred a hopeful looking cross. Claude Davis looked set to cut it out before slipping on the damp surface leaving Bobby Zamora to meet it with his left foot and send the watching Hammers into ecstasy. Jimmy Walker's hand ball outside the box - and subsequent cruciate injury that probably saved him from a red card - mattered not, and West Ham were back in the big time after two years in exile.
Few people today will have had the pleasure of watching Charlie Bicknall play for West Ham. But his name shall forever be associated with Hammers folklore, for he was the first United player to lift a Cup at Wembley when West Ham beat Blackburn Rovers in the 1940 FA War Cup.
With the FA Cup and regular Football League programme suspended due to the ongoing Second World War the Football Association replaced the knockout competition with the War Cup. West Ham's path to Wembley had included defeats of Chelsea, Leicester City, Huddersfield Town, Birmingham City and Fulham and they lined up against underdogs Rovers in front of just over 42,000 spectators (for a 6:30pm kick off), many of whom were soldiers recovering from wounds inflicted by the conflict. The only goal of the game came from ambulance-builder Sam Small, who pounced on George Foreman's shot that had been spilled by 'keeper Jim Barron after 34 minutes. Bicknall climbed the famous thirty nine steps to claim the trophy; it was to be another 24 years before Bobby Moore emulated the full back when Ron Greenwood's side beat Preston.
Paolo Di Canio was a footballing genius - and like most genuises, flawed. Had he not shoved referee Paul Alcock to the ground following a petulant outburst whilst a Sheffield Wednesday player he would never have graced the Boleyn Ground turf, but Harry Redknapp's wheeler-dealing ways couldn't refuse the gamble. It proved to be a wise one, for Di Canio was to become the last real West Ham legend in his short-but-sweet four-year stint at the club.
Whilst the Italian scored a number of memorable goals in the claret and blue shirt, it was for the opening goal in an otherwise mundane 2-1 win against Wimbledon in 2000 for which he is best known to the footballing public at large - and rightly so. Trevor Sinclair's cross-field pass was beautifully timed for Di Canio to meet on the volley - that he did so with both feet off the ground simply added to the beauty of a strike that flew beyond a static Neil Sullivan into the far corner. An audible gasp rang out from the crowd before the usual cheers kicked in.
The passing of England's greatest ever captain Bobby Moore at the age of just 51 - a victim of bowel cancer - shocked an entire nation. When his criminally-early death was announced in late February 1993, thousands of football supporters from across the nation made the pilgrimage to Upton Park in order to lay wreaths, football shirts, poems and verse or any kinds of paraphernalia associated with Moore, England or West Ham at the gates of the Boleyn Ground.
It was the kind of scene that is commonplace these days with public grieving being far more socially acceptable. But back in the early 1990s, prior to the mass-mourned death of Princess Diana the response to Moore's passing was an extraordinary and unique occurrence. Green Street turned into a shrine to West Ham and England's number six, whose part in the nation's 1966 World Cup win had ensured he remained in the heart of every English football fan. The first game following his death, against Wolves, was preceded by the placing of a huge wreath in the centre circle by Bobby's fellow World Cup-winning Hammers team mates Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. Moore's better-known number six shirt (he often wore number five during his early years) was retired for good in 2008.
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.
09:07AM 28th Dec 2011
''What fantastic memories, thankyou.''
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