Tony Hanna's Musings

Geoff Hurst's (Second) Finest Moment

Geoff Hurst

By Tony Hanna

Whilst Sir Geoff has the honour of being the only player to score a hat trick in a World Cup final, he is also one of only two players to ever score a double hat trick in a first class match for West Ham. The other was Vic Watson in 1929.

The date was the 19th October 1968 and the Hammers were sitting in a lofty 6th place whilst Sunderland were 10th in the old First Division. Earlier that season the Hammers had put five past Burnley (the night of the famous “Knees Up” down Green Street), four against West Brom and seven against Bolton in a league Cup tie – all in successive games. However, leading into this match we had only scored one in three as teams had apparently worked us out.

From memory it was a mild day but the pitch was a touch soggy. Three goals in the first half saw our man get his hat trick and Bobby Moore had also scored for a 4-0 lead. When Hurst scored his fourth and West Ham’s fifth in the second half the crowd started to chant “we want six, we want six” and Sir Geoff duly obliged. The “we want seven” chant went up and the only surprise was that it was Trevor Brooking who this time granted the fans wish. Hurst was on five goals now and it was 7-0 as the crowd were singing for eight! Sure enough Hurst banged in his sixth and the Hammers eighth before the end and this time the chants of “we want nine” were not rewarded. Final score 8-0. The West Ham line up that day was; Ferguson, Bonds, Stephenson, Moore, J Charles, Redknapp, Boyce, Peters, Sissons, Brooking and Hurst.

Later that day Hurst admitted that his diving header for his first goal was not actually headed. He had punched the ball in with his fist. Sunderland’s goalkeeper who had such a bad day at the office that day was Jim Montgomery. Four and a half years later he would have a better day when he performed heroics to thwart Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup Final. Famously, the Sunderland manager Bob Stokoe would sprint from the touchline to hug his goalkeeper at the end of the game.

Geoff Hurst scored 41 goals from 49 league and cup games in that 68/69 season. Overall he scored 180 in 411 appearances in Claret and Blue. A true Hammers legend.


Guest Post

Father's Day gift idea from West Ham fanzine

Are you looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift for your West Ham-supporting Dad? Blowing Bubbles might just have the answer!

Blowing Bubbles June 2020

The monthly magazine has a Father’s Day offer of 25% off their 10-issue hard copy subscriptions for UK, European and International Hammers.

To take advantage of this offer, visit "blowing-bubbles.co.uk/subscribe”:https://blowing-bubbles.co.uk/subscribe/ and enter FathersDay in the coupon section when checking out with either a UK, Europe or International 10-issue subscription.

Editor David Blackmore, who launched the fanzine in 2012, says anyone purchasing a subscription as a gift for their father will be able to present them with a copy of their June issue on Sunday, 21 June.

“Our June issue is an extraordinary issue in an extraordinary time,” David says. "It’s a terrific memento that beautifully captures life for a West Ham fan since March when we published our last issue. 

“It’s arguably one of the best issues we’ve ever produced and I’m sure West Ham Dads up and down the country would love to receive a copy of our June issue on Father’s Day with the promise of nine more to come!”

Blowing Bubbles’ June issue is dedicated to key workers and is their first cover image to not involve a West Ham player. It comes after they weren’t able to print in April and May because their printers were closed.

David continued: "When Boris Johnson announced our lockdown measures, our lockdown measures back in March, it didn’t even cross my mind that this would impact our operation, somewhat ignorantly. If anything, I thought it would give us the opportunity to provide a bit of escapism for you each month.

“As we were applying the final touches to what would have been our April issue, our printers got in touch to say they were stopping the presses. So for the first time since 2012, the Blowing Bubbles express was held up in March (it’s a real place you know, in Cambridgeshire!), waiting for a green light to continue. 

“But while the Premier League and the production of our magazine was no match for coronavirus, I think it’s so important that we always remember those who have helped stop it in its tracks.

“Our June issue is dedicated to all of our key workers. From those working in health and social care, education, childcare, food and other necessary. And to those working for key public services, utility workers, public safety, national security, and transport – we wanted to salute the part they’ve played to help keep us safe.

“The past few months have been extraordinary and so is this issue. It’s another step towards a new normal. What the future holds for this magazine – and the football world – remains unclear right now but hopefully a new path will emerge.”


Nostalgia

Shirts, Glorious Shirts

By John Bayfield

Got a favourite must have home shirt hanging in the wardrobe? Some impressive away shirt that’s tucked away in the drawer from God knows when? Or you’ve got that ‘third’ shirt, one that seemed a great idea at the time when you bought it but you would only wear now for a bet? A recent article on the BBC website covered the England football shirt era with kit makers Admiral in the early 80’s. The England home shirt was derided by most around then as it took the shirt design and style away from the traditional look, as in not being the plain white shirt worn through the decades previously. That Admiral national shirt has of late become a collectors’ item apparently.

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One of the most notable changes to what were called generic or plain kits was that Admiral had put their emblem on shirts, down the side of the shorts and around the tops of socks. A clever form of advertising where previously only a few clubs had the makers’ logo opposite a club badge. Admiral had made football strips for many league clubs across the country most notably Leeds United from 1973/4, well before the England kit tie up and including West Ham United from 1976-1980. This looked good for Admiral as the Hammers were in the Cup Winners Cup reaching the final in 1976 and it ended with our 1980 FA Cup Final victory at Wembley over Arsenal.

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In the second half of the seventies, Umbro and Adidas were making big moves on the top teams but Admiral hit money troubles and mainly kept ties with lower league clubs. Which brings me back to our claret and blue shirts in East London. With the aforementioned England shirt causing debate and being frowned upon by many at the time, what then would be regarded as a well presented and easy on the eye West Ham United playing strip? When it gets down to the nitty gritty it doesn’t matter what the boys (or girls) wear as long as they play well and hopefully are successful. Right from the early 1900’s our home kits have in the main been similar. The colours go so well together and I think it’s a great mix. Altogether much more appealing than all red, all blue or black and white stripes for instance. And not many teams have played in the same colours as ours. Aston Villa started using theirs in 1888 while Scunthorpe United followed the Hammers in 1904. Burnley used claret and blue from 1910 seven seasons after us. Much of the West Ham style and design from 1903 to 1976 were claret shirts, sky blue sleeves with white shorts and socks. Even our away kits for the bulk of the last century were either mainly sky blue or white with minor fluctuations. As we passed into the 80’s more and more clubs were latching on the fact that sales of shirts/kits were pulling in a pretty penny for income and it wasn’t too long before clubs were changing kit styles every couple of years.

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Up to the 1975 FA Cup Final the single piece of art on our shirts apart from shirt numbers on the back was the club badge. Bukta made our kit then and (as far as I know) their name was on our shirts for the first time in that game. From then kit makers motifs were on all future shirts and shirt advertising followed in 1983 with West Ham starting with Avco Trust emblazoned across the chest on a large light blue area over the claret shirt highlighting the name of the company. Knowing this was a good and welcome income for the club I went with it. But once I saw the finished article and other clubs versions, I wasn’t so keen. But it was here to stay regardless if I liked it or not. Kit suppliers’ names were of a minimal size and didn’t affect the general look of the shirts but capital letters spread over the front of shirts just spoilt it for me. Maybe I am too much of a traditionalist but changes come and go. Compared to some clubs we have got off lightly through the seasons.

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Since then various forms of lettering (some foreign) and numbers have adorned shirts for many sports, not just football and now it’s the norm in sporting circles. West Ham have been supplied by Bukta, Admiral, Adidas, Umbro, Pony, Fila, Macron and Reebok.
Here are a handful of shirts, in no particular order of good, bad and…..ahem, purple. The 1976-80 Admiral shirt with claret and blue chevrons across the chest . And of course with the rest of the white strip. The club crest at the time was also a plus, much better than the current rebranding one which is plain and simple in comparison. Fortunately this shirt was pre sponsorship thank goodness.

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The 2019/20 season’s shirt is similar in design but no white to balance the kit up alas. The 1991-93 seasons gave us the BAC Windows logo on the shirt. The bright red logo taking up a fair chunk of the shirt didn’t help. Bukta provided the material and pre-school infants designed the shirt colour schemes during that period. Too much Blue Peter influence with sticky back plastics strips over the shoulders and sleeves for the home shirt. Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen would have been proud to have it in his curtains catalogue.

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This is a wonderful away strip from 2005. Strands of claret across the sky blue shirt, Bobby Zamora doing the posing bit. The 2006 white change kit as in the Cup Final was also high up on my list.

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I quite liked our navy blue/white away style, 2006/7 in the great escape season. The beige shirt with navy blue shorts and socks during 96/97 were a disappointment, not really us. When the third shirt idea came along it must only have been from a business point of view. Make even more money but did really they make much? Claret, light blue and white are our clubs primary colours, it’s in West Ham’s DNA. Surely those up in higher up the food chain can decide and make a proper West Ham third shirt not far off the range of colours we are used to. No need to go purple. Maybe the designer was a Prince fan? But the powers that be need to sell different gear to encourage us to change very frequently in modern times. The few outings this purple attire has been paraded out on the pitch left me feeling a bit underwhelmed.

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Having been a tad harsh on some outfield items earlier, I can’t waffle on without a mention on keepers kits as some of you may know I’m a bit biased towards goalkeepers in general. So in ending, I will try to redress the balance a little. When I used to drop crosses, fumble a back pass or pick the ball out of the back of the net, it was mainly in a green or blue colour for the keepers top, bar one season which was I was in yellow (didn’t make much difference to my form though). Quite plain compared to some goalkeeper’s jerseys over the past few decades. Having been part the goalkeepers union from the age of nine, many a time I have tried to defend the actions of fellow members, whatever playing level, no matter how they performed in or outside the penalty box. But there is a limit. I could have chosen one of many examples but these photos (and they are far from the worst I have seen) show Mark Bosnich and Hans Segers either doing impressive imitations of the old BBC TV test card or a rather large bag of Smarties in the six yard box. These two photos sum it up for the football evolution of fashion. Classy or chavvy? I’ll leave that difficult choice to you.

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Video

Video: My All Time West Ham Eleven

This is a forty minute interview I did last week with Russ Budden, in which I chose my all time West Ham Eleven – well, of players I have actually seen play live. Hope you enjoy it!


Nostalgia

On This Day, 29th May: Happy Birthday Ian Bishop

Happy 55th Birthday Ian Bishop

Ian Bishop was born in Liverpool on 29th May 1965 and began his career at Everton, joining straight from school and making one appearance for the Toffees. A loan spell with Crewe was followed by a permanent move to Carlisle, for whom he played for four years. Bishop was signed by manager Harry Redknapp for Second Division Bournemouth in 1988 for a fee of £35,000; after scoring two goals in 54 appearances in his one and only season for the Cherries, Bishop signed for First Division Manchester City in the summer of 1989. When manager Mel Machin was sacked by chairman Peter Swales, his replacement Howard Kendall (who had sold Bishop to Carlisle when he was Everton manager) saw no place in his side for the midfielder.

Bishop joined Lou Macari’s West Ham United in December 1989 in a deal that saw Trevor Morley also move to Upton Park, with Mark Ward signing for Manchester City in part-exchange. Bishop, now 24, was valued at £650,000 in the deal. He made his debut, along with Morley, in a 1-0 defeat at Leicester on 30th December 1989 and scored his first goal for the Hammers on 4th April 1990 in a 3-1 win at West Brom, by which time Billy Bonds had taken over the managerial reigns. His first goal at Upton Park came seven days later in a 4-1 win over former club Bournemouth.

A creative midfielder easily distinguishable by his long hair, Bishop scored six goals from 49 appearances in all competitions in the 1990/91 season, captaining the Irons to promotion to the First Division and the FA Cup semi-finals having taken over the skipper’s armband from the injured Julian Dicks. His first goal of the season came in a 3-1 home win over Ipswich on 19th September 1990 and he bagged the only goal of the game in a home win over Blackburn the following month. A knee ligament injury kept him out for six weeks over Christmas but he returned with two Upton Park goals in the FA Cup, one in a 6-1 third round replay win over Aldershot and the other in a 5-0 fourth round replay victory over Luton, both in January 1991. He scored from the spot in a 1-1 Good Friday draw at Oldham on 29th March 1991 before notching the winner with a stunning strike from distance in a 1-0 triumph at Port Vale eight days later. ‘Bish’ also won an England ‘B’ cap against Switzerland at Walsall at the end of that campaign.

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It was around this time that ‘Bish’ played a particularly key role in my own history as a West Ham supporter. My Dad has been an ardent Hammer since the early 1960s but I had shown little interest in football until a chance moment in the summer of 1991, when I was eight years old. Gillingham is my local team and, whilst we were out driving one late afternoon, my Dad pulled up next to a car with huge logos on the side – this was in the days when footballers had their cars sponsored with their names often emblazoned across the vehicle (I remember giant goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko driving a tiny sponsored Skoda!). The car we pulled up next to contained Ian Bishop and Trevor Morley, who were lost on the way to Priestfield for a friendly against the Gills. My Dad gave them directions and, starstruck, I suggested we go to the game. Bishop and Morley also sent signed photographs to say thanks for the directions which took pride of place on my bedroom wall throughout my childhood! We lost that friendly 4-1 but, interest piqued, my first visit to the Boleyn Ground followed a matter of weeks later against Manchester City in September 1991. ‘Bish’ remained one of my favourite Hammers throughout his time at the club and was certainly a player who I modelled my own style of play on as a youngster.

Bishop scored two goals from 51 appearances in 1991/92 as the Hammers suffered an immediate relegation; he scored in a 2-1 Full Members Cup semi-final defeat at Southampton on 7th January 1992 and was also on the scoresheet in a 4-0 home win over Norwich on 11th April 1992. A 1-0 win at Luton on 18th January 1992 even saw Bishop manfully play on with broken ribs after both substitutes had already been used.

Redknapp, his former manager at Bournemouth, joined the club in the summer of 1992 as assistant to Bonds but Bishop experienced a more difficult season in 1992/93 as Peter Butler and Martin Allen claimed the central midfield spots for most of the campaign. Along with several other players, he was placed on the transfer list in December 1992 as the club tried to cut its wage bill in the wake of the ill-fated Bond scheme. Having maintained that he had no wish to leave, the likeable Scouser’s loyalty was rewarded when he returned to the side as West Ham gained promotion, this time to the Premier League. Bishop made 24 appearances in 1992/93; he only scored one goal in the campaign but it was a critical strike in the run-in, a late winner in a 2-1 triumph at Birmingham on 3rd April 1993.

Having been on the brink of joining Southampton, West Ham reacted by signing Bishop to a new three-year contract in September 1993. The Hammers would finish 13th in their first Premier League season and reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Bishop – back to his stylish and graceful best – scored twice in 45 games, both in 3-2 away defeats in March 1994, at Luton (in the aforementioned FA Cup quarter-final) and Sheffield United.

With Redknapp taking over as manager in the summer of 1994, Bishop made 36 appearances in 1994/95, scoring once in a 3-1 home win over Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Eve 1994. Two goals in 41 appearances followed in 1995/96 as the Hammers made the top ten – Bishop scored both his goals in 3-0 wins, against Bristol Rovers at home in the League Cup second round second leg in October 1995, and at Bolton the following month. ‘Bish’ made 36 appearances in 1996/97, scoring his final goal for the club in a 1-1 home draw with Derby on 23rd November 1996.

The arrivals in 1997 of Steve Lomas and Eyal Berkovic resulted in reduced game time for Bishop and he played only four games in 1997/98. His final appearance in claret and blue was on 14th March 1998 in a 2-1 home win over Chelsea. In total, Bishop scored 17 goals in 304 appearances for West Ham United before returning to Manchester City at the age of 32 after just over eight years in east London. My video below contains 16 of Bishop’s 17 goals for the Hammers.

After three years back at City, he went on to play for Miami Fusion, Barry Town, Rochdale, Radcliffe Borough and New Orleans Shell Shockers. 55 today, Bishop currently lives in Florida and has served as the Technical Director for Evergreen FC, in Leesburg, Virginia.


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