Blast from the past
Three was a magic number on 23rd August 1978 – The Commodores were number one with ‘Three Times A Lady’ and West Ham United bagged three goals in a 3-0 Second Division victory over Newcastle United in front of 27,233 at St James’ Park.
Newcastle, having opened the 1978/79 season with a 2-1 defeat at Millwall, were making their first appearance at St James’ Park since being relegated from the top flight the previous campaign and handed a debut to former Sunderland man Colin Suggett, who had just signed from Norwich. The Hammers, meanwhile, were back in the second tier after also being relegated the previous season and had won 5-2 at home against Notts County in their opening fixture.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring through David Cross. Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson added the second against his former club before Alan Devonshire (pictured) put the seal on a fine away triumph for John Lyall’s men in this Wednesday evening fixture.
The Hammers would end the 1978/79 season in fifth position, six points off the promotion places, while Bill McGarry’s Newcastle would finish eighth.
Newcastle United: Mick Mahoney, Peter Kelly, John Blackley, John Bird, Micky Barker, Colin Suggett, Nigel Walker, Tommy Cassidy, Terry Hibbitt, John Connolly, Jim Pearson.
West Ham United: Bobby Ferguson, Frank Lampard, Tommy Taylor, Billy Bonds, Paul Brush, Pat Holland, Alan Curbishley, Trevor Brooking (Alan Taylor), Alan Devonshire, ‘Pop’ Robson, David Cross.
West Ham United and Newcastle United have shared a multitude of personnel over the years. Of the current Hammers’ crop, Sam Allardyce, Neil McDonald, Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll have all been employed by the Magpies. A brief run-through of some others who have represented both clubs is best served by dividing them by playing position.
Goalkeepers: Shaka Hislop and Pavel Srnicek.
Defenders: Abdoulaye Faye, Wayne Quinn, Dave Gardner and Stuart Pearce.
Midfielders: Franz Carr, Lee Bowyer, Rob Lee, Nolberto Solano and Kieron Dyer.
Strikers: Paul Goddard, Les Ferdinand, Demba Ba, Marlon Harewood, David Kelly, Keith Robson, Vic Keeble, Craig Bellamy, Pop Robson and Paul Kitson.
Chris Hughton also played for the Hammers and managed the Magpies.
This week’s focus though is on one of West Ham United’s greatest players of the twenty-first century who also spent two years with Newcastle United. Scott Parker was born in Lambeth on 13th October 1980. A Lilleshall graduate, Parker was the 13-year-old keepie-uppie star of a McDonalds advert during the 1994 World Cup. He began his professional career at Charlton, making his debut in 1997; he also had a brief loan spell with Norwich in 2000. He joined Chelsea in the winter window of 2004 for a fee of £10m but found first team opportunities hard to come by and signed for Newcastle in July 2005 for £6.5m.
He became a regular in the Newcastle first team and was one of the few players at the club to show any consistency during an often difficult 2005/06 season in which the Magpies finished in seventh place, despite suffering a poor start under Graeme Souness. His first Newcastle goal came against his former club Charlton in a 3–1 defeat on 25th March 2006. Later that month he was diagnosed with glandular fever, putting an end to his season. The timing was especially unfortunate for Parker; he had been playing well but the illness ended any hopes he may have had of forcing his way into the England squad for the 2006 World Cup.
New manager Glenn Roeder named Parker as his captain In July 2006, succeeding the retired Alan Shearer. His first goal as skipper came against Wigan on 19th August 2006, in a 2–1 win on the opening day of the 2006/07 season. Parker scored his second goal of the season against Fulham in September but the Magpies conceded two goals after he was substituted and subsequently lost the game. Despite Newcastle’s poor form, his performances earned him a recall to the England squad in September 2006 after an absence of more than two years. In November, Parker scored in the 116th minute against Watford in the League Cup and then scored in the penalty shoot-out to allow Newcastle to progress in the competition. He scored his fourth goal of the 2006/07 season against Tottenham in December 2006. After 6 goals in 73 matches for Newcastle, Parker left for West Ham United to be reunited with his former Charlton manager, Alan Curbishley, in a £7m deal in the summer of 2007.
Injury played a large part in Parker’s early career in east London, with the midfielder unable to make his debut until a League Cup win over Plymouth at the Boleyn Ground in late September. Three days later Parker was injured again during a home defeat to Arsenal and ruled out for a further two months. His first goal for the club came three days before Christmas, the last-minute winner in West Ham’s first ever victory at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium.
Parker’s second goal for the club was over a year later, from close range in a 2-1 defeat at Bolton in February 2009, by which time Gianfranco Zola had taken over from Curbishley. His season was ended by injury the following month but he had still done enough to win the 2008/09 Hammer of the Year prize. The Irons struggled in 2009/10 and were second bottom of the Premier League when Parker was sent off for two yellow cards in the 2-2 home draw with Arsenal in October. His first goal of that season was a stunning, dipping half-volley from distance to bring the Hammers level at the home of his old club Chelsea in March, although the match would ultimately be lost 4-1. His only other goal that season was infinitely more significant, the winner in a tense 3-2 victory over Wigan on 24th April which secured the Hammers’ survival – Parker’s sensational 77th-minute strike from 25 yards was followed by an emotionally-charged celebration. Two weeks later, he would become the first player to retain the Hammer of the Year trophy since Julian Dicks in 1997.
A 17th-placed finish in 2009/10 resulted in Zola being replaced by Avram Grant and the Hammers would endure a turbulent 2010/11 campaign. Parker was the bright light shining in the east end gloom as he displayed the fight, determination and character sadly lacking in many of his team-mates – he was often mistaken as the club’s captain by an inattentive national media. This was epitomised by his best goalscoring season during his time with the club, Parker opening with three goals in his first six games (the injury-time winner against Oxford in the League Cup, a wonderfully-lofted volley in a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea and a scrambled effort in a 1-1 draw at Stoke). Another three-goals-in-six-games spell followed in October/November as he scored the equaliser in a 3-1 extra-time win over the Potters in the League Cup, struck a thunderbolt in a 2-2 draw with West Brom and grabbed the clincher in a 3-1 win over Wigan.
On 9th February 2011, he became the first England player to receive his first four full caps whilst playing for four different teams, coming on as a second-half substitute for Frank Lampard in a friendly against Denmark. Parker was to score once more for the Hammers that season, a beautifully-executed effort with the outside of his right foot from the edge of the area in a 3-1 home victory over Liverpool in late February. The following month, he played in a 0-0 draw at Tottenham hours after the death of his father. He also started in England’s victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Parker would again be crowned Hammer of the Year, the only player other than Sir Trevor Brooking to claim the award three seasons in a row. He was also named as the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, an incredible feat considering his club were relegated in bottom place. In doing so, he became the only Hammer aside from Bobby Moore to win the award.
Parker started West Ham’s 2011/12 Championship campaign, notching one goal in four league appearances, this coming in a 4-0 win at Watford. At the age of 30, Parker knew he may only have one opportunity left to play in an international tournament and, with Euro 2012 on the horizon, was aware that he would have to be playing Premier League football. With his children in school in the local area, Parker opted to remain in London and signed for close rivals Tottenham for a fee of £5.5m. Parker made 129 appearances for West Ham in all competitions, scoring 12 goals. After two years with Tottenham, he was on the move to Fulham in August 2013, for whom he still plays today.
The referee on Sunday will be Martin Atkinson; 2014/15 is Atkinson’s tenth as a Premier League referee. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Atkinson has refereed nine of our league matches, officiating in five wins for the Hammers, one draw and three defeats. This season Atkinson has been the man in the middle for the Irons’ 2-2 draw at Hull, as well as for our home victories over Manchester City, Leicester and Hull. He also sent off Morgan Amalfitano in our 4-0 FA Cup fifth round defeat at West Brom in February.
Newcastle United need to win to guarantee Premier League survival. A Hull victory over Manchester United at the KC Stadium will relegate the Tyneside club to the Championship if they fail to beat West Ham at St James’ Park due to the Tigers’ superior goal difference. The Magpies are set to be without Rob Elliot, Steven Taylor, Massadio Haidara, Cheik Tiote and Adam Armstrong but Siem de Jong could be fit for the visit of the Hammers. Mike Williamson is available after serving a two-match suspension.
West Ham United will finish tenth if they can better Everton’s result against Tottenham. If both the Toffees and the Hammers win, the side with the greater winning margin will claim the final place in the Premier League’s top half. If West Ham lose and Crystal Palace beat Swansea, the Irons could end up in 12th position. The Hammers will be without Guy Demel, James Collins, Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll but James Tomkins (shoulder) and Kevin Nolan (family bereavement) could be back in contention.
Possible Newcastle United XI: Krul; Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Colback; Cabella, Sissoko, de Jong, Gouffran; Cisse.
Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell; Song, Noble, Kouyate; Downing, Amalfitano; Valencia.
Enjoy the game (and the summer!) – Up The Hammers!
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