Nigel Kahn’s Column
This week I continue on giving you all a taste of my collection and perhaps some examples of some of the easy ways for kids to start their own collections without spending too much money (to begin with)
When I say I collect anything to do with West Ham I generally do mean anything, if it has a badge or link to the club, I’m interested. I may not buy it but I’m always interested and the more obscure the better I like it, even to the point I have a carrier bag collection.
Ticket stubs were again, one of the first things I kept. As with my programmes, it just started as not throwing anything away but then it grew. It was helpful my Uncle was in the ticket (cough) industry so could supply me easily with them.
The pic shows some of my favourites, including the Liverpool East Terrace ticket and the Spurs South Bank ticket. Special for two reasons, not many terraces back in the day needed a ticket to get onto them, you just queued up and paid on the door, so to have those two is rare I like to think. What sets them apart is they have the counterfoil, which makes them not only very rare but adds a bit to the value I’m told. But as I say to those who ask about the value of stuff I have, its only worth it, if I was selling, since I’m a collector, not a seller, I’m not interested in its worth.
Over the years the west ham ticket style constantly changed, but I believe I have at least 1 ticket from every year since the late 70s. Of course these days with ticket scanning, you can’t tell if a ticket has been used or not but I have some very nice tickets from games gone by. Ive shown some of my England tickets as well, I must admit the old Wembley tickets are my favourites.
I think the cigarette card collections started in the 1920s, I bought a set at Walthamstow town hall boot sale 1 Sunday for about £20 I think back in 1992, I had just bought my 1st house and thought my neighbour who was in his 80s would love to hear about them, he was blind but used to go West Ham back in the day before he lost his sight.
I was sitting in his living room, showing reading him out the names, What you know about Len Gouldon, I said. Len said his wife, that’s old Len across the road, used to play for West Ham. So off Isabelle went to get Old Len, in he came, and, yes, The cigarette card I had of West Hams own Len Gouldon was indeed Old Len. He then tells us that Tommy Lawton was the best forward of the time, had great feet, in his opinion, better than Dixie Dean.
You can see the card with Old Len in the picture, the more modern-day collection came from the fake cigarette sweets we used to get as kids, I only bought them to get the cards as I never really liked those sticks, too sweet for me. The West Ham collection in the binder is Hammers News all-time West Ham 100. A collection that came every month with Hammers News every month I think around 2008.
Also, are some of the very modern-day Match Attax cards, I bought a complete set for my son years ago when trying to get him into football. He wasn’t interested so I gave it away, apart from of course the west ham cards. All add to the collection.
The fanzine started appearing around the late 80s, the first I remembered was On The terraces, swiftly followed by Over Land & Sea. Some of the others are also found in the picture, The Ironworks Gazette which was the name of the actual in house Thames Ironworks magazine that carried the advert by Dave Taylor that he was setting up a football team and needs players. On a mission, The Water in Majorca and the oddly named, We ate all the pies all followed in the 90s. It’s great to read them at times to get a sense of what fans thought at the time and the humour found in them is sadly missing from today’s West Ham. The pic below shows a short-lived but excellent fanzine, 5 Managers. Which was produced for just the last season at the Boleyn, as well as the great Ex Hammer which for me is sadly missed and Blowing Bubbles, which if I’m honest, I struggle to see as a fanzine as its too well produced? Add to the fact they had David Gold write for them I can’t say im a fan of it. If anyone knows of any others please let me know
Lastly for today, if any of you heard last weeks Moore than just a podcast, podcast, then you would have heard about a West Ham programme that recently sold for over 3,000 pounds. it was from the 60s I think but it was for a game that was never played as it was called off in advance, and apparently, there was only 2 known in existence.
I then mentioned that I used to go to the ground if a game was called off and buy a programme if they were on sale.
The first time I did this was Boxing Day 1979, my uncle came to pick me up but said the game was called off. I got upset so he took me to the ground to prove it was off, outside the gates was a programme seller so my uncle bought me one to try to cheer me up.
The game wasn’t played until April which obviously means a totally different programme was needed.
The game itself is well known as Billy Bonds was sent off for fighting with Colin Todd that night and also it was the first game back at Upton Park of local lad and former hero, Alan Curbishley.
I can’t say I know what the Un-played game programme is worth but as I said before, Its only worth something if I’m selling.
Thanks for reading