West Ham 4-0 Southampton, 19th April 1952
19th April 1952 – Nat King Cole was number one with ‘Unforgettable’ and Ted Fenton’s mid-table West Ham United beat George Roughton’s Southampton 4-0 in a Second Division encounter in front of 18,119 at The Boleyn Ground.
This match was the Hammers’ last home game, and final victory, of the 1951/52 campaign – they would close the season with two away draws, at Brentford and Sheffield Wednesday. They came up against a side containing future Chelsea and England right-back Peter Sillett, while fellow full-back Bill Ellerington had already been capped by the Three Lions.
West Ham’s goals in this victory 68 years ago came courtesy of a brace from 32-year-old East Ham-born outside-right Terry Woodgate (pictured) and strikes from 21-year-old inside-right Jim Barrett Junior (the son of Hammers legend and England international ‘Big Jim’ Barrett) and 24-year-old Irish centre-forward Fred Kearns.
John Terence (‘Terry’) Woodgate had made his Hammers debut before the Second World War, on 7th April 1939 in a 2-0 Good Friday home defeat to Bradford Park Avenue. He won a regular place in the first team after the conflict having served for more than six years with the Essex Regiment and Royal Artillery. He scored a seven-minute hat-trick against Plymouth in a Football League South fixture at Upton Park on 16th February 1946. He bagged a total of 74 goals in 355 appearances in the claret and blue, making his final appearance in a 5-1 Essex Professional Cup defeat at Colchester on 22nd October 1953 before transferring to Peterborough in March 1954 following the emergence of Harry Hooper and Malcolm Musgrove as regular first-team contenders. He later played for March Town United, and went on to be the landlord of the Cock Inn pub in the Cambridgeshire town of March after his retirement from playing. Terry Woodgate died in the town of March, aged 65, on 26th April 1985.
West Ham went on to finish the 1951/52 season in 12th position. Bert Hawkins was the club’s top goalscorer with 15 goals from 37 matches. Southampton finished 13th, Sheffield Wednesday won the Second Division title, Manchester United won the league and Newcastle won the FA Cup.
West Ham United: Ernie Gregory, George Wright, Harry Kinsell, Derek Parker, Malcolm Allison, Frank O’Farrell, Terry Woodgate, Jim Barrett Junior, Fred Kearns, Gerry Gazzard, Jimmy Andrews.
Southampton: Fred Kiernan, Peter Sillett, Billy Ellerington, Bryn Elliott, Stan Clements, Joe Mallett, Eric Day, Ted Bates, Walter Judd, Jimmy McGowan, Tom Lowder.
Watford 0-2 West Ham, 19th April 1986
John Lyall’s West Ham United arrived at Vicarage Road, the home of Watford, for a First Division fixture on 19th April 1986 in front of 16,696 while en route to a record-breaking third-place finish. George Michael was number one with ‘A Different Corner’ and Fright Night topped the UK box office.
The Hammers took the lead after 59 minutes when Alan Devonshire embarked on a run deep into Watford territory before playing a pass into the path of the on-rushing Tony Cottee who struck his 23rd goal of the season. The Hornets fell further behind when captain Alvin Martin’s ball forward found Scottish striker Frank McAvennie who rounded the goalkeeper before slotting into the net. The goals from this match can be viewed on the WHTID social media pages.
Lyall’s West Ham would end the season in third position, while Graham Taylor’s Watford would finish 12th. Liverpool won a league and FA Cup Double and Cottee was voted Hammer of the Year, with McAvennie runner-up.
West Ham United: Phil Parkes, Ray Stewart, Tony Gale, Alvin Martin, George Parris, Mark Ward, Alan Dickens, Neil Orr, Alan Devonshire, Tony Cottee, Frank McAvennie.
Happy 35th Birthday Valon Behrami
Valon Behrami was born in Mitrovica, Yugoslavia (now Kosovo) on 19th April 1985 but moved to an Italian-speaking village in Switzerland when he was five. He began his career with Lugano in 2002 before moving to Italy a year later, signing for Genoa. An all-action midfielder who could also play at right-back, he spent the 2004/05 season on loan at Verona before joining Lazio permanently in 2005, initially in a co-ownership deal which was made outright in January 2006. Behrami also made his first appearance for Switzerland in 2005.
In July 2008, the 23-year-old Behrami was signed in a £5m deal by Alan Curbishley as West Ham’s main summer purchase. He made his debut at right-back in a 2-1 home win against Wigan on 16th August 2008, the opening day of the 2008/09 season. Curbishley left the club just four matches into the campaign and was replaced by Gianfranco Zola – Behrami, now a fixture in midfield, scored his first goal under the Italian’s tutelage in a 1-0 win at Sunderland on 23rd November 2008. His only other goal in his first campaign came in a 2-0 FA Cup fourth round win at Hartlepool on 24th January 2009. His season was ended in March 2009 when he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in a home match against Manchester City – the injury would keep him out for six months.
The Hammers struggled against relegation in 2009/10 with Behrami scoring just one goal, a crucial early strike in a 3-0 home win over Hull on 20th February 2010. Behrami was part of the Switzerland squad which exited the 2010 World Cup in South Africa at the group stage – he was sent off in a 1-0 defeat to Chile. He made just eight appearances in the first half of the 2010/11 season under Avram Grant but scored two goals – the first in a 2-2 draw at Birmingham on 6th November 2010, with his final goal for the club coming three weeks later in a 3-1 home win over Wigan. Behrami made his last appearance in claret and blue in a 5-0 defeat at Newcastle on 5th January 2011 – he had scored five goals in 60 appearances for West Ham United. These five goals can be viewed in my video below.
Behrami left West Ham for Fiorentina in late January 2011 but departed for Napoli the following year. He moved to Germany, joining Hamburg in 2014, before returning to the Premier League with Watford in 2015. He returned to Italian football in 2017, signing for Udinese. Behrami, who turns 35 today, signed for Genoa in January of this year, rejoining the club that first brought him to Italian football back in 2003. He has won 83 caps for his country, scoring twice.
Happy 33rd Birthday Joe Hart
Joe Hart was born in Shrewsbury on 19th April 1987 and was Head Boy at his school, Meole Brace, in his final year there. He was a competent cricketer, briefly playing for Shrewsbury CC in the Birmingham and District Premier League and also spending two years in Worcestershire’s youth squads. Hart represented his hometown football club though, making his full debut for non-league Shrewsbury in April 2004, a day after his 17th birthday. He played for the club in League Two in the following two seasons and earned international recognition, winning six caps at Under-19 level for England. He was voted into the 2005/06 PFA League Two Team of the Season by his fellow professionals and he moved to Premier League Manchester City at the end of that season.
Hart spent January 2007 on loan at Tranmere in League One and joined Blackpool in a similar short-term deal in April that year. He became first-choice goalkeeper at Manchester City under Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2007/08 – he had, by this point, also made his England Under-21 debut under the tutelage of former Hammer Stuart Pearce. Hart made his senior England debut under Fabio Capello in a 3-0 away win over Trinidad and Tobago on 1st June 2008, a match which also saw West Ham’s Dean Ashton win his only senior England cap. Hart was a half-time replacement for another former Hammer, David James, in that match. January 2009 saw Hart lose his starting place at City to new signing Shay Given, although he would go on to represent England Under-21s in the 2009 European Championships, a tournament which saw Mark Noble captain the Young Lions. Hart saved, and scored, a penalty in the semi-final shoot-out against Sweden but was booked for leaving his goalline during the shoot-out and was suspended for the Final, which England lost 4-0 to Germany. Hart won 21 caps for England at Under-21 level.
Hart joined Birmingham on loan for the 2009/10 season and was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Season at the end of the campaign. He was named in Capello’s England squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, alongside former Hammer James and then-West Ham custodian Robert Green. Hart was chosen ahead of Given for the 2010/11 season by Roberto Mancini; he won the FA Cup at the end of the season and was again voted into the PFA Team of the Season as City won the Premier League title in 2011/12. Hart helped England to the quarter-finals of the European Championships under Roy Hodgson in 2012 and kept the highest number of Premier League clean sheets for the third consecutive season in 2012/13, a campaign which again saw him play in the FA Cup Final. Hart again won the Premier League under current Hammers manager Manuel Pellegrini in 2013/14 and was England’s first-choice goalkeeper at the 2014 World Cup, a tournament which saw the Three Lions exit at the group stage.
Hart also represented Manchester City in the Champions League, being described as a “phenomenon” by Lionel Messi in February 2015 after a performance against Barcelona in which he produced a record-breaking ten saves during the match. Hart’s performances at Euro 2016 played a part in him losing his place under new manager Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and he joined Torino on loan for the 2016/17 season, becoming the first English goalkeeper to sign for a Serie A club since the league’s inception in 1929.
The 30-year-old Hart joined Slaven Bilic’s West Ham United on a season-long loan in the summer of 2017 and made his debut in a 4-0 defeat at Manchester United on 13th August 2017. He went on to keep six clean sheets in 23 appearances. Hart won four caps for England whilst he was with the Hammers, three in 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia. In October 2017, Hart was targeted in his car by thieves in Romford, who stole his watch, wallet and mobile phone while he was at a petrol station. His most recent England appearance came during his time as a Hammer, in a goalless draw with Brazil at Wembley on 14th November 2017, his 75th senior cap in total for his country (he has also twice captained his country).
Despite this international clean sheet, Hart lost his domestic place to Adrian under new manager David Moyes the following month when the Spaniard came in to replace him against Manchester City, Hart’s parent club. Hart did play in a League Cup quarter-final defeat at Arsenal and played all three of the Irons’ FA Cup matches in 2018, including two ties against hometown club Shrewsbury. He won his starting place in the league back in March 2018 and kept a clean sheet in a crucial 3-0 home win over Southampton; he also particularly impressed in a 1-1 draw at Chelsea the following weekend. Hart’s 23rd and final appearance for West Ham came in a 4-1 loss at Arsenal on 22nd April 2018. He was not named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. After his season in east London, Hart joined Burnley in a permanent move in the summer of 2018. 33 today, he is currently second-choice behind Nick Pope at Turf Moor.