Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

Through the Lens: Photographs From Hammers History Part 1 - Bobby Moore

Bobby Moore: First Gentleman of English Football

My first image in this series is of Hammers Legend Bobby Moore, which was displayed in the Bobby Moore: First Gentleman of English Football exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London from 27th February 2018 to 6th January 2019. The photographer is unknown and it was taken on the pitch inside the Boleyn Ground in 1962.

Its not the classic action photo, nor one of the more glamorous images of Bobby in the later years of his career, but a fresh faced younger player aged 21 years with the World Cup to look forward to in the summer after impressing Winterbottom in the England U23 squad. A year later from this photo Moore eventually captained England.

Sandwiched between ’61 and ’63 where he was voted Hammer of the Year, Moore played in the warm up match against Peru and remained in the squad for the duration of the 1962 World Cup in Chile, where England were beaten in the Quarter Finals by winners Brazil.

The country suffered the Big Freeze from late December ’61 until early March ’62 and The Beatles had their first hit with Love Me Do as the world came close to nuclear war with the Cuban missile crisis.

Moore’s impact on West Ham United and the England game is there for all to see and this photo is near the beginning of a football playing career that ended 1978 with his retirement from the pitch.

Once a national icon from the success of 1966 World Cup victory and winning BBC Sports Personality of The Year, its amazing to see this photo of Moore as a young player with all that ahead of him.

I love this portrait of Moore, he looks straight at the camera, confident, young and fresh faced with the Boleyn ground behind him with a wry smile on his face. A wonderful relaxed portrait.


Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

Player In Focus: Jeremy Ngakia

In a season of few positives we have seen the introduction of the young Jeremy Ngakia into the first team squad.

At only 19 years of age Ngakia has shown maturity in handling the pressure of playing for the first team in some big games in the second half of the season.

He is strong, has pace and shows composure going forward, with some skills and confidence in getting into the box, making crosses and breaking up the play with well timed tackles.

Joining the Hammers aged 14, Ngakia has played both right back and right wing and you can see how offensively he plays with some wonderful runs down the wing to give the forward players space and time on the attack.

Ngakia says he models his game on Antonio and he certainly offers the team some well needed pace when going forward in a counter attacking move.

To be honest, I’m struggling to understand why he wasn’t introduced into the first team squad earlier in the season as he seems to have shaken off the foot injury he suffered the previous season.

Its been exciting watching Ngakia play and refreshing to see such a confident, pacey and skilful young player come up from the academy.

I was looking forward to capturing some more shots of Ngakia as the season drew to a close, but only have photos from Southampton and Liverpool to show so far.

Let hope we get to see more form this talented young player in the future.


Talking Point

West Ham and, er, Bottoms

Guest Post by Guy Nash

Toilet paper is much sought after recently but unfortunately not to thrown onto a fevered football pitch but to stock pile in case of shortage. At times like this it is wise to avoid coughs, splutters and hyperbolic verbal diarrhoea so writing a piece about bottoms and their link with West Ham is my aim today.

Some people seem to “blow bubbles” from either end; indeed the rather vague term flatulence can mean emitting gas from either end of the gut. Depending upon culture and circumstance a fart can be embarrassing or amusing. Both males and females emit about a litre of gas every day largely produced by fermenting bacteria in the colon.
Bear in mind that it is the same gas that causes the colon to pop like a balloon if the bowel becomes blocked. In recent years there have been cases of explosions in theatre during anal surgery. It seems the relaxation of anal muscles in an anaesthetised patient allows the release of methane and hydrogen, which may be inadvertently ignited by a spark from the surgeon’s instruments (electrocautery or LASER); this tends to result in a lot of mess and paperwork to clear it up.

Operating around the bottom is not really everyone’s cup of tea and it still makes me laugh when patients apologise for their bottoms and show pity for me having to look up theirs. I suppose opening their bowels before showing it to us would be ideal; you don’t go to the dentist with a mouth full of toffee after all. The bottom is a fascinating place, it is an amazing achievement to make an organ which can tell between its contents (gas, liquid or solid) let alone expel the gas but not the rest. If you had an upturned bottle and took the cap off, you would not expect to be able to get the gas out without the lot coming out. The bottom is a very complex organ full of exquisitely sensitive nerves. It is the source of desire to some and a source of amusement to most.

Bottoms that misbehave make life difficult for the owner and the surgeon as there is such an assortment of anal maladies (it could be said that rectums, as life, can be like a box of chocolate). The term being ‘anal’ is apt sometimes as some regimented types, especially the military or policemen expect clockwork precise functioning; bothersome bottoms do not ‘sit’ well for the perfectionist. In fact, it can be predicted that if you operate on these bottoms it will not only be judged a failure by the high standards of the owner but all future problems below their waist are yours. For some patients you find that one way to avoid trouble is simply not to operate on them.

The vast majority of bottom problems are due to harmless conditions, but it is essential not to assume this. The classic colorectal assumption was said to have involved the West Ham footballer Bobby Moore, the only English captain to lift the World Cup. He apparently endured the pain of a pile operation but died from the real reason of his bleeding (a rectal cancer) that was subsequently found above this.

After his death I contributed to his biography “Moore than a Legend”.

He was a cockney and it was ironic that his England team mate Nobby Stiles became cockney rhyming slang for piles. Everybody should remember Bobby Moore in future (in addition to his class as a footballer and unflappable demeanour) to avoid the same pile pitfall.

This is the bottom line so please encourage others to see a doctor if you bleed from your bottom; it is better for them to put their finger in it than put their foot in it.


Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

Match Day Silenced As Top Flight Football Suspended Until April 30th

Firstly, I pray all WHTID readers and your families are well and safe.

On the recent suspended match day decided to grab my camera and go to the ground where we were scheduled to play Wolverhampton Wanderers at the London Stadium.

With all top flight matches and many other sporting fixtures suspended until 30th April, many grounds across the country remain empty and the usual match day roar silenced in these difficult and uncertain times due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

It was a weird feeling walking around the stadium, trying to imagine the crowd bustling around the stadium, the smell of food and the sound of music pumping out, chatter and song of supporters as they go through their usual match day routine before entering the stadium full of anticipation, the bubbles floating around everyones heads to the sound of I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles as the teams spill out onto the pitch.

It felt like the calm before the storm, that strange feeling you get before something major is about to happen. An uneasy sense of uncertainty that weighed heavy in the clouds over casting the ground and park.

In the absence of football, I’ll be posting some short, photographic articles on specific players from this season and I’ll be digging up some historical images and exploring football photographers who have captured some special moments in our clubs history.

In the meantime, here are my photos of the stadium walk around with just a few people going about their day like any other non-match day.


How I Became a Hammer

I Blame Jimmy Greaves

Guest Post by John Bayfield

In my much younger years during the mid/late 1960’s, the kids next door to me were all Spurs supporters. I didn’t pick any particular team to follow at the time so I went with the neighbours’ lot. Spurs were doing quite well most of the time in that era so all the talk was of Pat Jennings, Alan Gilzean, Cyril Knowles, etc. My favourite player though was Jimmy Greaves be it either watching him for Tottenham or England. So when Mr. Greaves got tangled up in the Martin Peters West Ham/Tottenham transfer situation in March 1970, my club allegiance was tested until a few weeks later, my 13 year old self changed colours to the claret and blue of West Ham United. My friends next door wondered why would I leave a club that was consistently pushing for titles and cups for a team that was always behind them in the old first division. Jimmy Greaves was the reply.

A typical goal poacher, his scoring record (at MOST of his clubs) was up there with the best. I suppose I thought he could do it for the Hammers as well. Not so.
But I was determined to keep with West Ham no matter what. As luck would have it, a kids’ team I played for at the time arranged a trip to see West Ham play Liverpool at Upton Park on March 28th 1970. Among the crowd of 38,200, we made our way to the rear of the North Bank. Being a six foot teenager had it’s advantages and I managed to watch Pat Holland score the only goal of the game in front of the South Stand past Ray Clemence in the fifth minute. From that game/day out onwards West Ham were my team, Jimmy Greaves or not.

The team that day was; Peter Grotier, Bobby Moore, Alan Stephenson, Bobby Howe, Billy Bonds, Frank Lampard, Peter Bennett, Peter Eustace, Pat Holland, Jimmy Greaves and Geoff Hurst.

Jimmy Greaves left the club the following year in 1971, not even making 18 months with us. I didn’t though and this year, March 2020 will be my 50th year supporting West Ham United.

Thanks Jimmy.


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