Dan Coker's Match Preview
Blast from the past
Today’s blast from the past is the replayed home clash with Crystal Palace from 1997/98. The first game had to be abandoned due to floodlight failure after West Ham had come from two goals down through strikes from John Hartson and Frank Lampard. Neil Shipperley’s double had put Palace in control before the Hammers’ comeback. The forgotten goals can be seen on the video below, along with the moment the lights went out on Lampard’s celebration.
A replay of the match was arranged for Wednesday 3rd December 1997 – Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’, recorded by various artists for Children In Need, was number one and West Ham United were to enjoy an almost perfect night against their south London visitors in front of 23,335 at Upton Park. The Hammers went ahead in the 31st minute when David Unsworth’s raking crossfield pass found Eyal Berkovic who controlled expertly, cut inside Simon Rodger and laid the ball off for Hartson (pictured below in this very match) to drive in beyond Kevin Miller at the near post. The Eagles were level three minutes before half-time though when a corner from the left found Andy Linighan at the near post, Stan Lazaridis failed to deal with it on the line and Shipperley bundled home to equalise. The Hammers were not to be denied their interval lead however. Lazaridis atoned for his earlier error by providing a high, hanging cross which Hartson headed against the crossbar – Berkovic, following up, swept home left-footed to restore the hosts’ lead.
Two Hammers’ players went on to notch their first ever goals for the club in the second half. Unsworth was the first, volleying home acrobatically in the six-yard box after Ian Pearce had headed on Lazaridis’ 48th minute corner. Steve Lomas was the second, steaming into the area unmarked to power home Hartson’s cross to make the score 4-1 on 71 minutes after good initial approach play from Berkovic and Samassi Abou.
Harry Redknapp’s Hammers would finish 8th in the Premier League in 1997/98, while the Eagles would end the campaign in bottom place and were relegated. Arsenal won a Premier League and FA Cup double.
West Ham United: Craig Forrest, Tim Breacker, Ian Pearce, Rio Ferdinand, David Unsworth, Stan Lazaridis (Keith Rowland), Steve Lomas, John Moncur, Eyal Berkovic, Samassi Abou (Paulo Alves), John Hartson.
Crystal Palace: Kevin Miller, Marc Edworthy, Hermann Hreidarsson, Andy Linighan, Dean Gordon, Jamie Smith (Michele Padovano), Neil Emblen, Simon Rodger, Itzy Zohar, Paul Warhurst, Neil Shipperley.
Marouane Chamakh is injured, ruling out an appearance against West Ham United with whom he spent a brief loan spell in 2013. Alan Pardew, an ex-Palace player and now manager of the Eagles, will face the club he managed between 2003 and 2006. Victor Moses could face the club where he started his career. A large group of players have turned out for the Hammers and the Eagles. Divided here by position, they include:
Goalkeepers: Perry Suckling, Steve Mautone, Vincent Blore.
Defenders: Kenny Brown, Neil Ruddock, Paul Brush, Danny Gabbidon, Chris Powell, Alan Stephenson, Tony Gale, Matthew Upson, Darren Powell.
Midfielders: Michael Hughes, Hayden Mullins, Carl Fletcher, Jobi McAnuff, Kyel Reid, Ray Houghton.
Strikers: Ian Wright, Jeroen Boere, Clive Allen, Dave Swindlehurst, Paul Kitson, Ron Brett, Dave Sexton, Freddie Sears.
Malcolm Allison and Jack Tresadern played for the Hammers and managed the Eagles, while Iain Dowie played for both clubs and also managed Palace.
With a nod to the final season at the Boleyn Ground, this season’s match previews for home games will focus on one of the more high-profile names to have played for both clubs. Today’s focus is on a former England international forward who had two spells with Crystal Palace either side of a successful stint with West Ham United. Johnny ‘Budgie’ Byrne was born in West Horsley, Surrey, on 13th May 1939 to Irish immigrants. He played youth football for Epsom Town and Guildford City while working as an apprentice toolmaker before his schoolteacher, ex-Crystal Palace and West Ham goalkeeper Vincent Blore, alerted Palace manager Cyril Spiers to the teenage Byrne’s talents.
Byrne signed a professional contract on his 17th birthday in 1956 and went on to score seven times in 28 matches in the 1957/58 season as Palace finished in 14th place in the Third Division South. He scored 17 goals in 45 matches in the 1958/59 season as the club became founder members of the Fourth Division, new manager George Smith leading the ‘Glaziers’, as they were known, to a seventh-place finish. In 1959/60 Byrne scored 16 times in 42 matches as Palace finished eighth in Division Four. Byrne became a first team regular, and was popular with the Palace fans. A new breed of striker, standing only 5’8 but weighing 11.5 stone, Byrne was adept at dropping off his marker and finding space before either assisting a team-mate with an inspired pass or using his own skill, speed and powerful right foot to create opportunities for himself. In the 1960/61 season, Byrne scored 30 of Palace’s 110 goals as the club reached the Third Division. He left Crystal Palace in 1962 for West Ham United having scored 85 league goals in 203 appearances.
Ron Greenwood paid a fee of £65,000 to take ‘Budgie’ to West Ham United, a record between two British clubs – a jovial character, the nickname ‘Budgie’ was the result of Byrne’s incessant, cheerful chattering. The fee was made up of £58,000 plus ex-Palace striker Ron Brett who was valued at £7,000. Brett was tragically killed five months after the move at the age of 24, when his car hit a lorry. Greenwood would later compare Byrne with Argentine footballer Alfredo Di Stefano. Byrne’s Hammers debut came on 17th March 1962 in a 0-0 draw at Sheffield Wednesday. He played 11 games in his first season, scoring a single goal, in a 4–1 home win against Cardiff in April 1962.
The 1962/63 season saw him score a hat-trick in a 6-0 League Cup win over Plymouth and end the season with 14 goals in all competitions, only one behind leading scorer Geoff Hurst. Byrne beat runner-up Bobby Moore in the Hammer of the Year voting in 1963/64 as the Hammers won the FA Cup. Byrne had amassed 33 goals from 45 games in all competitions for this season, overtaking Hurst as top goalscorer. This included a league hat-trick in a 4-3 win over Sheffield Wednesday and FA Cup goals in the fourth round against Leyton Orient, the fifth round against Swindon and two in the quarter-final against Burnley.
The 1964/65 season opened with Byrne scoring as West Ham and champions Liverpool shared the Charity Shield having drawn the game 2–2. He also scored a hat-trick as the Hammers beat Tottenham 3-2 at Upton Park (the first goal can be viewed in the video below, with all the other goals in the second video further down). Byrne scored in the first round of the European Cup Winners’ Cup against La Gantoise, the third round against Lausanne and in the semi-final against Real Zaragoza. In the 1965/66 season West Ham were again involved in Europe as holders of the Cup Winners’ Cup and also reached the 1966 League Cup Final. Byrne was on the scoresheet in the Cup Winners’ Cup, in the second round against Olympiakos, the third round against Magedeburg and in the semi-final against Borussia Dortmund as the Hammers exited the competition. He scored five goals in six games in the League Cup including one in the first-leg of the final against West Brom which West Ham won 2–1. Albion won the second leg 4-1 at The Hawthorns though to take the trophy with a 5-3 aggregate win. Byrne finished the season with 17 goals in all competitions behind Geoff Hurst who, on the verge of his 1966 World Cup success, scored 40 goals in 59 games.
Byrne played for England at both youth and Under-23 levels, becoming the first Fourth Division player to win an Under-23 cap while with Crystal Palace. Byrne, however, might be described as a talented nearly man, missing out as he did on places in both the 1962 and 1966 England World Cup squads. First capped for the senior England team in 1961, for a game against Northern Ireland and while still at Crystal Palace, Byrne seemed likely to figure in the 1962 World Cup in Chile having been transferred across London for a sizeable fee in the months before the tournament. However, Byrne was involved in a post-match fracas with West Brom and former England right-back Don Howe in the tunnel at The Hawthorns on 31st March 1962. The story goes that influential figures at the Football Association – where a selection committee still carried great influence when picking the team – were unimpressed by this and consequently excluded him. Byrne notched his first England goals in June 1963 in an 8-1 away win over Switzerland but perhaps his finest Three Lions moment arrived in May 1964 when he scored three goals in Lisbon as England beat Eusebio’s Portugal 4-3, Byrne clinching his hat-trick with an 88th-minute winner.
Byrne helped England beat Wales at Wembley the following season while playing at inside-left and started in the same position at Wembley again in April 1965 for a 2-2 draw against Scotland, in a season he comfortably ended as West Ham’s top goalscorer with 25 goals. For Byrne, a man with the world at his feet, one of the First Division’s top forwards, on the verge of a European final and now having the chance to re-establish himself in the England team a year before the World Cup finals, this proved to be the last of his 11 international caps. England were reduced to ten men against the Scots when Ray Wilson was forced off by injury. With no substitutes allowed, Byrne slotted in as emergency full back – however, Byrne himself then suffered an injury to his knee but gamely battled on with the Three Lions effectively down to nine men. Byrne’s injury, however, was serious with ligament damage to the knee and he had done himself no favours by playing on. He not only had to sit out the rest of the Hammers’ triumphant European campaign, but he was still not fit come the start of the following season. Byrne returned but could only show glimpses of his previous form and was hindered by injury throughout the 1965/66 campaign. His exceptional talents were never in doubt but, although he scored 8 goals for England in his 11 appearances, he never fully established himself at international level.
Byrne returned to Crystal Palace, by now in the Second Division, in February 1967 in a deal worth £45,000. He scored 1 goal from 14 appearances in his first season back and 4 goals in 22 appearances in 1967/68. Byrne was proving to be past his peak as a player and, only a year after rejoining the club, he was transferred to Fulham for £25,000 in March 1968. Byrne would eventually go to play in South Africa, where he also went into management.
Bobby Moore was a close friend of Byrne’s – according to acclaimed sports writer Brian Glanville, the two men once sat together on a warm South African night when Moore said, envisaging a partnership in management: “You and me, Budgie, you and me!” It was never to be. Moore passed away in February 1993 and Byrne died, aged 60, of a heart attack in Cape Town, South Africa on 27th October 1999. A minute’s silence was held for Byrne and his former team-mate Dave Bickles, who had died five days after ‘Budgie’, at the 0-0 UEFA Cup draw against Steaua Bucharest at Upton Park.
This Saturday’s referee is Mark Clattenburg. The Durham-based official’s record when taking charge of Hammers matches generally bodes well for us – he was the man in the middle for our 3-1 victories at Crystal Palace both this and last season, refereed our 3-1 home win over Southampton in 2013/14 and, in the previous year, took charge in 2-1 wins at QPR and at home against Norwich. On the flip side, he had no choice but to send off Kevin Nolan in a 2-1 defeat at Fulham two seasons ago and was also the man in black for a woeful away showing at Villa Park in a 2-1 defeat in February 2013. Clattenburg also officiated in the 2-1 defeat at Leicester in April which followed his part in the controversial 2-1 league defeat at Everton last November when Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring from an offside position and various tackles, clashes and simulation went unpunished. His most recent appointment involving the Hammers saw us lose 1-0 at Southampton despite Clattenburg sending off Victor Wanyama early in the second half. Clattenburg’s previous Hammers match should have seen him issue a red card to Bastian Schweinsteiger for elbowing Winston Reid in our 0-0 draw at Manchester United shortly before Christmas.
Slaven Bilic will again be without the injured Sam Byram and James Collins while Cheikhou Kouyate missed Senegal’s midweek match with Niger due to bronchitis and a slight fever, according to Senegalese sources. Nigeria’s Victor Moses and Ecuador’s Enner Valencia will also have returned to Chadwell Heath late in the week due to international duty on Tuesday in Egypt and Colombia respectively. James Tomkins could return at right-back but may not be risked from the start with crucial games looming on the horizon.
Crystal Palace are likely to be without injured strikers Emmanuel Adebayor, Marouane Chamakh and Connor Wickham. Midfielders James McArthur and Yohan Cabaye are also set to be ruled out but Mile Jedinak could be passed fit.
Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Antonio, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Obiang; Sakho, Lanzini, Payet; Carroll.
Possible Crystal Palace XI: Hennessey; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare; Jedinak, Ledley, Mutch; Zaha, Bolasie; Campbell.
Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!