Nostalgia

On This Day 45 Years Ago...

On this day 45 years ago, 15th February 1975, West Ham United recorded a 2-1 FA Cup fifth round victory over Queens Park Rangers at the Boleyn Ground in front of 39,193. Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel were number one with ‘Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)’, The Towering Inferno was in UK cinemas and Margaret Thatcher had become the Conservative Party’s first female leader four days earlier.

The visitors took a first-half lead through Dave Clement – the Battersea-born right-back won five England caps before sadly committing suicide at the age of 34. His sons, Paul and Neil, have both had careers in the game. Pat Holland equalised for the Hammers before, prompted by Trevor Brooking, the Irons booked their quarter-final place when Keith Robson scored a 46th-minute winner past future Hammer Phil Parkes.

West Ham would go on to beat Arsenal and Ipswich before beating Fulham in the 1975 FA Cup Final at Wembley. In the absence of much recent Hammers action, I thought we’d take a look back at the career of the Hammers’ matchwinner on this day 45 years ago.

Keith Robson was born on the 15th November 1953 in Hetton-le-Hole, County Durham, and began his career with Newcastle before moving to Ron Greenwood’s West Ham United in 1974 for £60,000. His arrival, alongside that of Billy Jennings from Watford, sparked an extraordinary scoring spree with the Hammers netting a remarkable 20 goals in just four games during a ten-day period. The 20-year-old Robson made his debut against Tranmere on 18th September 1974 in a 6-0 League Cup second round replay win at the Boleyn Ground. He scored his first Hammers goal in his next match just three days later, a 6-2 home victory over Leicester and notched another in a 3-0 win over Birmingham in the following game. His first goals away from Upton Park soon arrived as he bagged a brace in a 5-3 win at Burnley. Robson made it five goals in four games with another in a 2-2 home draw with Derby on 5th October 1974.

The aggressive forward also scored with a header in a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough at the Boleyn on 2nd November 1974 and followed that with a point-earning strike in a 1-1 draw at Liverpool three weeks later. A Boxing Day goal secured a 1-1 draw with Tottenham at Upton Park before he scored in a 2-1 defeat at Leeds on 11th January 1975. Two more goals followed before the end of the season, one in the aforementioned 2-1 home win over QPR which secured a quarter-final place in the FA Cup and another in a 2-1 home win over Burnley. A thigh injury sustained in March was to end Robson’s season however, keeping him out of the FA Cup semi-final and the Wembley victory over Fulham in the Final. Robson had scored 11 goals in 30 appearances for the Hammers in the 1974/75 season, none more important than that FA Cup fifth round winner over QPR, a looping header over future Hammers goalkeeper Phil Parkes.

Robson (pictured), a skilful but temperamental player who had his fair share of flare-ups with opponents and referees, put that disappointment behind him early the following season – he did make a belated Wembley appearance, as a substitute in the 2-0 Charity Shield defeat against Derby, and scored the winner in a 1-0 home victory over Tottenham on 25th August 1975. He scored in a 3-0 European Cup Winners’ Cup first round second leg triumph over Finnish side Lahden Reipas at Upton Park on 1st October 1975 and continued his 1975/76 cup exploits by bagging another goal in a 3-0 League Cup third round home win over Darlington a week later. The following round of the Cup Winners’ Cup saw the Hammers paired with Soviet side Ararat Erevan and Robson was on the scoresheet again, converting a back-post header in a 3-1 home win in the second leg on 5th November 1975. His goal against Coventry, again at the Boleyn, secured a 1-1 draw three days later and lifted the Hammers to the top of the First Division table.

Robson was sent off two days after Christmas 1975 in a 2-1 home defeat to Ipswich; already booked for a vicious sliding tackle on Clive Woods, he punched George Burley after being fouled from behind and was dismissed. He went over five months without a goal as the Hammers plummeted in the league but arguably his finest hour in claret and blue was to come on 14th April 1976 – in one of the great Upton Park nights under the lights, Robson’s scorcher from distance was crucial in helping the Irons to a 3-1 European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final second leg victory over Eintracht Frankfurt, overturning a 2-1 first leg deficit to win 4-3 on aggregate. Still on a high, Robson made it two goals in two games three days later in a 2-2 home draw with Aston Villa.

Robson’s final goal for West Ham was scored in the Cup Winners’ Cup Final against Anderlecht at the Heysel Stadium on 5th May 1976 – his first goal away from Upton Park for 16 months. His near-post header levelled the match at 2-2 but the Belgians, inspired by future Hammer Francois Van der Elst, would go on to win 4-2. It was Robson’s eighth goal in his 49th appearance of the season.

Robson’s 1976/77 campaign was disrupted by injury as he made only ten appearances, without scoring. His disciplinary record again came under the spotlight as he was publicly criticised by chairman Reg Pratt after being booked in a League Cup loss to QPR in October 1976. He played his last game for the Hammers in a 6-0 defeat at Sunderland on 5th March 1977, a game later described by manager John Lyall as one of the worst team performances in his time at the club. Following a loan spell with Team Hawaii, and after scoring 19 goals in 89 appearances for West Ham United, Robson was sold to Second Division Cardiff in August 1977. Six of these 19 goals can be viewed in my video below.

After just six months at Cardiff, the 24-year-old Robson returned to the top flight, signing for John Bond’s Norwich in February 1978 for £25,000. Reunited with former Hammers team-mate Graham Paddon, Robson was also later joined by familiar faces in the shape of John McDowell and Alan Taylor, while West Ham legend Martin Peters was also already at Carrow Road when Robson signed. Three mid-table finishes (13th, 16th and 12th) were recorded under Bond’s management after Robson’s arrival but, after another former Hammer Ken Brown took over in October 1980, the Canaries were relegated at the end of the 1980/81 season, swapping places with the Hammers who stormed to the Second Division title that season. Robson scored 14 goals in 71 appearances for Norwich but left the club in September 1981, signing for Second Division Leicester.

After a spell on loan to Carlisle, Robson moved to Hong Kong to play for the South China Athletic Association. He returned to Norfolk in 1983, playing for Norwich Busmen, Corinthian-Casuals and Wroxham, where he became assistant manager in 1993/94. He also worked as a machinist at Impress Metal Packing Co. Now 66, Robson is a visitor to London Stadium and has also guested at events run by Any Old Irons, the West Ham United Foundation programme providing free events for over-65s.


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Man City v West Ham

Blast from the past

3rd April 1982 – the Falklands War began the day before as Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, The Goombay Dance Band were number one with ‘Seven Tears’ and Mel Gibson was in UK cinemas in Mad Max 2 as West Ham United emerged victorious from a First Division encounter against Manchester City with a 1-0 win.

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Former West Ham right-back John Bond welcomed his old club as manager of Manchester City. John Lyall’s Hammers were coming towards the end of their first season back in the top flight following promotion the previous campaign. Paul Goddard (pictured above) bagged the only goal of the game at Maine Road in front of 30,875, his 13th of 17 goals from 46 appearances in 1981/82.

West Ham would finish 1981/82 in ninth place in Division One, while City ended up level on points in tenth. Liverpool won the league title and Tottenham won the FA Cup. David Cross would be the club’s top scorer in 1981/82, with 19 goals from 45 appearances – he would join Manchester City later in 1982. Alvin Martin was voted Hammer of the Year at the end of the season, with Trevor Brooking runner-up.

Manchester City: Joe Corrigan, Ray Ranson, Tommy Caton, Nicky Reid, Bobby McDonald, John Ryan, Paul Power, Asa Hartford, Gary Jackson, Age Hareide, Kevin Reeves.

West Ham United: Phil Parkes, Ray Stewart, Alvin Martin, Neil Orr, Frank Lampard, Francois Van der Elst, Paul Allen, Trevor Brooking, Alan Devonshire, David Cross, Paul Goddard.

Club Connections

Pablo Zabaleta returns to the home of his former club. A large group of players join him in having represented West Ham United and Manchester City. Divided by playing position, they include:

Goalkeepers – Perry Suckling, Joe Hart, David James.

Defenders – Tal Ben Haim, Tyrone Mears, Wayne Bridge.

Midfielders – Patrick Leonard, Samir Nasri, Marc-Vivien Foe, Kevin Horlock, James Cumming, Mark Ward, Eyal Berkovic, Steve Lomas, Frank Lampard Junior, John Payne, Michael Hughes, Ian Bishop, Trevor Sinclair.

Strikers – Bill Davidson, Carlos Tevez, Craig Bellamy, Phil Woosnam, Justin Fashanu, Paulo Wanchope, Clive Allen, Lionel Watson, David Cross, George Webb.

Stuart Pearce played for both clubs, has managed Manchester City and been an assistant coach with West Ham. Malcolm Allison and John Bond were West Ham players who went on to manage City. Manuel Pellegrini has managed both clubs.

Today’s focus though falls on a striker who joined West Ham United from Manchester City. Trevor Morley was born in Nottingham on 20th March 1961 and was rejected by Derby before beginning his career as a non-league player with Corby Town and Nuneaton Borough (where he won a Southern League championship medal in 1982) while also running a fruit and veg market stall. His manager at Nuneaton, Graham Carr (father of comedian Alan Carr), took Morley with him to Fourth Division Northampton for £20,000 in the summer of 1985. He won the Fourth Division title with the Cobblers in 1986/87.

Morley was signed by manager Mel Machin for Manchester City in January 1988 as part of an exchange deal that saw Tony Adcock move to the County Ground, the deal valuing the 26-year-old Morley at £235,000. He made his City debut on 23rd January 1988 in a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa and went on to score 18 league goals for the Maine Road club, including the equaliser at Bradford on the last day of the 1988/89 season that clinched promotion to the First Division, a point ahead of Crystal Palace. On 23rd September 1989 he put the Sky Blues 2-0 ahead in the famous 5-1 derby win over Manchester United in the First Division but, when Machin was sacked by chairman Peter Swales, his replacement Howard Kendall saw no place in his side for Morley. He played his last game for the Sky Blues in a 1-0 home win over Norwich on Boxing Day 1989 – the winning goal was scored by Morley’s future Hammers strike partner Clive Allen. Morley scored 21 goals in 82 appearances for Manchester City.

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Morley joined Lou Macari’s West Ham United in December 1989 in a deal that saw Ian Bishop also move to Upton Park, with Mark Ward signing for Manchester City in part-exchange. Morley, now 28, was valued at £450,000 in the deal. He made his debut, along with Bishop, in a 1-0 defeat at Leicester on 30th December 1989 and scored his first goal for the Hammers on 20th January 1990 in a 2-1 home defeat to Hull. Morley was West Ham’s top scorer with 17 goals from 48 appearances in all competitions in the 1990/91 season as the Irons, now under the management of Billy Bonds, were promoted to the First Division. The striker was stabbed by his wife in March 1991, missing just over a month of football including the FA Cup quarter-final win over Everton.

Morley scored only five goals from 32 appearances in 1991/92 as the Hammers suffered an immediate relegation with the bustling, hard-working striker often out of favour. Following a summer loan spell with Norwegian club Brann Bergen (Morley’s wife hailed from Norway), Morley experienced a far more memorable season in 1992/93 as he was again top scorer with 22 goals from 49 appearances with West Ham gaining promotion, this time to the Premier League. This season also saw Morley’s only sending-off in a Hammers shirt, in the Anglo-Italian Cup at home against Reggiana in November for retaliating against rough treatment from Gianluca Francesconi. It is a measure of his resilience that he won his place back despite the arrivals, over time, of Iain Dowie and Mike Small in 1991, and Clive Allen in 1992. It seemed at one stage that Morley would be leaving to join Watford in a £100,000 deal but he stayed at Upton Park, reclaimed a regular first-team place and went on to make a mockery of that proposed fee. Indeed his partnership with former City team-mate Allen played a large part in the promotion campaign of 1992/93.

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Morley again spent a summer loan spell with Brann and scored his first Premier League goal on 18th September 1993 in a 2-0 win at Blackburn. The Hammers would finish 13th in their first Premier League season with Morley again the top scorer, this time with 16 goals from 49 games, including the winner in a 1-0 home win over Chelsea, a brace in a 4-1 win at Tottenham and the opener in a 2-0 win at Arsenal (his final goal for the club on 30th April 1994). Morley, by now the club’s penalty-taker after the departure of Julian Dicks, also scored an equaliser to claim a point within seconds of coming on as a substitute in a 3-3 home draw with Norwich and scored in a 2-2 home draw with Manchester United. A target man who relished a physical battle, his unstinting efforts were recognised when he was voted as the 1993/94 Hammer of the Year by the club’s supporters.

1994/95 saw the arrivals of Tony Cottee and Don Hutchison as Harry Redknapp took over the managerial reigns, with Morley failing to score in 16 appearances – it was a big blow when he had to undergo a cartilage operation soon after the start of that season. His final appearance in claret and blue was on 14th May 1995 in the 1-1 home draw with Manchester United which denied the visitors the Premier League title. In total, Morley scored 70 goals in 214 appearances for West Ham United – strong and ever-willing to work hard for the team cause, his goals were scored from all angles and varying distances.

The 34-year-old Morley departed for Reading on a free transfer in the summer of 1995 where he spent three years before a brief spell playing for Sogndal in Norway. He later had a spell scouting for Arsenal in Norway and, in 2000, took on the manager’s role at Bergen Sparta of the Norwegian Fifth Division. Now 58, Morley currently lives in Norway, where he runs a shelter for addicts and works as a football pundit.

Trevor Morley played a particularly key role in my own history as a West Ham supporter. My Dad has been an ardent Hammer since the early 1960s but I had shown little interest in football until a chance moment in the summer of 1991, when I was eight years old. Gillingham is my local team and, whilst we were out driving one late afternoon, my Dad pulled up next to a car with huge logos on the side – this was in the days when footballers had their cars sponsored with their names often emblazoned across the vehicle (I remember giant goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko driving a tiny sponsored Skoda!). The car we pulled up next to contained Ian Bishop and Trevor Morley, who were lost on the way to Priestfield for a friendly against the Gills. My Dad gave them directions and, starstruck, I suggested we go to the game. Bishop and Morley also sent signed photographs to say thanks for the directions which took pride of place on my bedroom wall throughout my childhood! I seem to recall we lost that friendly heavily (possibly 4-1?) but, interest piqued, my first visit to the Boleyn Ground followed a matter of weeks later against Manchester City in September 1991. I’ve been a football addict and a dyed-in-the-wool Hammer ever since, despite an awful first season which saw us relegated in bottom place – things could only get better! Morley’s personal farewell to the Boleyn Ground, recorded for Norwegian TV, can be viewed below.

Referee

Tomorrow’s referee is 51-year-old Graham Scott. The Oxfordshire-based official will be taking charge of only his tenth Premier League match involving West Ham United – the Hammers have won six of the previous nine league matches he has officiated. His first Premier League appointment with the Irons was our 3-1 win at Southampton in February 2017. He also took charge of the Hammers for our 3-0 win at Stoke under David Moyes in December 2017 – Scott’s decision to award Manuel Lanzini a first-half penalty saw the Argentine retrospectively banned for two matches. He also refereed our 2-0 home win over Watford in February 2018, our 3-1 home win over Everton in Moyes’ last match of his first spell in charge of the Hammers and our 3-1 defeat at Arsenal in August 2018.

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Scott was the man in the middle for both our matches against Cardiff last season. The match at London Stadium saw him award a penalty to the visitors which Lukasz Fabianski saved as the Hammers went on to win 3-1. He also officiated our 2-0 defeat in the Welsh capital in March 2019. He was also in charge of our 2-1 defeat at Manchester United last April, awarding the home side two penalties. Scott was also in charge for our 2-1 League Cup victory over Cheltenham in August 2013 and is pictured above sending off Callum McNaughton in the defender’s only Hammers appearance as the club were knocked out of the same competition by Aldershot in August 2011. He most recently refereed the Hammers in our 4-0 home win over Bournemouth last month.

Possible line-ups

Manchester City will be without the suspended Oleksandr Zinchenko and the injured Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling, but Aymeric Laporte and Benjamin Mendy could return. The Citizens have won 11 of their 13 league games against West Ham at the Etihad Stadium, drawing one and losing one. City have lost six games already in the Premier League this season – they’ve never lost more than six in a league campaign under manager Pep Guardiola.

West Ham United have Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko on the injury list but Felipe Anderson could return. New boy Jarrod Bowen could make his Hammers debut. West Ham have won just three of the last 25 Premier League meetings between the two clubs, drawing four and losing 18. The Hammers have lost 20 of their 23 Premier League matches away to a reigning champion, with their only victory coming against Manchester United in December 2001 under Glenn Roeder. Sebastien Haller scored three goals in his first three Premier League appearances but has scored only three more in the subsequent 21.

Possible Manchester City XI: Ederson; Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Mendy; Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Aguero, Bernardo Silva.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Snodgrass, Rice, Soucek, Noble, Antonio; Bowen.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


West Ham Women

Gilly Flaherty: "I Told My Mum I Would Never Ever Do It Again... But It Will Never Leave Me"

Suzanne Wrack, Women’s Sport Writer for The Guardian, has conducted an interview with West Ham Women club captain Gilly Flaherty, in which Gilly speaks for the first time about the attempt to end her own life aged 17 and why it’s important to talk.

“It was the unknown,” says West Ham’s Gilly Flaherty. “I didn’t know what was going to happen when I went to hospital. If it would change my life.” It has been more than a decade since the tough-tackling centre-back tried to take her own life and was found by a housemate. Flaherty has not spoken about it publicly since. She has not even talked about it privately with that housemate, nor until recently with her family, who if they referred to the incident at all would mention “that thing you did once”.

Yet here she is, at West Ham’s Rush Green training ground, feeling as if she is “sitting in the Big Brother diary room”. Flaherty grins but, much like her hard persona masks a soft centre, the smile hides trepidation about an interview – released on Thursday on Time to Talk day and before the Football Association’s Heads Up weekend – that almost didn’t happen.

“Last week I wasn’t going to do this,” she says. “When I’d made the decision not to do it I went on Twitter and someone had taken their life. The day before they had sent out a tweet saying: ‘These letters are the hardest letters to write.’ Then they passed away. And I thought: ‘I have to do this.’”

Flaherty’s career is packed with trophies. Seven FA Cups, eight top-division titles, a Champions League win as a part of Arsenal’s quadruple winners; few have had such success. “I think I could have gone through my whole career not having mentioned what I’ve been through,” the 28-year-old captain reflects. “I’m a different person now to the person I was back then – I’m stronger now. But what’s the point in going through stuff if I don’t think I can benefit someone from it?

“People will probably be shocked. They won’t be expecting it from me because I’m such a bubbly person and I’m always happy. And I am now, but back then I wasn’t and there’s a reason why I wasn’t.”

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It was moving away from home, from Millwall’s youth teams, and going to Arsenal’s academy, that started the spiral. Flaherty is fiercely sensitive and close to her family. She struggled to cope with being separated from them, and with the death of her grandmother and great aunt. At the same time she was struggling with her sexuality.

“I say to my mum now that I wish I’d never gone. That’s nothing against Arsenal but I just wish now that I would have stayed at home, gone to college and learned a trade and come out with something. I was in the academy Monday to Friday. Now my mum will have a go at me when I don’t pick up the phone and ring her. Families have WhatsApp groups but when I was younger, I’d go Monday through Friday and I wouldn’t talk to them all week. I wasn’t doing well in college, I wasn’t interested. I was going through things … I knew I was gay. I had known I was gay for a long time but as you get older you start to think about relationships, you’re talking about taking things a bit further than just liking someone or thinking someone’s nice looking.

“And it’s all of the unknown. OK, I’m gay but what do I do? Do I go to gay bars? There’s no education about it when you’re younger. How do I find gay girls? Where do I find a partner? I did think when I was growing up that I would be this silly old woman with 100 dogs. And you worry about how your parents will react. You don’t want to disappoint them.”

Then there was the football. “I was with Arsenal’s first team but I wasn’t playing. I was on the bench. With the team they had it was no surprise but I don’t think I handled that well and I don’t really think I had the right guidance as a younger player.” She was cripplingly lonely. That was the context, the cocktail of emotions, that fuelled the attempt to take her own life aged 17. “I just wish I’d been educated about it. Read something. Or had someone grab hold of me. It’s hard because some people have no one.”

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There was a heavy helping of luck involved in her survival. It was lucky the lock on her door was broken, enabling her housemate to find her and get her to hospital, where she was put on a drip. “Jayne Ludlow and Ciara Grant, Arsenal players at the time, worked in the academy and were sort of the on-call leaders. They came to the hospital and I remember saying to Jayne: ‘Please don’t call my mum or dad, I don’t want them to know.’ And she was like: ‘Gilly, how can I not call your mum and dad? We have to tell them.’

“I just didn’t want to be told off for doing it. I don’t want people to judge me now on that because I’m a completely different person to the person I was then. My mum said to me the other night: ‘I really worry when you go quiet. Whether it be on social media or the WhatsApp group. Because then I wonder.’ And I said that I would never ever do it again; it would never even come into my mind to do it.

“Back then I didn’t talk to anyone but I also didn’t think about anyone else. I didn’t think about my mum and dad, I didn’t think about my family. Whereas now there’s no way I would even consider leaving those people behind.”

Providing help and support is key. “You’ve got people out there you can talk to but something is stopping people from actually doing it. That’s what is hard. With suicide there’s no second chances. If it’s debt problems, gambling, addiction, struggling with your sexuality, is it bad enough that you want to end your life or is there an alternative? We need to make sure we have as many outlets and alternatives as possible for people.”

Coming out to her parents months helped to lift a weight. “My mum and dad knew that I was gay, even if I hadn’t told them.”

Though she never hid her relationship with her partner, Lily, coming out publicly with the Rainbow Laces campaign in 2018 further lifted the weight. Now, talking about the attempt to take her own life is a part of her owning something she thinks about daily. “It will never leave me,” she says.

It is an experience, though, that has made her better able to deal with struggles and manage her feelings. “I now know to talk. When I was younger, during that time, I was never allowed to show emotion. Crying on the pitch was a no go. Because if you cry on the pitch people will think you can’t handle it. Whereas now I cry watching everything on the telly. I’m not going to hide it. I’ll cry over everything.

“I’m an emotional person and I’m a loving person. I’ve gone through so much worse than that now. But I just think: ‘No, I’m not going to bow down. I’m not going to let anything defeat me.’”

In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.

This piece originally appeared in The Guardian and was written by Suzanne Wrack.


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Brighton

Blast from the past

Today’s blast from the past features a 3-1 victory at Upton Park against this weekend’s opponents, Brighton. It arrived just over 109 years ago, on 5th November 1910 in front of 14,000 spectators. H.H. Asquith was Prime Minister and Henry Dunant, the Swiss co-founder of the Red Cross, had died six days earlier.

Legendary Hammers goal-getter Danny Shea (pictured) was on the scoresheet the day before his 23rd birthday; Shea would end the 1910/11 season as the Irons’ top scorer with 28 goals in 39 games. Irons goalkeeper George Kitchen, a penalty-taker and scorer of six goals in his 205 appearances for West Ham, was also on the scoresheet – it turned out to be his final goal for the club. 19-year-old centre-forward Bill Kennedy, a new signing from Northfleet United, scored on his debut to round off the win for the hosts – it was his first of ten goals in 23 appearances for West Ham United.

Grays-born Kennedy saw action in the First World War serving the London Scottish Regiment at Loos as part of an offensive on the Hohenzollern Redoubt and was killed in action in France on 13th October 1915; his brother, John, was also killed during the conflict. Both are commemorated at the Loos Memorial.

Syd King’s Hammers ended the 1910/11 season in fifth place in the Southern League First Division; Brighton were to finish third. Swindon won the Southern League First Division, Manchester United won the league title and Bradford won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: George Kitchen, Bill Lavery, Bob Fairman, Bob Whiteman, Frank Piercy, Tommy Randall, Herbert Ashton, Danny Shea, Bill Kennedy, Fred Blackburn, Tommy Caldwell.

Club Connections

Players who have appeared for both clubs include:

Goalkeeper: Harry Medhurst.

Defenders: Len Young, Dennis Burnett, Mauricio Taricco, Tommy McAteer, Matthew Upson, Keith McPherson, William Kelly and Wayne Bridge.

Midfielders: Sebastien Carole, Bertie Lutton, John Payne, George Parris and Tony Stokes.

Strikers: Greg Campbell, Bertie Lyon, Brian Dear, Tommy Dixon, Justin Fashanu, Sam Jennings, Sam Small, Bobby Zamora, Dave Sexton, Mike Small and Paul Kitson.

In addition, ex-Hammers Archie Macaulay, Liam Brady and Chris Hughton have managed Brighton. Alan Curbishley played for both clubs and managed the Hammers.

This week’s focus though is on a player who spent a season with the Hammers before later spending four years with the Seagulls. Sam Baldock was born in Buckingham on 15th March 1989 and started his professional career with MK Dons, where he played under former West Ham midfielders Martin Allen and Paul Ince. He made two appearances for England Under-20s in 2009 before signing for Sam Allardyce’s West Ham United for £2.5m in August 2011.

The 22-year-old striker made his Hammers debut as a substitute in a goalless draw at Millwall on 17th September 2011. He scored his first goals for the club on 15th October 2011, bagging a brace in a 4-0 victory over Blackpool; he notched another double in his next home game two weeks later in a 3-2 win over Leicester. Baldock scored again in a 2-0 win at Hull on 5th November 2011, a strike which was his fifth goal in his first six starts but was also to prove to be his last in claret and blue.

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Injury kept Baldock out of the side in the run-up to Christmas and the club’s signings of Nicky Maynard and Ricardo Vaz Te in the January transfer window restricted his first-team opportunities. He made his final appearance for West Ham in a 2-1 home win over Hull on 28th April 2012. He joined Championship side Bristol City in August 2012 for £1.7m – he had scored five goals in 24 appearances for West Ham United. All five of these goals can be viewed in my video below.

Bristol City were relegated at the end of Baldock’s first season but he won the League One Golden Boot in 2013/14, scoring 24 goals. After two years at Ashton Gate, Baldock returned to the Championship by signing for Brighton in August 2014 for a £2.2m fee. The 25-year-old made his Seagulls debut in a 2-2 home draw with Charlton on 30th August 2014 but had to wait just over two months to score his first Brighton goal, in a 3-2 defeat at Bournemouth on 1st November. He scored only three more goals in 2014/15, although one of them did come against Premier League opposition in a 3-2 home defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round.

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Baldock again struggled for goals in 2015/16, scoring four times in 33 games as Brighton reached the Championship Play-Offs. The following season was better for both Baldock and Brighton – he scored 12 goals in 34 matches as the Seagulls won automatic promotion to the Premier League in 2016/17. Baldock made only two appearances totalling 30 minutes in the top flight in 2017/18 as calf problems restricted him to playing only five games in total during the campaign. His final goal for Brighton had been scored in the Championship in a 3-0 home win over Derby on 10th March 2017, with his final appearance for the club coming in a 2-0 home defeat to Leicester in the Premier League on 31st March 2018.

After four years, 94 appearances and 20 goals at Brighton, the 29-year-old Baldock returned to the Championship to sign for Reading in a £3.5m move in the summer of 2018. Now 30, Baldock is still at the Berkshire club and has scored four goals in 16 appearances for fellow former Hammer Mark Bowen’s side this season.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Michael Oliver. He has refereed 22 of our matches, officiating in five wins for the Hammers, five draws and 12 defeats. Oliver has refereed the Irons three times this season, in our 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace in October, when he awarded the visitors a match-levelling penalty, for our 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham in November and, most recently, for our 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United a few weeks ago.

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Oliver also refereed our 1-1 draw at Leicester in October 2018, when he sent off Mark Noble. His only previous red card issued to a West Ham player came six seasons ago, when he sent off Kevin Nolan in our 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in December 2013. Oliver also refereed our 3-1 home win over Manchester United last season.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United are without the injured Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson while Michail Antonio is a doubt. New signing Tomas Soucek is likely to be involved. West Ham have never beaten Brighton in the Premier League, drawing twice and losing three times – the Hammers’ last triumph over the Seagulls was a 6-0 home Championship victory in April 2012. The Irons’ tally of seven Premier League home defeats in 2019/20 is already more than in either of the previous two seasons.

Brighton are without centre-backs Shane Duffy, Dan Burn and Leon Balogun, but Jose Izquierdo could return. The Seagulls have lost three away games in a row – only bottom-of-the-table Norwich have a longer run of away defeats in the division.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Snodgrass, Rice, Noble, Fornals; Lanzini; Haller.

Possible Brighton XI: Ryan; Montoya, Webster, Dunk, Bernardo; Bissouma, Propper; Mooy, Gross, Trossard; Maupay.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

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Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Liverpool

Blast from the past

Today’s blast from the past features a 2-1 victory on the 12th of September 1998, with West Ham United welcoming Liverpool to Upton Park in front of 26,029. Robbie Williams was number one with ‘Millennium’, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels topped the UK box office and The Royle Family made its TV debut two days later.

The Irons went into the game after throwing away a three-goal lead to lose 4-3 at home to Wimbledon three days previously. Liverpool, with a joint management team of Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier, arrived in east London with an unbeaten record from their first four games of the season. Neil Ruddock was in the West Ham starting eleven having signed from Liverpool that summer, while Paul Ince returned to his former club and Jamie Redknapp faced the team managed by his father.

The Hammers took the lead after just four minutes – Frank Lampard’s corner was met by a John Hartson header and the ball ended up in the net via a deflection off Jamie Carragher. The 23-year-old Welsh striker went close again soon after, sending his header over the bar after his own brilliant hold-up play had provided Trevor Sinclair with a chance to cross. Ian Pearce skied an effort over before Liverpool’s Michael Owen, fresh from his 1998 World Cup exploits, also fired too high.

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The hosts doubled their lead six minutes into the second half – Israeli schemer Eyal Berkovic played a one-two with Hartson before sending a low shot beyond Brad Friedel. Neil Ruddock sent a shot over before Karl-Heinz Riedle headed home a Jason McAteer cross with two minutes remaining. The Irons held on to end Liverpool’s unbeaten record and defeat them at Upton Park for the second successive season. The action from this match can be viewed in my video below.

Harry Redknapp’s West Ham would end the season in fifth place while Liverpool finished in seventh. Shaka Hislop won the Hammer of the Year title, with Ian Pearce voted runner-up. Ian Wright was the Irons’ top goalscorer in 1998/99 with nine goals from 25 appearances. Manchester United won a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League Treble.

West Ham United: Shaka Hislop, Ian Pearce, Steve Potts, Neil Ruddock, Trevor Sinclair, John Moncur, Frank Lampard Junior, Eyal Berkovic (Tim Breacker), Stan Lazaridis, Ian Wright, John Hartson (Marc Keller).

Liverpool: Brad Friedel, Vegard Heggem (Jason McAteer), Jamie Carragher, Phil Babb, Steve Staunton (Dominic Matteo), Steve Harkness (Karl-Heinz Riedle), Jamie Redknapp, Paul Ince, Patrik Berger, Steve McManaman, Michael Owen.

Club Connections

Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian returns to his former club. A whole host of players join the Spaniard in having turned out for both West Ham United and Liverpool, particularly over the last 25 years. These include:

Goalkeepers: Charles Cotton, David James.

Defenders: Rob Jones, David Burrows, Glen Johnson, Paul Konchesky, Rigobert Song, Julian Dicks, Neil Ruddock, Thomas Stanley.

Midfielders: Don Hutchison, Yossi Benayoun, Joe Cole, Victor Moses, Paul Ince, Ray Houghton, Javier Mascherano, Stewart Downing, Mike Marsh.

Strikers: Craig Bellamy, Robbie Keane, Peter Kyle, Titi Camara, David Speedie, Andy Carroll, Neil Mellor, Charlie Satterthwaite, Danny Shone, Tom Bradshaw.

George Kay made 237 league appearances for the Hammers between 1919 and 1926, becoming the first-ever player to play more than 200 league matches for the club. Kay was also the West Ham captain in the 1923 FA Cup Final. He went on to manage Liverpool between 1936 and 1951, winning the First Division title in 1947.

Today’s focus falls on a full-back who played for Liverpool before ending his career with the Hammers. Alvaro Arbeloa was born on 17th January 1983 in Salamanca, Spain. He progressed from Real Madrid’s C team in 2002 to their B team (Castilla) in 2003 before making a couple of appearances for the first team in 2004/05. He joined Deportivo La Coruna in the summer of 2006 but moved to Liverpool in January 2007. He made his debut in a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle on 10th February 2007 and scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 win at Reading on 7th April 2007. Mainly operating at right-back but also able to fill in on the left, Arbeloa was a Champions League runner-up with the Reds in 2007 and made his debut for Spain in 2008; he was in the winning Spain squad for the 2008 European Championships.

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Arbeloa’s second and last goal for Liverpool was scored in a 3-0 win over West Brom at Anfield on 8th November 2008; he played his last game for the Reds in the reverse fixture against the Baggies in a 2-0 win at the Hawthorns on 17th May 2009. After two goals in 98 appearances for Liverpool, Arbeloa returned to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 and won the World Cup with Spain in 2010. He won his second European Championships with his country in 2012 and won 56 caps for his country in total, without scoring. He also won the Champions League in 2014 and 2016, La Liga in 2012, the Copa del Rey in 2011 and 2014, the Supercopa de Espana in 2012, the FIFA Club World Cup in 2014 and the UEFA Super Cup in 2014.

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Having been released by Real Madrid, the 33-year-old Arbeloa signed for West Ham United on a free transfer. Arbeloa made four appearances for the Hammers, making his debut in a 1-0 League Cup third round win over Accrington Stanley on 21st September 2016. He started the 3-0 home defeat to Southampton four days later He also made substitute appearances in a 1-1 home draw with Middlesbrough and in his final game, a 5-1 home defeat to Arsenal on 3rd December 2016. Now 37, Arbeloa retired in the summer of 2017.

Referee

The referee on Wednesday will be Jonathan Moss. The Yorkshire-based official has sent off a player in six of his last 15 appointments involving the Hammers – the 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth in August 2015 saw Carl Jenkinson sent off, while the 2-1 win over Chelsea in October 2015 saw Nemanja Matic dismissed (then-Blues manager Jose Mourinho was also sent to the stands). Moss issued a red card to Jordan Ayew of Aston Villa in February 2016 with the Hammers going on to win 2-0 while, going further back, Burnley’s Michael Duff was also sent off by Moss in our 1-0 home win over the Clarets in May 2015.

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Moss also issued a red card to Cheikhou Kouyate in the 5-1 FA Cup fifth round win at Blackburn in February 2016, although this was later rescinded. Arguably the 49-year-old’s most controversial Hammers appointment was the 2-2 draw at Leicester in April 2016 when he sent off Jamie Vardy and awarded two penalties, the second arriving deep into stoppage time as the Foxes rescued a precious point. Moss’ matches in charge of the Hammers last season were our 1-0 home win over Arsenal in January and our 4-3 home win over Huddersfield in March. He most recently refereed our 1-0 win at Chelsea in November.

Possible line-ups

David Moyes has confirmed that Lukasz Fabianski and Robert Snodgrass are in contention for tonight’s match. West Ham United are though without the injured Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson, while Arthur Masuaku is a doubt. West Ham are winless in six Premier League matches against Liverpool, drawing two and losing four since winning 2-0 at Upton Park in January 2016 under Super Slaven Bilic. Michail Antonio has scored in four of his five Premier League appearances against Liverpool, netting four goals; the only players to have scored more top-flight goals against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane, with seven and five respectively.

Liverpool are without Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner and Sadio Mane, while Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri are doubts. Mohamed Salah scored in his first four Premier League games in London for the Reds but has since failed to find the net in his last nine matches in the capital.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Diop, Balbuena, Ogbonna; Zabaleta, Rice, Noble, Cresswell; Snodgrass, Antonio; Haller.

Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Matip, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Origi.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


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