From the Archives

Happy Birthday Kenny Brown

Happy Birthday to former Hammer Kenny Brown, who turns 52 today.

Kenny Brown was born on 11th July 1967 in Barking – his father Ken made 474 appearances for the Hammers between 1953 and 1967, winning the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965. Kenny began his career with Norwich under his father’s management in 1986 before moving to Plymouth in 1988. He made over 100 appearances for the Pilgrims before moving to First Division West Ham United in August 1991, initially on loan. The Browns would be the third father-and-son pairing to play for West Ham after Jim Barrett Senior and Junior, and Bill Lansdowne and Billy Lansdowne. They have since been joined by Frank Lampard Senior and Junior, Steve and Dan Potts, John and George Moncur, and Rob and Elliot Lee. Alvin and David Martin could soon join this unique club if David makes a competitive appearance for the club following his move earlier this summer.

The 24-year-old Kenny made his debut in a 0-0 opening day draw with Luton at Upton Park on 17th August 1991 and scored his first goal for the club in his fourth appearance in a 3-1 win over Aston Villa at Upton Park 11 days later. His move was made permanent for what would become an eventual fee of £235,000. His second goal for Billy Bonds’ men was the first West Ham goal I ever saw, in a 2-1 home defeat to Manchester City on 21st September 1991. Kenny had to wait seven months for his next goal but it was one that went down in Hammers folklore – the winner in a 1-0 triumph over Manchester United which helped deny the Red Devils the title and handed it on a plate to Leeds. The Irons’ relegation would be confirmed just three days later. Kenny made 33 appearances in all competitions in 1991/92.

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Predominantly a right-back but happy to fill in at left-back or in midfield, Kenny made 19 appearances the following season and scored two crucial goals in the promotion run-in. His late long-range strike at Birmingham on 3rd April 1993 sparked a dramatic comeback from 1-0 down to an eventual 2-1 win and he bagged the third in a 3-1 win at Swindon on 2nd May on the penultimate weekend of the season – the Hammers were promoted by virtue of scoring one more goal than nearest rivals Portsmouth.

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Kenny found game time hard to come by in the following two seasons, making 12 appearances in each of the 1993/94 and 1994/95 campaigns. Harry Redknapp had taken over from Bonds by the time Kenny scored his last goal in claret and blue, in a 2-0 FA Cup third round win at Wycombe on 7th January 1995 (he is pictured above, celebrating with Alvin Martin). A flurry of loan spells followed – Kenny made five appearances for Huddersfield in 1995 and also spent time at Reading, Southend, Crystal Palace, Reading again and Birmingham before signing permanently for the Blues in a £75,000 move in January 1997. Kenny’s final appearance for West Ham had been in a 1-0 home win over Nottingham Forest on 3rd February 1996. He had made 79 appearances for the Hammers in all competitions, scoring six goals. My video below is a compilation of Kenny’s six strikes in claret and blue.

The 29-year-old Kenny quickly realised he had made a mistake in moving to St Andrew’s, the club then being owned by David Sullivan and David Gold – he teamed up again with Bonds at Millwall just four months later. His last action in the Football League came at Gillingham, where he spent the final months of the 1998/99 season. Kenny signed for non-league Kingstonian before moving to Ireland with Portadown, then on to Wales with Barry Town. Kenny became player-coach and later manager at Barry, winning the Welsh League and Cup double in consecutive seasons. He resigned after a turbulent change of ownership which saw the club unable to pay its players. Kenny returned to England, signing for Tilbury, and ended his playing days in Spain with Torrevieja, an hour south of Benidorm.

In May 2006, Kenny was appointed Director of Football at Javea, near Alicante, and ran a summer school there with Julian Dicks. Kenny was appointed Dicks’ assistant at Grays in September 2009 and was named assistant manager at Concord Rangers in June 2012. Just a month later though, he was appointed Lead Development Coach at Barnet. After a season with the Bees, Kenny moved to Chelmsford to be assistant manager to Dean Holdsworth but departed before Christmas 2013 when Holdsworth left the club. Kenny joined Dagenham and Redbridge as Academy Manager in the summer of 2014, working with the Under-12s to Under-16s. Kenny completed his UEFA Pro Licence in the same group as Thierry Henry and Mikel Arteta. 52 today, he is currently Head of Coaching at Millwall.


West Ham's ABC: Allison, Bond & Cantwell

Whilst researching former West Ham left-back Noel Cantwell for my preview of our match at Manchester United in April, I stumbled across this series of videos. Recorded at the famous Cassettari’s café, Hammers greats Malcolm Allison, John Bond and the aforementioned Cantwell take a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane to discuss life at West Ham United in the 1950s. I thought I’d save sharing the videos until the summer hiatus, when articles are harder to come by. Enjoy!

Born in Dartford on 5th September 1927, Allison left Charlton to join West Ham in 1951, a move replicated by Billy Bonds 16 years later. Centre-half Allison made 265 appearances in claret and blue, scoring 11 goals. He captained the club but only made five appearances in the promotion-winning campaign of 1957/58 after being struck down by tuberculosis, an illness which caused Allison to have a lung removed. A mentor to a young Bobby Moore, who would go on to take his place in the side, Allison went on to manage a raft of clubs, including Manchester City, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough. He also coached in Canada, Turkey, Portugal and Kuwait. Malcolm Allison died on 14th October 2010 at the age of 83.

Bond made 449 appearances for West Ham, scoring 39 goals. A right-back, he made his debut in February 1952 and scored nine goals in 46 appearances in the promotion season of 1957/58. He played in every game of the Hammers’ run to the 1964 FA Cup Final, including the 3-2 Wembley win over Preston. Bond experienced European football in his 14th season with the Hammers, playing both legs against La Gantoise of Belgium and Czechoslovakia’s Sparta Prague, and scoring in the 2-0 second round first leg win at home against the Czechs. He played his last game for the Irons in April 1965 and moved to Torquay the following year, with whom he ended his playing career. He went on to manage Bournemouth, Norwich, Manchester City, Swansea, Birmingham and Shrewsbury. John Bond died on the 25th September 2012, at the age of 79.

Irish international Cantwell scored twelve goals in 278 appearances during his time with the Hammers, making his debut in November 1952. In the enforced absence of Allison, Cantwell captained the Hammers to the Second Division title in 1958 as they reclaimed the top flight place they had lost in 1932. The left-back’s last match in claret and blue came in September 1960 before he joined Manchester United – he captained the Red Devils to FA Cup glory in 1963. He went on to manage Coventry and Peterborough, as well as clubs in the United States. Noel Cantwell died of cancer at the age of 73 on 8th September 2005.

From the Archives

Happy Birthday Frank Lampard Junior

Happy Birthday to former West Ham and England midfielder Frank Lampard Junior, who turns 41 today.

Frank Lampard Junior was born in Romford to West Ham left-back Frank Senior and Pat on the 20th June 1978, a month after the Hammers’ relegation from the top flight. He joined West Ham’s Academy in 1994, spent a spell on loan with Swansea in 1995 and won the South East Counties League in 1996, making the FA Youth Cup Final in the same year, although the Irons lost to Liverpool.

Lampard made his Hammers debut at the age of 17 on 31st January 1996 as a substitute in a 3-2 home win over Coventry; he made one further sub appearance in 1995/96 and made 16 appearances in 1996/97, although his season was ended by a broken leg suffered at Aston Villa in March 1997.

Lampard was a key figure in the Hammers’ ever-improving team in 1997/98, scoring his first goal for the club a minute after stepping off the bench on the opening day of the season, the winner in a 2-1 victory at Barnsley. Lampard made 42 appearances as the Hammers finished eighth, scoring nine goals, including a hat-trick in the League Cup fourth round against Walsall, who had future Hammer Jimmy Walker in goal. Lampard also scored the opener in a 3-1 defeat at Leeds’ Elland Road, replicating his dad’s jig round the corner flag at the same ground in the 1980 FA Cup semi-final by way of celebration. He made his debut for England Under-21s during this campaign, going on to captain the side.

Lampard made 41 appearances as the Hammers finished fifth in 1998/99, scoring six goals. Becoming renowned for spectacular strikes from distance, he notched long range strikes in home victories over Leicester and Middlesbrough, and also scored a penalty at Anfield’s Kop End in a 2-2 draw against Liverpool.

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Arguably Lampard’s best season in claret and blue was the 1999/2000 campaign, scoring 14 goals from midfield in 49 matches. He started the season in style, scoring four goals by the end of August – three in the InterToto Cup against Jokerit, Heerenveen and Metz, as well as the winner in a 1-0 home triumph against Tottenham. He also scored in the UEFA Cup against Osijek and bagged winners in Upton Park goalfests against Sheffield Wednesday (4-3) in November 1999 and Bradford in February 2000 (5-4). Lampard also made his full England debut under Kevin Keegan in October 1999, starting and playing 76 minutes in a 2-1 win over Belgium at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light – his cousin, Jamie Redknapp, scored the winning goal.

Lampard’s final campaign in east London, 2000/01, saw him bag nine goals in 37 games. He scored his only brace for the club in a 2-1 win at Bradford in February 2001 and signed off as a Hammer with three goals in his final four games. His last goal for the Irons was a penalty in a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle on 16th April 2001, with his final match for the club being a 2-0 home defeat to Leeds on 21st April 2001 – the visitors had 22-year-old Lampard’s youth team colleague Rio Ferdinand in their ranks. Lampard made his second and final England appearance while with the Hammers in Sven-Goran Eriksson’s first match in charge, as a half-time substitute in a 3-0 win over Spain at Villa Park in February 2001.

A few weeks later, Lampard’s father and uncle (Frank Senior and Harry Redknapp respectively) both left the club. Feeling that his position as a player at the club was untenable, Lampard sought a move and rejected Aston Villa to sign for Chelsea for £11m in the summer of 2001 – he had scored 38 goals in 187 appearances for West Ham United. My video below shows 37 of these 38 goals. This video has proved to be one of my most popular, with in excess of 25,000 views since it was posted in October 2018.

Lampard went on to become Chelsea’s highest goalscorer of all-time, scoring 211 goals in 648 appearances. He won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, two Community Shields, one Champions League and one Europa League during his time in west London. He won 106 caps for England, scoring 29 goals for his country. He represented the Three Lions at the 2004 European Championships, and the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups. He missed the 2012 Euros through a thigh injury.

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Lampard spent a season with Manchester City before ending his career at New York City FC in the United States. Lampard, 41 today, is currently manager of Championship side Derby.


Glenn Roeder: The Day I Collapsed

Glenn Roeder, a boyhood supporter of West Ham United, was named caretaker manager of the club in the aftermath of Harry Redknapp’s sacking, losing the final match of the 2000/01 season 2-1 at Middlesbrough. By the start of the following campaign, Roeder had been named permanent manager after approaches for Alan Curbishley and Steve McClaren had proved unsuccessful. David Moyes and Alex McLeish had also been linked with the position.

Roeder, who had previously managed Gillingham and Watford and been a coach under Glenn Hoddle with England, finished seventh in his first season but the failure to improve the squad led to a downturn in form in 2002/03 – only Gary Breen (free transfer) and Edouard Cisse (loan) were brought in over the summer of 2002. The Hammers were second from bottom in mid-February 2003 but a six-game unbeaten run led to a key match at Bolton in mid-April – the Irons lost the match 1-0, meaning a miracle would be required to stay in the top flight. The next match, an Easter Monday home encounter with Middlesbrough was won by a goal to nil, but events after the match overshadowed the result – Roeder takes up the tale himself in the video below.

Trevor Brooking took caretaker charge, winning two matches, at Man City and at home against Chelsea. Needing to better Bolton’s result on the final day, the Irons drew 2-2 at Birmingham whilst Bolton beat Middlesbrough 2-1 at the Reebok Stadium. Roeder returned to the dugout in the First Division at the start of the 2003/04 season, winning the opening game 2-1 at Preston and beating Rushden & Diamonds in the League Cup at Upton Park. A goalless draw at the Boleyn against Sheffield United was followed by a 1-0 loss at Rotherham. Roeder was sacked the next day. He has since managed Newcastle and Norwich, and also worked at Sheffield Wednesday and Stevenage.

In this interview with Maxine Mawhinney, Glenn Roeder discusses the day he collapsed with a brain tumour, the pressures of management and the current state of the game. A caption early in the piece introduces Roeder as a singer/performer but, apart from that, it’s an interesting watch.

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Crossed Hammers & Three Lions: Kieron Dyer

Welcome to the latest in a series of articles designed for international matchdays – a look back at former Hammers players who wore the Three Lions of England.

Today, as England prepare to face Switzerland in the inaugural Nations League Third Place Play-Off, we look back at a former Hammers and England midfielder. Kieron Dyer was born in Ipswich on 29th December 1978 and came through the youth system at his hometown club, making his full debut in 1996. He played for England Under-20s and Under-21s, as well as the B team, and made 112 appearances in his first spell at Ipswich, scoring 12 goals.

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After reaching the Play-Offs in each of his three seasons as a first team player at Portman Road but failing to secure a promotion, Dyer joined Premier League Newcastle in the summer of 1999 for a fee of £6m, with the Magpies outbidding Harry Redknapp’s West Ham to clinch his signature. He was the only English player signed by Ruud Gullit during his spell as Newcastle’s manager. The 20-year-old Dyer made his England debut at right-back under Kevin Keegan in a 6-0 European Championship qualifying win against Luxembourg at Wembley on 4th September 1999. He missed out on a place in Keegan’s Euro 2000 squad but was selected in Sven-Goran Eriksson’s party for the 2002 World Cup, and made three substitute appearances against Sweden, Denmark and Brazil. Dyer was also part of Eriksson’s 23-man squad for Euro 2004 in Portugal, and made one substitute appearance against Switzerland, detailed at the end of this piece. He missed out on a place at the 2006 World Cup due to a hamstring injury.

After eight seasons at St James’ Park, taking in 250 appearances and 36 goals, Dyer moved to Alan Curbishley’s West Ham United for £6m in August 2007, joining up with former Newcastle team-mates Scott Parker, Craig Bellamy (who had both signed for the Hammers earlier in the summer) and Lee Bowyer. The 28-year-old Dyer played the full 90 minutes of his Hammers debut in a 1-0 victory at Birmingham on 18th August 2007. Four days later, Dyer won his 33rd and final England cap against Germany in a 2-1 friendly defeat at Wembley. Dyer never scored a senior goal for his country.

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Dyer also played the full 90 minutes of his home debut for the Irons, a 1-1 home draw with Wigan, but disaster struck at Bristol Rovers in a League Cup second round match when Dyer broke both the tibia and fibula of his right leg following a tackle by Joe Jacobsen. Dyer himself takes up the tale, writing in his autobiography:

“Breaking my leg in 2007 was the beginning of a long, debilitating, dispiriting process that killed my career. It led to the West Ham hierarchy trying to shame me, because I played so few games for the club. I’d tell any young injured player to get the best person available to look after you. West Ham didn’t feel it was necessary to do that. I wish I’d taken control and stuck up for myself. You start to hate yourself because you can’t get back to doing the thing you love – and you get slammed by the press, owners and fans.”

Dyer made his return just over 16 months later as a substitute in a 3-0 FA Cup third round home win against Barnsley on 3rd January 2009. He didn’t start a match until April 2009. Dyer goes on to discuss how he became embarrassed to say he had an injury, saying that he had played on after suffering an injury on more than one occasion to avoid the “shame” of walking off the pitch.

“Later at West Ham I felt my thigh pop with my last kick of training. My heart sank. I was in pain but it was nothing compared to the dread, disappointment and embarrassment flooding over me. I couldn’t tell the physio so I said my thigh was tight, even though I knew I’d pulled it. I was trying to convince myself too. On the morning of our first game of the 2009/10 season [at Wolves] we did a fitness test in the hotel corridor. Stabbing pains were shooting through my thigh with every stride I took but somehow I passed and played with a grade one tear in my thigh.”

Dyer didn’t score in 35 appearances for the club and donned the claret and blue for the final time as a substitute in a 3-1 League Cup semi-final second leg defeat at Birmingham in January 2011.

“After I left West Ham, joint chairman David Gold said I had cost the club £16million in fees and wages. That was a classy touch. When Gold and David Sullivan bought the club they talked about the extraordinary wages West Ham were paying and how one player who had barely played ought to have the decency to retire. The arrow was pointing right at me. West Ham fans would say what a waste of money I was. I didn’t score a goal for them in four years and didn’t play four or five games on the trot, ever. But you know what? Every time I went out there, they were brilliant with me and I will always remember that. It kills me that they didn’t even see a fraction of what I once was.”

Dyer had a loan spell at Ipswich in 2011 as the Hammers struggled vainly against relegation and moved permanently to QPR on a free transfer in the summer of that year. He retired after a short spell at Middlesbrough in 2013. Now 40, Dyer is the assistant manager of Ipswich’s Under-18 side.

Switzerland v England

England face Switzerland this afternoon in the Nations League Third Place Play-Off – it will be the 26th meeting between the two nations. The pair have met in a European Championships Finals on two previous occasions, with the Three Lions winning one of those games on Portuguese soil, 3-0 in the group stages at Euro 2004. The match was played in front of 30,616 at the Estadio Municipal de Coimbra on 17th June 2004. Mario Winana featuring Enya and P Diddy was number one with ‘I Don’t Wanna Know’, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban topped the UK box office and Ken Livingstone had just been announced as the winner of the election for Mayor of London.

Switzerland fell behind after 23 minutes when Everton’s Wayne Rooney converted a Michael Owen cross to register his sixth goal for the Three Lions, becoming (at the time) the youngest player to score in a European Championship. Swiss right-back Bernt Haas was sent off on the hour mark for picking up two yellow cards and Sven-Goran Eriksson’s England doubled their lead with 15 minutes left when Rooney’s rifled shot hit the post and richocheted off goalkeeper Jorg Stiel’s head into the net. Steven Gerrard completed the scoring in the 82nd minute when he turned home Gary Neville’s cross. Today’s featured player, Kieron Dyer, came on as a substitute for Rooney a minute later.

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Switzerland: Jorg Stiel (captain, Borussia Monchengladbach), Bernt Haas (West Brom), Patrick Muller (Lyon), Murat Yakin (Basel), Christoph Spycher (Grasshopper), Fabio Celestini (Marseille), Raphael Wicky (Hamburg), Benjamin Huggel (Basel), Hakan Yakin (Stuttgart), Stephane Chapuisat (Young Boys), Alexander Frei (Rennes).

Subs: Daniel Gygax (Zurich) for Chapuisat; Ricardo Cabanas (Grasshopper) for Celestini; Johann Vonlanthen (PSV) for Hakan Yakin.

England: David James (Man City), Gary Neville (Man Utd), Sol Campbell (Arsenal), John Terry (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Arsenal), David Beckham (captain, Real Madrid), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Paul Scholes (Man Utd), Wayne Rooney (Everton), Michael Owen (Liverpool).

Subs: Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich) for Scholes, Darius Vassell (Aston Villa) for Owen, Kieron Dyer (Newcastle) for Rooney.

The previous articles in the series are:

Vic Watson
Jack Tresadern
Billy Moore
Ken Brown
Bobby Moore
Johnny ‘Budgie’ Byrne
Sir Geoff Hurst
Martin Peters
Frank Lampard Senior
Sir Trevor Brooking
Alan Devonshire
Alvin Martin
Paul Goddard
Rio Ferdinand
Stuart Pearce
Frank Lampard Junior
Joe Cole
David James
Robert Green
Stewart Downing

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