Dan Coker's Match Preview
Blast from the past
9th November 1929: West Ham met Everton at the Boleyn Ground, the day before the premiere of John Grierson’s documentary film Drifters about North Sea herring fishermen, which was made for the Empire Marketing Board and effectively inaugurated the British Documentary Film Movement. Grace Kelly was born three days after the game.
Outside-left Jimmy Ruffell bagged a brace in this match, with centre-forward Vic Watson scoring the other as the Hammers pushed into the First Division’s top ten with a 3-1 win in front of 24,801. Watson would end the season as the Irons’ top goalscorer with an astonishing 50 goals in 44 appearances. Dixie Dean scored Everton’s consolation. Two-goal hero Ruffell is pictured below with Bobby Moore over 43 years later on 17th February 1973, the day the World Cup-winning England captain surpassed Ruffell’s record number of West Ham United appearances.
Syd King’s Irons went on to finish in seventh place that season, while Everton ended the campaign in 22nd position and were relegated. Since that season in 1930, the Toffees have only been relegated once. Sheffield Wednesday won the league title in 1929/30 and Arsenal won the FA Cup.
West Ham United: Ted Hufton, Alfred Earl, Bill Cox, Fred Norris, Jim Barrett, Albert Cadwell, Tommy Yews, Stan Earle, Vic Watson, Viv Gibbins, Jimmy Ruffell.
Everton: Arthur Davies, Warney Cresswell, Jack O’Donnell, Thomas Robson, Thomas Griffiths, Hunter Hart, Ted Critchley, George Martin, Dixie Dean, Tommy White, Jimmy Stein.
Former Hammer and Toffee David Unsworth is currently in charge of the Under-23s at Goodison Park. He is joined in representing both clubs by:
Goalkeepers: George Kitchen, Richard Wright.
Defenders: William Wildman, Lars Jacobsen, David Burrows, George Eccles, Bob Young, Lucas Neill, John Russell, Alex McCartney, William Kelly.
Midfielders: Harry Dawson, Don Hutchison, Joe Blythe, Mark Ward, Ray Atteveld, Niclas Alexandersson, Danny Williamson, Ian Bishop, Thomas Hitzlsperger.
Strikers: Tony Cottee, Chas Crossley, Alex McDonald, Mike Newell, Enner Valencia, Nikica Jelavic.
Slaven Bilic played for both clubs and managed the Hammers, while David Moyes and Sam Allardyce managed both clubs.
Today’s focus falls on a player who was a title winner with Everton before later spending a season with the Hammers. Tony Weldon was born in Inverness, Scotland, on 12th November 1900 and began his career with Scottish junior side Kilsyth Rangers before moving on to Airdrie for £5 in December 1924. The Lanarkshire club made a very tidy profit on Weldon when they sold him to Everton for £2,000 in March 1927.
26-year-old inside-left Weldon scored on his Everton debut in March 1927, a game in which Toffees legend Dixie Dean also scored to hand the Blues a 2-1 victory over Leeds. He scored three goals in nine games to help Everton avoid relegation to the Second Division by four points. The 1927/28 season saw a terrific Toffees turnaround as they went from relegation strugglers the previous season to title winners – Weldon scored seven goals in 40 appearances and his partnership with compatriot Alex Troup made a major contribution as Everton secured their third First Division league championship success. He played 22 games in the 1928/29 campaign, scoring three goals as the champions dropped dramatically to an 18th-placed finish. Weldon made three league appearances in the 1929/30 season before moving to Second Division Hull in December 1929 for a £1,000 fee, a month after this preview’s featured match above. Weldon had scored 13 goals in 74 games during his near-three years at Goodison Park.
Hull were relegated to the Third Division North at the end of the 1929/30 season and could not win an immediate promotion back to the second tier, finishing sixth in 1930/31. The 30-year-old Weldon, however, was handed the opportunity of a return to the First Division by West Ham United in June 1931. He made his Hammers debut in the opening fixture of the 1931/32 campaign, a 1-0 defeat at Bolton on 29th August 1931. Weldon (pictured) scored his first goal for the club on his home debut two days later in a 3-1 win over Chelsea at the Boleyn Ground. His Everton debut had seen him score alongside Dixie Dean; his Irons debut saw him score alongside Hammers’ own legendary goalscorer Vic Watson. His second goal came in a 2-2 draw at Liverpool on 10th October 1931, by which time the Hammers were struggling in the league.
Weldon battled bravely on the Hammers’ behalf but the club would suffer relegation at the end of the 1931/32 campaign – he scored two further goals in claret and blue, in a 3-1 defeat at Chelsea in the FA Cup fourth round on 23rd January 1932 and in a 4-2 home loss to Birmingham on 23rd April 1932. His final match for West Ham United came on the penultimate weekend of the 1931/32 season in a 2-0 defeat at Sunderland on 30th April 1932. In total he made 22 appearances for the club, scoring four goals – he left to sign for Welsh side Lovell’s Athletic, then playing in the Western League.
Weldon moved to Rochdale in the summer of 1933, serving a year’s stint before moving to Ireland and joining Dundalk as player-coach. By the end of 1934 he had been appointed player-manager of Bangor in Northern Ireland, thus becoming one of the few players to play for clubs in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Weldon was the father-in-law of former Leeds centre-forward Jim Storrie. Tony Weldon died in 1953, at the age of either 52 or 53.
Saturday’s referee is 38-year-old Paul Tierney. The Lancashire-based official has refereed the Hammers on four previous occasions, with the Irons yet to lose when he’s been in charge. His most recent Hammers appointment was our 3-0 victory at Newcastle in December of last year.
Tierney’s first West Ham appointment was for the 1-1 draw with Everton in November 2015 which saw James McCarthy’s tackle on Dimitri Payet put the Frenchman out of action for two months. His second Irons game was our 0-0 draw at West Brom in September 2017, when he chose to issue just a yellow card to Ben Foster for his late tackle on Chicharito. He also refereed our goalless draw at Shrewsbury in the third round of last season’s FA Cup.
For West Ham United, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Samir Nasri, Andriy Yarmolenko and Andy Carroll are on the sidelines through injury. Everton have certainly been the Hammers’ bogey side in recent seasons – we have only beaten the Toffees three times in the league, home or away, since April 2007, drawing five and losing eleven in all competitions since then. However, the Irons have won the last two, home and away.
Marco Silva will be without the injured Yerry Mina but Phil Jagielka, Lucas Digne and Andre Gomes should all be available.
Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Lanzini, Rice, Noble, Anderson; Arnautovic, Chicharito.
Possible Everton XI: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Jagielka, Digne; Gueye, Gomes; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Calvert-Lewin.
Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!