Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Man City v West Ham

Blast from the past

7th September 1938 – the Sudeten crisis was reaching its height as Nazi Germany demanded the region be ceded by Czechoslovakia, Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs had been capturing the public’s imagination at the cinema and West Ham United emerged victorious from a Second Division encounter against Manchester City with a 4-2 win.

Alec Herd and Fred Howe scored City’s goals at Maine Road in front of 20,351 but they were eclipsed by a brace from West Ham forward Stan Foxall (pictured) and one apiece for wing-half Benny Fenton and outside-left Jackie Morton. Foxall would go on to be the club’s top scorer in 1938/39, with 19 goals from 45 appearances.

The match marked the 467th and final peace-time appearance for West Ham United legend Jim Barrett. He went on to play for the Hammers in the War League and his son, Jim Barrett Junior, also went on to play for the club. Indeed they played together for the West Ham ‘A’ team in 1945/46.

The Hammers went on to finish in 11th place in 1938/39 while City ended up fifth in Division Two. Blackburn won the Second Division, Everton won the league title and Portsmouth won the FA Cup.

Manchester City: Frank Swift, Gordon Clark, Eric Eastwood, Les McDowall, Dick Neilson, Jackie Bray, Ernie Toseland, Jack Milsom, Fred Howe, Alec Herd, Eric Brook.

West Ham United: Herman Conway, Charlie Bicknell, Charlie Walker, Norman Corbett, Jim Barrett, Joe Cockroft, Benny Fenton, Archie Macaulay, Stan Foxall, Len Goulden, Jackie Morton.

Club Connections

Manuel Pellegrini, Pablo Zabaleta and Samir Nasri return to the home of their former club. A large group of players join them 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 – 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, Trevor Morley, 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.

Today’s focus though falls on an outside-left who sandwiched a stint at Thames Ironworks between two spells with Manchester City – Patrick Leonard. Born in Scotland in 1877, Leonard began his career with St Mirren in 1896 before moving to Manchester City a year later. He made his City debut on the left wing in a 3-0 home win over Gainsborough Trinity on 1st September 1897 – he scored his first goal for the club three days later in a 4-2 win at Darwen. He scored twice in a 4-3 win at Grimsby on 18th December 1897 and bagged the winner in a 1-0 victory at Small Heath nine days later. His four goals in 16 appearances helped City to a third-placed finish in Division Two in 1897/98, just missing out on promotion to the top flight.

Leonard dropped down to the Southern League in 1898, joining New Brompton (the club now known as Gillingham). After a solitary appearance, he moved to Thames Ironworks and caused a sensation when he scored a hat-trick in his first outing for the Irons in a friendly against Upton Park. He made his official debut for the club in a 4-1 Southern League Second Division home win over Wycombe on 14th January 1899, and bagged a brace in his second game for the club, a 4-3 win at Wolverton the following week – this win at Wolverton was the Irons’ sixth in a run of 16 consecutive victories, stretching from December 1898 to April 1899. Leonard also scored in a 2-0 win at Brentford on 11th February 1899 and hit four goals in a 10-0 home victory over Maidenhead, the last match of the season at the Memorial Grounds on 15th April 1899.

Having finished top of the league, Leonard’s final goal for Thames Ironworks came in the Southern League Second Division Decider against First Division Cowes on 22nd April 1899. The Irons, claiming a place in the 1899/1900 Southern League First Division, won the match 3-1. Cowes had won a low-profile six-club section of the Southern League representing the South West but were not pleased with the choice of neutral venue for the match – Millwall’s Athletic Grounds home on East Ferry Road, behind the Lord Nelson pub, was 100 miles from the Solent and only three miles from Thames Ironworks’ Memorial Grounds home. Leonard’s final match for the club was a 1-1 Test Match draw with Sheppey United on 29th April 1899. He had scored eight goals for the club in 12 appearances, winning 11 of those matches and drawing one – Leonard never experienced defeat while playing for Thames Ironworks.

Leonard returned to Manchester City in the summer of 1899, by now promoted to the First Division of the Football League. He made one last appearance for the club in his second spell, scoring the opening goal in a 4-1 win at Bury on 16th September 1899. This took his totals for Manchester City to five goals in 17 appearances across his two spells. Patrick Leonard’s date of death is unknown.


The referee on Wednesday will be Stuart Attwell. The Birmingham-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for only the seventh time – he has sent off a Hammers striker in two of his other six games officiating the Irons. He refereed our 1-0 victory at Wigan in March 2009 and our 3-1 win at Blackpool in February 2011. The 36-year-old sent off the Latics’ Lee Cattermole for a shocking challenge on Scott Parker, while the Hammers’ Carlton Cole also received his marching orders during the aforementioned win at Wigan. Even Latics boss Steve Bruce criticised the decision to dismiss the Irons striker. Attwell also issued a first-half red card to Andy Carroll in our 1-1 draw at Burnley in October 2017.

Embed from Getty Images

Attwell also awarded an infamous ‘phantom’ goal for Reading in a Championship match against Watford in September 2008. He was the youngest-ever Premier League referee but was demoted from the Select Group in 2012. He refereed the Hammers in August in our 2-1 home defeat to Bournemouth when he awarded the Irons a penalty which was converted by Marko Arnautovic and, most recently, in our 3-1 League Cup home defeat to Tottenham in October.

Possible line-ups

Manchester City will be without the injured Claudio Bravo, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus, but Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph could return. The Citizens have won 10 of their 12 league games against West Ham at the Etihad Stadium, drawing one and losing one. Sergio Aguero has ended on the winning side in each of the last 23 league games he has started at the Etihad Stadium, scoring 29 goals and assisting seven more.

West Ham United have Fabian Balbuena, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko on the injury list. West Ham have won just three of the last 23 Premier League meetings between the two clubs, drawing four and losing 16. The Hammers have lost 19 of their 22 Premier League matches away to a reigning champion, with their only victory coming against Manchester United in December 2001 under Glenn Roeder.

Possible Manchester City XI: Ederson; Danilo, Kompany, Otamendi, Mendy; Gundogan, David Silva, Bernardo Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Sane.

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

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Fulham

Blast from the past

2nd September 1946 – Clement Attlee was Prime Minister, The Ink Spots were number one with ‘Bless You’, Bee Gee Barry Gibb had been born the day before and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was born three days later as West Ham United secured a 3-2 Second Division victory over Fulham in front of 28,012 at Upton Park.

This was the Irons’ first home game of the 1946/47 season – the Hammers had been defeated 3-1 at Plymouth on the campaign’s opening day. This win came courtesy of two goals for 31-year-old inside-left Archie Macaulay (pictured) and a further strike from 34-year-old centre-forward Sam Small. Macaulay, a volatile, red-haired Scot, was transferred to the then more glamorous First Division Brentford two months later for a fee of £7,500, having scored 59 goals in 184 appearances for the Hammers since joining from Glasgow Rangers in August 1937 for £6,000. He went on to play for Arsenal and Fulham, and managed Norwich, West Brom and Brighton before later working as a traffic warden in Chelsea. Archie Macaulay died aged 77 on 10th June 1993.

Frank Neary would be the Hammers’ top scorer for the season with 15 goals from just 14 appearances. Charlie Paynter’s Hammers went on to finish the 1946/47 Second Division season in 12th place, while Jack Peart’s Fulham ended up 15th. Manchester City topped the Second Division, Liverpool won the First Division title and Charlton won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Harry Medhurst, Charlie Bicknell, Ron Cater, Norman Corbett, Dick Walker, Reg Attwell, Terry Woodgate, Almer Hall, Sam Small, Archie Macaulay, Jackie Wood.

Club Connections

Ryan Fredericks welcomes his former club. Scott Parker played for both clubs and is currently assistant manager at Craven Cottage, while recent Fulham loan signing Havard Nordtveit returns to London Stadium. A decent number of players join the trio in representing West Ham United and Fulham over the years. These include:

Goalkeepers: Bill Biggar, Jan Lastuvka, Tony Parks.

Defenders: Paul Kelly, Bobby Moore, George Horler, George Redwood, Kevin Lock, Jack Hebden, Rufus Brevett, John Paintsil, Paul Konchesky, Ian Pearce, Wayne Bridge, Jon Harley, Alan Stephenson, Andy Melville.

Midfielders: Luis Boa Morte, Dick Richards, George Carter, Papa Bouba Diop, Ray Houghton, Fergus Hunt.

Strikers: Johnny ‘Budgie’ Byrne, Brian Dear, Alf Harwood, Jack Fletcher, Roger Cross, Iain Dowie, Fred Harrison, Billy Brown, Archie Macaulay, Danny Shea, Kenny McKay, Leroy Rosenior, Bobby Zamora, Mladen Petric, Bill Davidson.

This week’s focus though is on a player who started his career with Fulham before spending a decade playing for West Ham. Tony Gale was born in Westminster on 19th November 1959 and progressed through the youth ranks at Fulham, having caught the eye with London and Middlesex Schools. Cleaning Rodney Marsh’s boots as an apprentice, he made his first team debut at the age of 16 in a 2-1 defeat at Leyton Orient in the Anglo-Scottish Cup on 11th August 1976. Just a year later, Gale replaced the great Bobby Moore in the Fulham first team, making his league debut in a 1-1 draw against Charlton at Craven Cottage on 20th August 1977. Nearly a third of Gale’s career goals were scored in his first season in league football, as he notched eight in 38 Second Division appearances – he started the season in defence, conceding only one goal in his first six matches, but was moved into midfield by manager Bobby Campbell. Playing alongside George Best, Gale scored six goals in eight games while playing further forward, before returning to defence.

Embed from Getty Images

Campbell appointed Gale as captain at the age of 18 but the Cottagers would be relegated to the Third Division at the end of the 1979/80 season. Now under the management of Malcolm Macdonald, they were promoted back to the second tier two years later. Gale, and Fulham, missed out on a second successive promotion in 1982/83 by a single point and, after a mid-table finish the following season, Gale opted for a move away from Craven Cottage to ensure top-flight football. He had scored 19 goals in 277 league appearances for the club; he had also won one England Under-21 cap in 1982.

The 24-year-old Gale moved to John Lyall’s West Ham United in July 1984 for what would transpire to be a bargain £200,000 fee, which was decided by tribunal. He made his Hammers debut on the opening day of the 1984/85 season in a goalless draw with Ipswich at Upton Park. Gale, a stylish and accomplished centre-half, made 40 appearances in his first season in east London as the Irons finished 16th. 1985/86, however, would go down as the finest league season in West Ham United’s history – establishing a formidable central defensive partnership with skipper Alvin Martin, Gale made 52 appearances as the Irons recorded their highest ever finish of third. No player made more appearances than the classy Gale in that historic season, with Phil Parkes and Mark Ward also making 52 starts (Tony Cottee also made 52 appearances, although one was as a substitute).

The Hammers would drop dramatically in the league in 1986/87, finishing 15th in the First Division. Gale scored three goals in 41 matches, with his first ever strike for the club coming from a free-kick in a 1-0 home win over Coventry on 23rd August 1986, the opening day of the campaign. Having waited two years for his first Hammers goal, his second arrived less than a month later, heading home a Kevin Keen corner past future Hammer Les Sealey in a 2-0 home win over Luton on 20th September 1986. Gale’s third and final goal of the campaign came from another free-kick, this time in a 4-0 FA Cup fourth round home win over Sheffield United on 9th February 1987. Gale would make 20 appearances in 1987/88, without scoring, as the Hammers dropped again to 16th.

Embed from Getty Images

Disaster struck in 1988/89 as the Irons were relegated from the top flight and John Lyall was sacked. Gale scored once in 44 matches – it was arguably his most famous goal in claret and blue, a by-now trademark flighted free-kick to seal a 4-1 League Cup fourth round win over Liverpool on 30th November 1988 at Upton Park. Life under Lou Macari was short-lived, with Gale’s former team-mate Billy Bonds taking over the top job in February 1990. Gale scored his only goal from his 45 appearances in 1989/90 a month after Bonds assumed the reigns, in a 2-2 home draw with Port Vale on 31st March 1990. The Hammers would win promotion under Bonds in 1990/91, with ‘Reggie’ – as Gale was nicknamed, after Reggie Kray, for his acerbic wit – making 33 appearances and scoring one goal, yet another free-kick in a 1-0 home win over Bristol City on 20th March 1991.

Less than a month later, on 14th April 1991, Gale became the first-ever footballer in the English game to be shown a straight red card for denying an attacker a goalscoring opportunity with a professional foul. Keith Hackett controversially issued the centre-half with his only career dismissal barely 25 minutes into an FA Cup Semi-Final against Nottingham Forest at Villa Park after bringing down Gary Crosby. The Second Division Hammers, who were level with their top-flight opponents at the time of the red card, lost the match 4-0 and missed the chance to meet Tottenham in the Final at Wembley. Hackett never officiated at Upton Park again after that fateful day.

Gale played 34 matches in 1991/92 but the Hammers would suffer relegation again, ending up bottom of the First Division. He played the full 90 minutes of a 1-0 win over Manchester United though, a result which dealt a massive blow to the Red Devils’ title dreams. 1992/93 was a generally happier campaign all round, with Gale making 24 appearances as the Hammers secured promotion to the Premier League – all but three of these appearances came in the second half of the season though, with Gale having to initially fight for a place in the side and ultimately playing a key role in the run-in, assuming a more dominant role in the air alongside his shorter partner, Steve Potts. ‘Reggie’ scored his final Hammers goal that season, the winner in a 2-1 triumph at Leicester on 30th January 1993 – it was also the only goal he scored for the club away from Upton Park.

Gale made 35 appearances in 1993/94 as the Hammers finished 13th on their return to the top flight. He played his final game for the club in a 3-3 draw against Southampton on 7th May 1994, the final day of the 1993/94 season and the last match played in front of a terraced North Bank and Chicken Run – it was Gale’s 300th league appearance for the Irons. He was rewarded for ten years of sterling service with a testimonial against a Republic of Ireland XI the day after his final competitive game. Tony Gale made 368 appearances for West Ham United in all competitions, scoring seven goals. All of these goals can be seen in my video below, alongside footage of his only red card for the club in that semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

Gale would move to Blackburn on a free transfer in 1994 at the age of 34, with whom he would win the Premier League title (with a little help from his former club on the last day of the 1994/95 season as the Hammers held challengers Manchester United to a draw at the Boleyn Ground). He ended his career with a season at Crystal Palace, retiring from professional football in the summer of 1996, although he did play non-league football for Maidenhead for a further two seasons. Now 59, Gale now works as a co-commentator and hosts events involving former players. He is also the chairman of semi-professional club Walton Casuals.


Tonight’s referee will be Lee Mason from Greater Manchester. His most recent game involving the Hammers was our 2-0 home defeat to Watford in December. Mason’s four games officiating the Hammers last season also all ended in defeat. He took charge of our 4-1 defeat at Arsenal last April; prior to that, he refereed our 3-0 home defeat to Burnley in March, while the other two matches were both 3-2 defeats: at Southampton in August 2017 when he failed to send off Dusan Tadic but did give Marko Arnautovic a red card, before awarding the Saints a match-winning penalty in added time; and against Newcastle at home in December 2017 when he awarded the Hammers a penalty only for Andre Ayew’s effort to be saved. Mason refereed the Hammers once in 2016/17 – the 1-0 home win over Hull when he awarded the Hammers a match-winning penalty.

Embed from Getty Images

Mason refereed three Premier League matches involving the Hammers in 2014/15 – the 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa, the 1-0 home win over Sunderland and the 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford when he sent off Wayne Rooney, denied the Hammers a penalty when Morgan Amalfitano’s cross struck Radamel Falcao’s arm and disallowed Kevin Nolan’s last-minute strike for a marginal offside. Mason was also the man in the middle for our 1-0 FA Cup win at Bristol City in January 2015. He also officiated in four of our games in 2013/14, sending off two of our players (Mark Noble against Everton and James Tomkins at Cardiff) and disallowing a perfectly good Stewart Downing equaliser at Crystal Palace. He also sent off Mark Noble at Birmingham in December 2009.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United will be without Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez and Andriy Yarmolenko for the rest of the season. Samir Nasri and Manuel Lanzini could make returns to the squad, but Fabian Balbuena and Jack Wilshere are still out. The Hammers have claimed just one victory in their last seven Premier League games, drawing three and losing three, having won five of their previous six.

Fulham are without the injured Marcus Bettinelli and Alfie Mawson but Havard Nordtveit, returning to London Stadium, and Lazar Markovic could make their debuts for the Cottagers. Loanee Timothy Fosu-Mensah is once again available, having missed out against parent club Manchester United. Fulham won their first Premier League game away to West Ham in 2001 but are winless in nine subsequent league visits, drawing four and losing five. This will be Fulham’s first Premier League game played on a Friday since Boxing Day 2008, when they drew 0-0 at Tottenham.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Antonio, Rice, Noble, Anderson; Chicharito, Arnautovic.

Possible Fulham XI: Rico; Fosu-Mensah, Odoi, Ream, Le Marchand, Bryan; Cairney, Chambers, Seri, Schurrle; Mitrovic.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Crystal Palace v West Ham

Blast from the past

Today’s blast from the past involves a trip back to 17th October 2015 when West Ham United enjoyed a 3-1 Premier League victory over Crystal Palace in front of 24,812. Former Everton player and manager Howard Kendall died on the day of the game, KDA featuring Tinie Tempah & Katy B were number one with ‘Turn The Music Louder (Rumble)’ and The Martian topped the UK box office.

The Hammers went into the game having won three and drawn one of their opening four away league games in 2015/16, including victories at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. The Irons took the lead after 22 minutes as two loanees combined with Victor Moses, playing against his former club, finding right-back Carl Jenkinson who finished low to record his second goal in successive games. The Eagles were level three minutes later when Jenkinson fouled Dwight Gayle to concede a penalty – Yohan Cabaye converted but was forced to re-take after encroachment from team-mates. The French international scored at the second attempt, although Adrian did get a hand to his fierce spot-kick. Palace striker Gayle was sent off a minute before the interval after collecting two yellow cards for fouls on Dimitri Payet and Cheikhou Kouyate.

Embed from Getty Images

The Eagles held out with ten men until the 88th minute. Slaven Bilic’s three substitutes were all involved as Mauro Zarate stood a cross up for Andy Carroll to head back across goal for Nikica Jelavic. The Croatian couldn’t quite convert under pressure from desperate Palace defending but the ball broke for 22-year-old midfielder Manuel Lanzini to slam home from close range (pictured above). The Argentine then sent Payet through on goal deep into added time, with the Hammer of the Year-in-waiting remaining calm to leave Wayne Hennessey floored by a dummy before coolly lifting the ball over the Welsh international to secure the points and send the Irons into the Premier League’s top four. Payet would end the season as the Hammers’ top scorer with 12 goals from 38 matches.

Super Slav’s Hammers would finish seventh in the Premier League in 2015/16, while Alan Pardew’s Eagles would end the campaign in 15th place and reach the FA Cup Final. Leicester won the league title and Manchester United won the FA Cup.

Crystal Palace: Wayne Hennessey, Martin Kelly, Scott Dann, Brede Hangeland, Pape Souare, Yohan Cabaye (Joe Ledley), James McArthur (Mile Jedinak), Wilfried Zaha (Bakary Sako), Jason Puncheon, Yannick Bolasie, Dwight Gayle.

West Ham United: Adrian, Carl Jenkinson, James Collins, James Tomkins, Aaron Cresswell, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble (Andy Carroll), Victor Moses (Mauro Zarate), Manuel Lanzini, Dimitri Payet, Diafra Sakho (Nikica Jelavic).

Club Connections

James Tomkins and Cheikhou Kouyate welcome their former club to Selhurst Park. 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: Eddie Presland, Kenny Brown, Malcolm Pyke, Alf Noakes, Bill Roberts, Neil Ruddock, Paul Brush, Danny Gabbidon, Chris Powell, Alan Stephenson, Tony Gale, Matthew Upson, Darren Powell, Jose Fonte.

Midfielders: Jimmy Wood, Anton Otulakowski, Victor Moses, Hayden Mullins, Derek Jackman, Carl Fletcher, Harry Gunning, Jobi McAnuff, Fred Norris, Trevor Dawkins, Kyel Reid, Ray Houghton, Michael Hughes.

Strikers: Joe Johnson, Ron Williams, Ian Wright, Andy Smillie, Jeroen Boere, Johnny Cartwright, Johnny Byrne, Peter Simpson, Clive Allen, Dave Swindlehurst, Paul Kitson, Ron Brett, Dave Sexton, Marouane Chamakh, George Petchey.

Malcolm Allison and Jack Tresadern played for the Hammers and managed the Eagles, while Iain Dowie played for both clubs and also managed Palace. Alan Pardew played for the Eagles and managed both clubs. Sam Allardyce has also managed both clubs.

Today’s focus though is on a former Hammers striker who had a loan spell with the Eagles. Freddie Sears was born in Hornchurch on 27th November 1989. He had scored 24 goals in 25 games for the youth and reserve sides when he was pitched in for his senior debut by Alan Curbishley with 15 minutes remaining of the home game against Blackburn on 15th March 2008. With the game deadlocked at 1-1, a backheel from Dean Ashton found Sears inside the penalty area six minutes after entering the fray – the 18-year-old’s right-foot shot was saved by Brad Friedel but bounced up for the young striker to nod a diving header into the corner of the net and send Upton Park into raptures. With West Ham United’s footballing knights, Sir Geoff Hurst and Sir Trevor Brooking, watching from the stands, a star was born, the new Tony Cottee…

Embed from Getty Images

It wasn’t to be. Sears was denied another winning goal by the post in the last minute of his next game at Goodison Park the following week. He would appear from the bench in four further matches before the end of the 2007/08 season and make his first start in the 2-1 win over Derby. With Gianfranco Zola taking over from Curbishley early in 2008/09, Sears would make a further 22 appearances for the Hammers in 2008/09, with seven of these being starts.

Zola sent Sears on loan to Neil Warnock’s Crystal Palace for the 2009/10 Championship campaign. He made his Eagles debut on 8th August 2009, starting in Palace’s 1-1 draw with Plymouth. Sears started again in Palace’s next match the following week against Bristol City at Ashton Gate and looked to have scored his first goal for the club – however, the match officials failed to see the ball cross the line and the goal was not awarded after Sears’ shot had flown into the back of the net, hit the stanchion at the back of the goal and bounced back out. Palace went on to lose 1-0 to a late goal from future Hammer Nicky Maynard.

Embed from Getty Images

Warnock hoped that a goal against Macedonia for England Under-21s would help Sears, who was also capped by England at Under-19 and Under-20 levels, to break his duck at Crystal Palace. He returned to first-team action as a second-half substitute in the Eagles’ 4-0 defeat to Scunthorpe on 12th September 2009 but missed a penalty despite wrestling the ball from usual penalty taker Neil Danns. Sears injured his ankle late in the game and did not return to action until 17th October, as a substitute for another future Hammer, Victor Moses, in the Eagles’ 1-1 draw at Cardiff. Warnock confirmed that, following Crystal Palace’s game with Swansea on 28th December, Sears would return to the Hammers. After making 19 appearances in the league and League Cup, Sears completed his loan spell without making the scoresheet.

Sears made two substitute appearances for West Ham in January 2010, against Arsenal in the FA Cup and Blackburn in the Premier League, before returning to the Championship with Coventry the following month. He again failed to find the net and started the 2010/11 season with West Ham under new management in the form of Avram Grant – Sears came off the bench in a 3-1 home defeat to Bolton and started the 1-0 League Cup second round win over Oxford. He again returned to the Championship for a loan spell, this time with Scunthorpe, but again failed to score.

He returned to West Ham around Christmas 2010 and scored his first goal in almost three years in a 2-0 New Year’s Day win over Wolves, ramming home Tal Ben Haim’s cross from 15 yards to secure the points with 11 minutes remaining and take the Hammers out of the bottom three for the first time that season. He made his highest number of Hammers starts (13) in 2010/11 and scored his final goal for the club in a 5-1 FA Cup fifth round win over Burnley at Upton Park on 21st February 2011.

The Hammers were relegated but Sears was handed a start in new manager Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge of the club, the 1-0 Championship defeat to Cardiff at the Boleyn Ground. Sears would only start one more league match under Allardyce before going on loan to Colchester in February 2012, a move he would make permanent less than five months later on a free transfer. His final appearance in claret and blue was the 1-0 FA Cup third round defeat at Sheffield Wednesday on 8th January 2012 – in total Sears scored three goals in 58 appearances for West Ham United. All three can be viewed in my video below.

After two and a half years with Colchester, Sears moved back up the football ladder in January 2015 with a move to Championship side Ipswich. Now 29, Sears is still at Portman Road and has scored 30 goals in 175 matches for the Suffolk club. He has made 24 appearances this season in all competitions, scoring six goals.


Saturday’s referee will be Craig Pawson; 2018/19 is Pawson’s seventh as a Premier League referee. In 2014/15 he refereed West Ham’s 3-1 home win over Liverpool and sent off Adrian in our 0-0 draw at Southampton, a decision that was later overturned. His Hammers appointments in 2015/16 were both at the Boleyn Ground, for our 2-2 draw with Manchester City in January 2016 and the 3-3 draw with Arsenal three months later.

Embed from Getty Images

Pawson did not referee the Hammers at all last season; his Irons games this season have been our 8-0 win over Macclesfield in September and, most recently, our 2-1 win at Southampton in December. His matches in charge of West Ham United in 2016/17 saw him send off Harry Arter as the Hammers defeated Bournemouth 1-0 in August 2016, while he also officiated in our 2-1 home win over Chelsea in the fourth round of the League Cup in two months later. He also refereed our 5-1 home defeat to Arsenal in December 2016. He awarded Watford a penalty and sent off Michail Antonio as the Irons drew 1-1 at Watford in February 2017.

Possible line-ups

Crystal Palace look set to be without injured left-back Pape Souare and former Hammer Cheikhou Kouyate. Roy Hodgson must make a decision on whether to start Michy Batshuayi. Wilfried Zaha has been banned for one further match but the suspension is not currently effective while the player considers his right of appeal.

Manuel Pellegrini is without Fabian Balbuena, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Samir Nasri and Andriy Yarmolenko. West Ham are unbeaten in their last four visits to Selhurst Park.

Possible Crystal Palace XI: Guaita; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, van Aanholt; Townsend, Milivojevic, McArthur, Schlupp; Ayew, Benteke.

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

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Liverpool

Blast from the past

Today’s blast from the past features a 1-0 victory on the 3rd of September 1962, with West Ham United welcoming the previous campaign’s Second Division title-winners, Liverpool. American poet E. E. Cummings died on this day at the age of 67, Frank Ifield was number one with ‘I Remember You’ and William Holden and Trevor Howard were starring in The Lion in UK cinemas.

The Irons went into the game third bottom of the table after five games – a 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa had been followed by successive heavy home defeats to Wolves (4-1) and Tottenham (6-1) before a 0-0 draw at Wolves in the reverse fixture arrested the slump. A 2-0 defeat at Leyton Orient immediately prior to the visit of Liverpool piled the pressure back on though.

The Hammers scored the only goal of this Monday evening encounter courtesy of 21-year-old Tony Scott (pictured). This was the Huntingdon-born right winger’s seventh goal of 19 in his West Ham career, which spanned from 1960 to 1965. The 1962/63 season turned out to be Scott’s best for West Ham as he went on to score ten goals in 34 appearances, this strike against the Reds being the first of them. Scott made 97 appearances in claret and blue before departing for Aston Villa. He went on to play for Torquay, where he played under former Hammer Frank O’Farrell and was reunited with former team-mate John Bond. He followed Bond to Bournemouth, where he also teamed up with another former team-mate in Ken Brown, before finishing his playing days at Exeter. Now 77, Scott lives in Perth, Australia.

Ron Greenwood’s West Ham would end the season in 12th place while Bill Shankly’s Liverpool finished in 8th. Bobby Moore won the second of his four Hammer of the Year titles, with Jim Standen voted runner-up. Geoff Hurst was the Irons’ top goalscorer in 1962/63 with 15 goals from 29 appearances. Everton won the First Division title and Manchester United won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Lawrie Leslie, John Bond, Bobby Moore, Ken Brown, Jack Burkett, Martin Peters, Tony Scott, Phil Woosnam, Johnny Byrne, Geoff Hurst, Malcolm Musgrove.

Liverpool: Jim Furnell, Gerry Byrne, Ron Yeats, Phil Ferns, Ronnie Moran, Gordon Milne, Jimmy Melia, Ian Callaghan, Roger Hunt, Ian St John, Alan A’Court.

Club Connections

Andy Carroll welcomes his former club. A whole host of players join the striker 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: Alvaro Arbeloa, 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, Peter Kyle, Titi Camara, David Speedie, 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 striker who played for Liverpool before spending a loan spell with the Hammers. Born in Dublin on 8th July 1980, Robbie Keane spent three years at Wolves before signing for Coventry for £6m, then a British record for a teenager. He was signed by Inter Milan in July 2000 but was loaned to Leeds the following winter, making the move to Elland Road permanent in the summer of 2001. He moved to Tottenham a year later and spent six years at White Hart Lane before signing for Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool for £19m in July 2008.

Embed from Getty Images

The 28-year-old Keane made his debut for the Reds on 13th August 2008 in a 0-0 draw at Standard Liege in the first leg of the Champions League third qualifying round. Keane scored his first goal for Liverpool on 1st October 2008 in a 3-1 Champions League group stage win against PSV Eindhoven at Anfield; a second Champions League goal quickly followed with Keane scoring the opening goal in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw away to Atlético Madrid. Premier League goals were less forthcoming but he scored twice for Liverpool against West Bromwich Albion on 8th November 2008 and also scored in a 1-1 draw at Arsenal the following month. He scored twice in a 3-0 win against Bolton at Anfield on Boxing Day 2008 – these would be his final goals for Liverpool. His last appearance for the Reds came in a 1-1 draw at Wigan on 28th January 2009.

After seven goals in 28 games for Liverpool, Keane returned to Tottenham in February 2009, just over six months after leaving the club. He joined Celtic on loan a year later before another loan move materialised in late January 2011, this time to Avram Grant’s West Ham United. The Hammers were in the bottom three when Keane arrived and had an option to extend the deal by two years if they avoided relegation from the Premier League. The 30-year-old Keane made a goalscoring debut for the Irons on 2nd February 2011 in a 3-1 win at Blackpool, turning home a rebound after Victor Obinna had seen two efforts saved by Richard Kingson. His second and final goal for the Hammers came in a 2-1 home defeat to Aston Villa on 16th April 2011, with his final game for the club being a 3-2 defeat at Wigan on 15th May 2011 which confirmed the Hammers’ relegation to the Championship. Keane had missed two crucial chances in previous weeks, the first with the Hammers 1-0 down at Stamford Bridge in a game they eventually lost 3-0, and the other a gilt-edged late opportunity in front of an open goal which would have given the Irons a vital 2-1 win against Blackburn. After two goals in ten appearances in claret and blue, Keane returned to Tottenham.

Embed from Getty Images

Keane joined LA Galaxy in the summer of 2011 and returned briefly to the Premier League with Aston Villa on loan between January and March 2012. After five years in the MLS, Keane moved to Indian side ATK in the summer of 2017, to play under former Tottenham team-mate and ex-Hammer Teddy Sheringham. He was briefly player-manager of the club before announcing his retirement in November of last year. Now 38, Keane is currently assistant coach of the Republic of Ireland, for whom he scored 68 goals in 146 appearances as a player – no player has won more caps or scored more goals for the Irish national team than Keane.


Monday’s referee is Kevin Friend. The Leicester-based official has been involved in top-flight matches since 2009 and took charge of the Hammers in our historic 3-0 victory at Liverpool in August 2015. He sent off Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and West Ham’s Mark Noble in that match at Anfield, with the latter’s dismissal rescinded on appeal. Friend’s Hammers appointments last season were in September 2017 for our 2-0 home win over Huddersfield, our 1-0 League Cup quarter-final defeat at Arsenal in December and our 1-1 draw at Chelsea in April.

Embed from Getty Images

Friend most recently refereed the Hammers in our 1-0 defeat at Brighton in October. He is also remembered for the soft penalty he gifted Hull in our 1-0 defeat at the KC Stadium in September 2013 when Joey O’Brien was adjudged to have shoved Robbie Brady. Friend compounded the error by later denying the Irons a clear penalty when Jake Livermore handled in the area. Don’t expect much from Friend in the way of handball decisions – he also denied the Hammers a penalty in a match at Everton when Aaron Cresswell’s cross was handled by Seamus Coleman.

Possible line-ups

Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that Winston Reid is not expected back in action this season. West Ham United, defeated in their previous three games in all competitions, are also without the injured Fabian Balbuena, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Samir Nasri and Andriy Yarmolenko. Late decisions will be made on Aaron Cresswell, Marko Arnautovic and Lucas Perez, while Lukasz Fabianski should be available to start. The Hammers failed to register a single shot on target against Wolves – the last time that happened in a Premier League match was against Arsenal in December 2017.

Liverpool are without Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Reds have won their last four games against West Ham, winning two of those matches 4-0 and the other two 4-1. None of the last 13 Premier League meetings between West Ham and Liverpool in East London have ended level, with West Ham winning four and Liverpool claiming nine victories since a 1-1 draw in December 2001.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble, Obiang; Antonio, Chicharito, Anderson.

Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Milner, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Wolves v West Ham

Blast from the past

Saturday 20th January 1968 – the Colour Television Licence had been introduced when a £5 ‘colour supplement’ was added to the £5 monochrome licence fee, Georgie Fame was number one with ‘The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde’, and Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Alec Guinness were in UK cinemas in The Comedians. West Ham United, meanwhile, were recording a 2-1 victory over tonight’s opponents Wolverhampton Wanderers in front of 32,273 at Molineux.

Embed from Getty Images

The two Hammers goalscorers that day are pictured together, above, in more recent times – Brian Dear and Sir Geoff Hurst. 24-year-old Dear would score 16 goals in 30 matches in 1967/68, while Hurst was the Irons’ top goalscorer that season with 25 goals from 44 matches.

By the end of the 1967/68 season, Manchester United had recorded their first European Cup triumph, Manchester City won the First Division title and West Brom won the FA Cup. Ron Greenwood’s West Ham United claimed 12th place in the top flight, while Ronnie Allen’s Wolves finished 17th. Bobby Moore was voted Hammer of the Year, with Trevor Brooking runner-up.

West Ham United: Bobby Ferguson, Billy Bonds, Bobby Moore, John Cushley, Frank Lampard, Martin Peters, Ronnie Boyce, Trevor Brooking, Johnny Sissons, Brian Dear, Geoff Hurst.

Club Connections

West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers have shared a number of players over the years. Those who have appeared for both clubs include:

Goalkeepers: Noel Dwyer, Jack Weare.

Defenders: Joe Gallagher, Jack Dowen, Gary Breen, Tommy Dunn, Roger Johnson.

Midfielders: Stan Burton, Bertie Lutton, Dick Richards, Kevin Keen, Ted Anderson, Paul Ince, Robbie Slater, Nigel Quashie, Matt Jarvis, Kyel Reid, Harry Hooper, Shaun Newton.

Strikers: Henri Camara, Jeremie Aliadiere, Robbie Keane, Frank Burrill, David Connolly, Bobby Gould, Carlton Cole, Frank Nouble, Mike Small, Tudor Martin, Bob Deacon, David Kelly, Marlon Harewood.

Today’s focus falls on a player who played for Wolves before later spending two seasons with the Hammers. George Eccles was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme in (it is believed) 1874 and played for Middleport before joining Burslem Port Vale in June 1893. He played six Second Division games in the 1893/94 campaign and made 27 league appearances in the 1894/95 season, also featuring once in the FA Cup. He scored one goal in a 4-4 draw with Newcastle at the Athletic Ground on 6th October 1894. On 26th February 1895, when heading for a match against Notts County at Trent Bridge, he misread the train timetables and selected a non-existent train that only ran on market days, thereby missing the game. He played 17 league and two FA Cup games in the 1895/96 season and broke his collarbone in February 1896. Eccles, a sturdy full-back, was sold to Wolves for a ‘considerable’ fee in May 1896 and finished tenth and third in the First Division in 1896/97 and 1897/98. Eccles scored one goal in 36 league games during his two years at Molineux before moving on to league rivals Everton.

Eccles spent three seasons at Goodison Park before switching to Preston. He did not feature in the Second Division for his new club in 1901/02, and instead transferred to Southern League West Ham United. Described as a player as being “a grand tackler and an untiring worker”, Eccles (pictured) made his debut in the opening fixture of the 1902/03 campaign, a 1-1 home draw against Reading in front of 7,000 at the Memorial Grounds on 6th September 1902. He made 26 appearances that season, helping the Hammers to a tenth-placed finish. Eccles made consistency his byword during his time with West Ham and was an ever-present the following season, making 38 appearances in 1903/04 with the Irons dropping to 12th. His final match for West Ham United, on the final day of the 1904/05 season in a 1-0 home defeat to Swindon on 30th April 1904, was the Hammers’ last-ever game at the Memorial Grounds before the move to the Boleyn Ground. His proud record could not save him from the ruthless purge on the playing staff which saw only five players retained and a major influx of new faces to coincide with the move to Upton Park. In total he made 64 appearances for the club, without scoring – he left to make a brief playing return to the Football League with Bolton, against doctors’ advice that the Lancastrian climate would not agree with his health.

Eccles married the trainer’s daughter and stayed at Bolton for 40 years as assistant and then trainer. Bolton’s directors had a special medal struck for Eccles in 1930 to commemorate his handling of three successful FA Cup teams, including the 1923 Final against West Ham. George Eccles died just before Christmas 1945, at the likely age of 71.


The referee on Tuesday will be David Coote. The Nottingham-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for only the second time – his only other Hammers appointment was for our 2-0 defeat at Burnley last month.

Embed from Getty Images

Coote has refereed six Premier League matches so far this season – he has issued 17 yellow cards, no reds and awarded no penalties.

Possible line-ups

Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Willy Boly serves the final game of a three-match suspension. Wolves and West Ham have contested 59 league games over the last 99 years but a Wolves win would complete the double over the Hammers for the first time. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have scored three stoppage-time winning goals in Premier League games this season (including the reverse fixture at London Stadium), more than any other club.

Manuel Pellegrini is without the injured Fabian Balbuena, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko and Lucas Perez but Marko Arnautovic should be available. West Ham are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games played on a Tuesday, winning six and drawing two, with their last Tuesday league defeat coming at Arsenal in 2014.

Possible Wolverhampton Wanderers XI: Patricio; Doherty, Bennett, Coady, Saiss, Castro; Neves, Dendoncker, Moutinho; Diogo Jota; Jimenez.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble; Antonio, Nasri, Anderson; Arnautovic.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

Copyright © 2019 Iain Dale Limited. Terms and conditions. Cookies.
Website by Russell Brown.