Guest Post

Art For Art's Sake

Guest Post by Ray The Hammer

My dad passed away in January 2017. On the day of his funeral, which took place the following month, my mum produced a couple of drawings that I did when I was about 12 or 13. Pictures of Lee Trevino and Jack Nicklaus, my dad’s two favourite golfers at the time. Mum said that he’d kept them, unbeknownst to me, for all that time, over 40 years! Like I needed any more emotion on that particular day!

Even though I was achieving good grades at the time, I gave up art when I had to chose my options at school so I hadn’t really touched a pencil or paintbrush since then. Anyway, mum producing those old drawings led to my daughter saying that she didn’t know I could draw & immediately demanding that I drew a portrait of her. After further nagging and cajoling, a month or so later, I bought a sketch pad and some drawing pencils and consequently I produced an absolutely hideous picture of my daughter! Although she pretended that she liked it, I’m pretty sure that won’t still be around in another 40 years time!

I’m semiretired, so I’m lucky enough to have a fair amount of spare time and I was looking for a hobby anyway, so I soldiered on regardless and gradually got better and more confident. I enjoyed drawing portraits, so it was inevitable that I would soon start drawing West Ham players. Eventually, about a year ago, I was confident enough to post one or two of my efforts on here and they were generally well received. As a result of my earlier posts, I received my second commission, from Marc, who asked me to draw his son. I think the young fella liked it and to my great joy, it inspired him to get his pens and pencils out and have a go himself. Actually, it’s just occurred to me that it may not have been inspiration at all, urged on by his dad, he probably thought “I can do better than that crock!” :))

Over time, I have bought several, nay numerous books, watched untold YouTube videos and upgraded the materials that I use, after trying various grades of paper and different brands of coloured pencil, which has now become my medium of choice. I now feel like I’ve settled on a style of drawing which suits me and I’ve also branched out a bit from football to include Hollywood and my third commission, a dog! :)

I’ve had some fantastic advice and support from a couple of other posters on the site. Initially from the multitalented Dawud, who is a fine arts graduate and teacher, as well as an excellent photographer, and latterly from Blakey, a very, very talented professional artist. If you haven’t already, please check out his work, there are links on his bio. I aspire to be a tenth as good as him. Thanks so much to both of you.

These are in date order and I’ve finished with a third picture of Mark Noble, as my son pointed out that the first two were about a year apart and the second was completed just over a year ago so it made sense to tackle Nobes for a third time. Hopefully this helps to show the progress I’ve made during that two year period. I would absolutely welcome further advice and encourage constructive criticism from anyone. I would also love suggestions for future subjects. If, like Marc’s lad, anyone else is inspired to pick up a pencil for the first time, or after a long lay off like me, I’d be happy to pass on the limited knowledge that I’ve accumulated over the last two and a half years.

Thanks for reading.



1. Bobby Moore – April 2017

2. Mark Noble – September 2017

3. Andy Carroll – October 2017

4. Chicharito – November 2017

5. Slaven Bilic – November 2017

6. Carlton Cole – November 2017 – This picture was spotted by a mate of Carlton on WHTID and forwarded on to him. He subsequently used it in his Instagram story which was seen by my son. He then DM’d Carlton who agreed to sign it for me, which he did.

7. Bobby Moore – February 2018 – So just about a year after the first one.

8. Marko Arnautovic – July 2018

9. Felipe Anderson – July 2018 – This was seen and ‘liked’ by Anderson on my Instagram account :)

10. Mark Noble – August 2018

11. Andriy Yarmolenko – September 2018

12. Sir Trevor Brooking – November 2018

13. Grady Diangana – November 2018 – This was also ‘liked’ by Grady on Instagram :)

14. Manuel Pellegrini – June 2019 – You can see there was a big break between Grady and this one of the gaffer. It was during this time that I diversified and started using Hollywood for subject matter. I regard this one as a bit of a landmark piece.

15. Lukasz Fabianski – July 2019

16. Mark Noble – October 2019

April 2017 September '17 October '17 Chicharito Nov '17 Slaven Bilic Nov '17 Carlton Cole Nov '17 Bobby Moore Feb '18 - so just about a year after the first one. Marko Arnautovic July '18 Felipe Anderson July '18 Mark Noble August '18 Andriy Yarmolenko September '18 Sir Trevor Brooking Nov '18 Grady Diangana Nov '18 Manuel Pellegrini June '19 Lukasz Fabianski July '19 Mark Noble October '19

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Burnley v West Ham

Blast from the past

5th April 2005: Prime Minister Tony Blair asked the Queen for a dissolution of Parliament for a general election on 5th May, Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay was at the top of the charts with ‘(Is This The Way To) Amarillo’ and The Ring Two topped the UK box office. Meanwhile, West Ham United completed their second away victory in three days following a 2-0 weekend win at Wigan.

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In front of 12,209 at Turf Moor in this midweek encounter, Ade Akinbiyi wasted Burnley’s best chance of the first half after heading wide of the target. Hammers forward Teddy Sheringham fired just wide before a mistake let the Irons in to seal the three points with the game’s only goal. With seven minutes to go, a loose pass allowed Marlon Harewood to round the goalkeeper and square for Sheringham to calmly stroke home the winner three days after his 39th birthday. The veteran would be voted Hammer of the Year a few weeks later, with a teenaged Mark Noble runner-up. The goal from this match can be viewed in my video below – the referee that night, incidentally, was Kevin Friend, who will take charge of tomorrow’s encounter at Turf Moor too.

Burnley would close the season in 13th position, while the Hammers would finish in sixth place and be promoted via the Play-Offs; Sunderland won the Championship title, Chelsea won the Premier League and Arsenal won the FA Cup. Marlon Harewood was the Irons’ top scorer with 22 goals from 54 matches.

Burnley: Danny Coyne, Frank Sinclair (Tony Grant), John McGreal, Gary Cahill, Mo Camara, John Oster (Jean-Louis Valois), Micah Hyde, James O’Connor, Graham Branch (Michael Duff), Ade Akinbiyi, Dean Bowditch.

West Ham United: Jimmy Walker, Tomas Repka, Anton Ferdinand, Elliott Ward, Chris Powell, Shaun Newton, Hayden Mullins (Carl Fletcher), Nigel Reo-Coker, Mark Noble (Matthew Etherington), Marlon Harewood (Bobby Zamora), Teddy Sheringham.

Club Connections

Joe Hart welcomes his former club to Turf Moor. A small collection of players join him in having turned out for the Hammers and the Clarets. They include:

Goalkeepers: Tommy Hampson, Herman Conway and Frank Birchenough.

Defenders: Tyrone Mears, Joe Gallagher, David Unsworth, Tommy Dunn, Jack Tresadern, Jon Harley and Mitchell Thomas.

Midfielders: Junior Stanislas, Reg Attwell, Matt Taylor and Luke Chadwick.

Strikers: Bill Jenkinson, Sam Jennings, Walter Pollard, Ian Moore , Alan Taylor and Zavon Hines.

John Bond played for the Hammers and managed the Clarets.

Today’s focus is on a former England international striker who ended his career with Burnley having also represented West Ham United late in his distinguished career. Ian Wright was born on the 3rd November 1963 in Woolwich and began his professional career with Steve Coppell’s Crystal Palace, joining from Greenwich Borough at the age of 21 in the summer of 1985. He moved to George Graham’s Arsenal for a club record £2.5m in September 1991, having already made his England debut in February 1991 while still at Selhurst Park but, despite his goalscoring exploits, was left out of England’s Euro ’92 squad by Graham Taylor.

Wright went on to be Arsenal’s top scorer for six consecutive seasons, playing a major part in the club’s success during the 1990s, winning an FA Cup and League Cup double in 1993 and scoring in both the FA Cup Final and replay against Sheffield Wednesday. He also helped Arsenal reach the 1993/94 Cup Winners’ Cup Final, although he was suspended for the Final in which Arsenal beat Parma 1–0. He scored five goals in England’s qualification campaign for the 1994 World Cup, the first a key equaliser in a 1-1 draw in Poland and four in a 7-1 victory in San Marino, but the Three Lions failed to qualify for the tournament. Wright also made one start and three substitute appearances in Terry Venables’ first five games as England manager but thereafter never played under Venables again.

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Wright scored a total of 185 goals for Arsenal before moving to the Hammers in July 1998 at the age of 34 for £500,000 and scored the winner on his debut in a 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday on 15th August 1998. He followed that up with two goals on his home debut but the Irons threw away a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 to Wimbledon. He scored the winner in a 1-0 home win over Southampton, a goal made famous for its celebration as Wright and Neil Ruddock parodied Paolo Di Canio’s push on referee Paul Alcock – Di Canio was to join them as a team-mate four months later! A brace followed in a 3-0 Hallowe’en win at Newcastle and Wright closed 1998 with a goal in a 2-0 home win over Coventry. Injury kept Wright on the sidelines for three months at the start of 1999 but he scored as a substitute in his second game back, a 5-1 triumph over Derby on 17th April, before scoring the opener a week later in a fine 2-1 win at Tottenham. Wright was sent off the following week in a 5-1 home defeat to Leeds and vandalised the referee’s room on his way to an early bath – the Hammers finished with eight men as Shaka Hislop and Steve Lomas were also dismissed by Rob Harris.

Wright also won his final two England caps while playing for West Ham, in a Euro 2000 qualifier in Luxembourg and a home friendly against the Czech Republic. He won 33 caps for England, scoring nine goals – only Mick Channon has played more times for England without being taken to a major tournament. Wright’s final appearance for the Hammers came as a substitute in the 1-0 InterToto Cup third round first leg win over Jokerit of Finland at Upton Park on 17th July 1999. He scored nine goals in 26 appearances for West Ham United – all nine of these goals can be viewed on the West Ham Till I Die social media pages.

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Wright went on to have a loan spell with Nottingham Forest before departing the Hammers permanently for Celtic. He moved to Stan Ternent’s Burnley, then in the third tier, on Valentine’s Day 2000, teaming up with old friend and fellow former Hammer Mitchell Thomas. Wright made his Clarets debut in a 0-0 draw with Wigan at Turf Moor on 19th February 2000 – the only time he had failed to score on his debut for a new club. His first goal for Burnley was an 88th-minute equaliser at Gillingham on 14th March 2000 and he followed that up with his first goal at Turf Moor four days later in a 3-0 win over Reading. Wright scored the 90th-minute winner in a 2-1 home victory against Notts County on 8th April and bagged his final goal for the club in a 3-2 win at Brentford on 24th April 2000. After scoring four goals in 15 appearances for Burnley, culminating in promotion to Division One, Wright took the decision to hang up his boots and bring the curtain down on an illustrious playing career – he was awarded an MBE in 2000.

Wright, who turned 56 last Sunday, has since been Director of Football at Ashford Town and first-team coach at MK Dons. He is now a regular pundit on Match of the Day and ITV’s coverage of England internationals.


Saturday’s referee is Kevin Friend, who also refereed the featured match at the top of this preview. 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 most recently refereed the Hammers in our 1-1 home draw with Liverpool in February and also took charge of our 1-0 defeat at Brighton in October 2018.

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Friend 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. He 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

Burnley are without Danny Drinkwater and Johann Berg Gudmundsson but Chris Wood is likely to be available. Burnley have recorded only two home victories against the Hammers in the last 40 years. The Clarets have won just two of their last ten games against West Ham in all competitions.

West Ham United are without Lukasz Fabianski, Winston Reid and Michail Antonio, while Jack Wilshere is a doubt. The Hammers have won 14, drawn four and lost just three of their last 21 matches against Burnley home and away in all competitions, stretching back to 1979.

Possible Burnley XI: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Cork, Westwood; McNeil; Barnes, Wood.

Possible West Ham United XI: Roberto; Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; Rice, Noble, Snodgrass; Lanzini, Anderson; Haller.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Newcastle

Blast from the past

April 1986 surely goes down as one of the most relentlessly exciting months in West Ham United’s history. Beginning with a 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest, the Hammers reinvigorated their title charge by winning eight of their next nine matches. The most outstanding and amazing game in this unforgettable run has to be the incredible 8-1 victory over this Saturday’s opponents, Newcastle United.

It was Monday the 21st of April 1986 – George Michael was number one with ‘A Different Corner’, Jossy’s Giants made its TV debut two days later and Fright Night topped the UK box office. Newcastle’s very own ‘Fright Night’ began to unfold after just three minutes when Alan Devonshire’s floated free-kick from the left was prodded home by an unmarked Alvin Martin for his first on what would turn out to be a remarkable personal night for ‘Stretch’. It was 2-0 after 11 minutes as Mark Ward found Ray Stewart overlapping on the right wing – Tonka’s cross-cum-shot was fumbled over his goalline by the Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Thomas, who had been suffering from injury before the game. On 36 minutes Devonshire played a short pass to Neil Orr who hit a rasping 30-yarder which deceived Thomas in mid-air and found the net for the Hammers’ third. Shortly before half-time, Stewart’s long throw sparked a spot of head tennis in the Newcastle penalty area, which culminated in future West Ham manager Glenn Roeder flicking the ball off his heel and into his own net to give the Irons an ultimately unassailable 4-0 half-time lead.

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Thomas’ race was run and he was substituted at half-time with outfield player Chris Hedworth taking the goalkeeper’s jersey in his stead. Hedworth himself was soon injured in a collision with Tony Cottee but stayed between the sticks to see Martin (pictured above) notch his second of the game, and the Hammers’ fifth, after Tony Gale had flicked a cross into the path of his central defensive partner’s run. Hedworth succumbed to injury, with Newcastle consequently being reduced to ten men and Peter Beardsley becoming their third custodian of the evening. Hedworth never played for Newcastle again. Billy Whitehurst fired a consolation for the Magpies but the Hammers were soon back on the attack and grabbing a sixth. Devonshire and George Parris combined down the left, with Devonshire’s dinked cross to the far post being nodded in by the onrushing substitute Paul Goddard (who would go on to sign for Newcastle six months later). Goddard then released Cottee down the left and his cross was headed in by Frank McAvennie to make it seven. McAvennie would top the Hammers scoring charts with 28 goals from 51 matches in 1985/86.

There was still time for an eighth. Ward’s cross found Cottee in the area, the PFA Young Player of the Year-in-waiting being bundled to the ground by Roeder. With the majority of a buoyant Boleyn crowd of 24,735 chanting ‘Alvin, Alvin’, penalty king Stewart passed on responsibilities to his captain and the man of the moment… who didn’t disappoint, Martin completing a very unique hat-trick not just because it came from a defender, but because each strike was registered against a different goalkeeper. Cottee, who must have been desperate to add his own name to the scoresheet, hit the bar with a header late on, with the Hammers having to settle for just the eight goals. Cottee would be voted Hammer of the Year, with strike partner McAvennie runner-up. The action from this match can be viewed in my video below.

West Ham won their next four matches, keeping their title hopes alive until Liverpool clinched the championship with a win at Chelsea. In the final-game decider for the runners-up position, Everton beat the Hammers 3-1 at Goodison Park to leave the Irons in third place, still our highest ever League position. Unfortunately there was no prize of a European place in 1986/87 following the Heysel ban on English clubs in Europe. Liverpool would complete the Double by winning the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Phil Parkes, Ray Stewart, Alvin Martin, Tony Gale, George Parris, Mark Ward, Neil Orr, Alan Dickens (Paul Goddard), Alan Devonshire, Frank McAvennie, Tony Cottee.

Newcastle United: Martin Thomas (Ian Stewart), Neil McDonald, Glenn Roeder, John Anderson, John Bailey, Paul Stephenson, David McCreery, Chris Hedworth, Tony Cunningham, Peter Beardsley, Billy Whitehurst.

Club Connections

West Ham United and Newcastle United have shared a multitude of personnel over the years. Andy Carroll could play for the visitors against his old club. A brief run-through of others who have represented both clubs is best served by dividing them by playing position.

Goalkeepers: Shaka Hislop, Pavel Srnicek and Ike Tate.

Defenders: Stuart Pearce, Tommy Bamlett, Abdoulaye Faye, Wayne Quinn, Dave Gardner, Dickie Pudan and James Jackson.

Midfielders: Scott Parker, Lee Bowyer, Rob Lee, Mohamed Diame, Nolberto Solano, Kieron Dyer and Franz Carr.

Strikers: James Loughlin, Paul Goddard, Les Ferdinand, John Dowsey, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson, Justin Fashanu, Demba Ba, Marlon Harewood, David Kelly, Keith Robson, Vic Keeble, Craig Bellamy and Paul Kitson.

Chris Hughton also played for the Hammers and managed the Magpies while Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew have managed both clubs. Glenn Roeder also played for Newcastle and managed both clubs.

This week’s focus though is on a player who has captained both clubs this century. Kevin Nolan was born in Liverpool on 24th June 1982; a former England Under-21 international, Nolan signed for Bolton at the age of 16 and remained at the club for ten years. He signed for Newcastle United in January 2009 for a fee of £4m but could not save the club from relegation to the Championship at the end of the 2008/09 campaign. The midfielder was sent off in a home match against Everton a month after his arrival.

Nolan played a huge part in the Magpies’ successful title-winning campaign the following season however, scoring his first league goal for the club on 22nd August against Crystal Palace and netting 18 goals from midfield which included the first hat-trick of his career in a 4–0 away win against Ipswich Town on 26th September. Nolan was voted as the Championship Player of the Year at the Football League Awards and was made club captain in the summer of 2010, succeeding the retired Nicky Butt, as the club prepared for their Premier League return.

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Nolan netted a brace in Newcastle’s 6-0 win against Aston Villa in their first home game back in the top flight and scored his first Premier League hat-trick in the Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland in a 5-1 home win in October 2010. The midfielder helped the Magpies consolidate back in the top tier and, having scored 30 goals in 91 appearances for Newcastle in all competitions, he signed for relegated West Ham United in the summer of 2011.

New Hammers manager Sam Allardyce was reunited with his former Bolton protégé and named Nolan as the new club captain following the departure of Matthew Upson to Stoke. The 29-year-old’s league debut for the Irons came on 7th August 2011 in a 1-0 home defeat to Cardiff and he scored his first Hammers goal a week later in a 1-0 win at Doncaster. ‘Nobby’ scored in three more away games (the 4-1 win at Nottingham Forest, the 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace and the winner in the 1-0 victory at Brighton) before notching his first goal for the Hammers at the Boleyn Ground with a 25-yard volley in a 3-1 win against Derby. A red card early on in a 2-1 home win over Millwall blotted his copybook but two beautifully-lofted efforts over the goalkeeper in home and away matches against Burnley, a headed winner at home against Coventry, a perfectly-placed strike in a 2-0 win at Cardiff and tap-ins in a 1-1 home draw with Doncaster, 4-0 win at Barnsley and 6-0 home triumph over Brighton all added to Nolan’s goal tally. His 13th and final goal of 2011/12 was the opener in the home leg of the play-off semi-final against Cardiff to put the Hammers 3-0 up on aggregate and firmly on the way to Wembley. Nolan helped the Hammers secure an immediate top-flight return via the play-offs, while the team spirit he fostered as skipper was arguably the best the club had seen since the turn of the century.

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Nolan continued his good form into the 2012/13 season, scoring the only goal of the game in a 1-0 home win against Aston Villa on the opening day. On 1st September 2012, he scored inside one minute during a 3-0 home win over Fulham as he was reunited with his old Newcastle pal Andy Carroll. He rescued a point in added time in a 1-1 home draw with Sunderland, scored in a 4-1 home win over Southampton and netted the winner back at his former club Newcastle. Nolan scored what transpired to be a consolation in a 3-1 loss at Fulham but claimed his 100th career goal in a 2-0 home victory over Wigan. Nolan rounded off a fine campaign by scoring a ‘perfect hat-trick’ (left foot, right foot and header) in a 4-2 win against Reading on the final day; this took him to ten league goals in a season for the fourth campaign in succession.

Nolan started the 2013/14 campaign by scoring on the opening day again, this time in a 2-0 home win over newly-promoted Cardiff. The Hammers struggled without a focal point in attack as the winter set in and indiscipline crept into the captain’s game – he was sent-off at Anfield in a 4-1 defeat by Liverpool and, after serving a three match ban, he was dismissed again in only his second match back for a needless foul in a 2-1 defeat at Fulham. He was fined two weeks wages but responded well, helping the club to 13 points from a possible 15 on his return to league action. Nolan was back amongst the goals during this period, scoring both goals in a 2-0 home win over Swansea and repeating the trick the following week by bagging a brace in a 2-0 victory at Aston Villa. Another goal followed in the 3-1 home win over Southampton to secure Nolan’s position as West Ham’s top scorer for the season – more importantly, these goals in February 2014 helped lift the Hammers from the bottom three at the end of January to the top ten by the close of the following month, easing relegation fears.

Nolan’s starting spot was less secure in 2014/15, with over a third of his 33 appearances in all competitions coming from the bench. Having been top scorer in the previous two seasons, he scored his only goal of the campaign and his last for West Ham in a 2-1 win at West Brom in December 2014. Nolan was clearly struggling to replicate the form of his first two years in east London and his final game for the Hammers came early in the 2015/16 campaign, on 22nd August 2015 in the 4-3 home defeat to Bournemouth, with Nolan withdrawn at half-time by new manager Slaven Bilic. Less than a week later, after scoring 31 goals in 157 appearances in all competitions for the club, Nolan left West Ham United by mutual consent after four years in claret and blue. Unfortunately, the club’s video of ‘all’ of Nolan’s goals for West Ham contains a mistake – it shows a disallowed header instead of including his lob at Burnley in March 2012. You can view every legitimate goal he scored for the Hammers on the WHTID social media pages.

Nolan became player-manager of League Two side Leyton Orient in January 2016 – he was relieved of his managerial duties three months later with the team two points off the play-offs, and left the club entirely later that summer. He was named manager of another League Two outfit, Notts County, in January 2017 – he helped the club avoid relegation at the end of the 2016/17 season. The Magpies made the play-offs in 2017/18 but lost in the semi-finals to Coventry; Nolan was sacked in August 2018 with County bottom of League Two having picked up one point from their first five league games. Now 37, Nolan has recently been linked with vacancies at former clubs Bolton and Leyton Orient, which have since been filled; he is reportedly a candidate for the Morecambe job.


The referee on Saturday will be Stuart Attwell. The Birmingham-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for only the tenth time – he has sent off a Hammers striker in two of his other nine 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.

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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 2018 in our 2-1 home defeat to Bournemouth, when he awarded the Irons a penalty which was converted by Marko Arnautovic, and in our 3-1 League Cup home defeat to Tottenham last October. Attwell awarded a dubious match-winning penalty to Manchester City at the Etihad in February and also refereed our 3-0 home win over Southampton in May. His most recent Hammers appointment was for our 2-2 draw at Bournemouth in September.

The VAR Official is Jarred Gillett.

Possible line-ups

For West Ham United, Lukasz Fabianski, Winston Reid, Jack Wilshere and Michail Antonio are unavailable. The Hammers won both Premier League meetings with Newcastle last season – the Irons last won three in a row against the Magpies in March 1999.

Newcastle United are hopeful that Fabian Schar, Florian Lejeune, Matt Ritchie and Andy Carroll could be available but Sean Longstaff is suspended. Newcastle haven’t scored more than once in any of their last ten Premier League games.

Possible West Ham United XI: Roberto; Zabaleta, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; Rice; Yarmolenko, Noble, Snodgrass, Anderson; Haller.

Possible Newcastle XI: Dubravka; Lascelles, Lejeune, Fernandez; Yedlin, Matthew Longstaff, Shelvey, Willems; Almiron, Saint-Maximin; Joelinton.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Sheff Utd

Blast from the past

19th February 1966: Nancy Sinatra was number one with ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’, George Segal and Tom Courtenay were in UK cinemas in King Rat and supermodel Cindy Crawford was born the following day. Meanwhile, West Ham United took on Sheffield United at Upton Park – the Hammers had just been knocked out of the FA Cup having lost 4-1 in a fourth round replay at Blackburn three days earlier, but had a two-legged League Cup Final against West Brom to look forward to and were also set to face East German side Magdeburg in the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

The Blades arrived in east London competing at the top end of the First Division table but having just been knocked out of the FA Cup themselves by Wolves. Goalkeeper Alan Hodgkinson was an England international who had been part of the Three Lions squad for the 1958 and 1962 World Cups; 37-year-old club legend Joe Shaw was playing his 632nd and final game for the visitors; brothers Barry and Tony Wagstaff teamed up in midfield; future Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leicester man Alan Birchenall was also in the starting line-up, as was Welsh international winger Gil Reece; Alan Woodward, who would go on to be Sheffield United’s leading post-war goalscorer, started on the right flank; and future Leeds striker Mick Jones, already capped by England, was up front.

West Ham had Ronnie Boyce back in midfield, starting his first league game in five months after injury. It took the Hammers only eight minutes to take the lead, and the opening goal came in bizarre fashion. Under no pressure from an opponent, Blades defender Reg Matthewson placed his backpass too wide of Hodgkinson in the visitors’ goal and the ball trickled into the net. Matthewson went on to play for Fulham and Chester – he passed away in August 2016 at the age of 77.

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The Irons doubled their lead when skipper Bobby Moore sent an exquisite outside-of-the-boot pass down the left channel for Peter Brabrook (pictured above) to advance into the visitors’ penalty area and lift his shot beyond Hodgkinson and into the net. It was three for the Hammers before half-time when Martin Peters played in Johnny Sissons who provided a square pass for Geoff Hurst to convert. Hurst would be the club’s top goalscorer in 1965/66, scoring 40 goals in 59 matches.

West Ham made it 4-0 in the second half when Peters intercepted a Birchenall pass in midfield, played a one-two with Hurst and hit a rising left-footed effort from distance into the top corner. Hurst made his England debut four days later, with Peters winning his first cap in early May 1966. Hurst was voted Hammer of the Year at the end of the 1965/66 season, with Peters runner-up. Both would go on to have the summer of their lives as they both played key roles in England’s World Cup triumph. Peters would later play for and manage the Blades. The goals from this match can be viewed in my video below.

Ron Greenwood’s Hammers went on to finish in 12th place in the 1965/66 Division One season while John Harris’ Sheffield United ended up in ninth. Liverpool won the league title and Everton won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Jim Standen, Dennis Burnett, Bobby Moore, Ken Brown, Jack Burkett, Peter Brabrook, Martin Peters, Ron Boyce, John Sissons, Geoff Hurst, Johnny Byrne.

Sheffield United: Alan Hodgkinson, Len Badger, Reg Matthewson, Joe Shaw, Ken Mallender, Alan Woodward, Barry Wagstaff, Tony Wagstaff, Gil Reece, Alan Birchenall, Mick Jones.

Club Connections

West Ham United and Sheffield United have shared a number of personnel over the years. Ravel Morrison could face his former club, while a run-through of others who have represented both clubs includes:

Goalkeepers: Ted Hufton, Tom McAlister, Bill Biggar, Richard Wright and Mervyn Day.

Defenders: Jon Harley, Matthew Kilgallon, David Unsworth, Jimmy Holmes, Wayne Quinn, Simon Webster and Fred Milnes.

Midfielders: Kyel Reid, George Ratcliffe, Joe Cockroft, Herbert Winterhalder, Lou Raisbeck, Don Hutchison and Jim Simmons.

Strikers: Billy Barnes, Henri Camara, David Kelly, Brian Deane, Peter Kyle, Dick Leafe and Kenny McKay.

Martin Peters played for West Ham and Sheffield United; he also managed the Blades.

This week’s focus though is on a player who had a relatively short stint at Upton Park. Franz Carr was born in Preston on 24th September 1966 – he was a winger who could run the 100m in 10.02 seconds but who his ex-Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough described as “the best bloody corner-flag hitter in the country”. He won the League Cup with Forest in 1989 and 1990 but the writing was on the wall when he was locked in a City Ground boiler room by Clough after a dismal performance against Oldham. He had a 12-game loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday before joining the Second Division Hammers in another loan deal in March 1991 after injury had sidelined Trevor Morley.

Despite the Hammers enjoying a successful season which would end in promotion for Billy Bonds’ side, the 24-year-old Carr did not taste victory in any of his three matches as a West Ham player. His debut would represent his only start, in a 2-1 defeat at Oxford on 13th March 1991; he made a substitute appearance in a 3-1 home loss to Sheffield Wednesday three days later before his third and final appearance for the club, also from the bench, in a 0-0 draw at Hull on 23rd March 1991. He would return to his parent club who would go on to beat the Hammers in the FA Cup semi-final the following month.

Carr, who also scored one goal in nine matches for England Under-21s, left the City Ground in the summer of 1991 to sign for Ossie Ardiles’ Newcastle for a fee of £250,000. Three games into the 1992/93 First Division season, the Magpies led West Ham by two goals to nil at St James’ Park (the second coming from fellow former Hammer and Blade David Kelly) when Julian Dicks was given his first red card of three in 1992/93. Julian takes up the story about what he describes as his only regret in football:

“I remember playing at Newcastle one day and little Franz Carr was giving me the runaround. He could give me seven yards start and still beat me over ten. In the end I remember him coming towards me and I just decided to elbow him in the face. I remember it so clearly, I just had to do it. It was so premeditated and right in front of the Newcastle fans. I didn’t bother waiting for the red card, I just walked off!”

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Kevin Keegan’s signing of future Hammer Rob Lee from Charlton would spell the beginning of the end for Carr on Tyneside, having scored three goals in 25 games. He departed for Premier League side Sheffield United in January 1993 and made his debut for the Blades in a 3-0 win over John Lyall’s Ipswich at Bramall Lane on 16th January 1993. He scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 defeat to eventual champions Manchester United at Old Trafford on 6th February 1993 and followed that up with another strike in a 2-0 home win over Middlesbrough three days later. Carr scored his third goal for the Blades in a 6-0 win over Tottenham on 2nd March. He is pictured above playing at Wembley in the all-Sheffield FA Cup semi-final on 3rd April 1993, an encounter won 2-1 by Sheffield Wednesday after extra-time.

Carr scored one goal for the Blades in the 1993/94 season, in a 3-2 defeat at Ipswich on 26th February 1994. His last game for the club was a 2-1 home defeat to Aston Villa on 16th April 1994 – the Blades were relegated at the end of the campaign. After four goals in 22 appearances for Sheffield United, Carr moved to Leicester later in 1994 before going on to play for Aston Villa, Reggiana, Bolton, West Brom and Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Now 53, Carr now works in sports management.


The referee on Saturday will be David Coote. The Nottingham-based official will take charge of a West Ham game for only the third time – his only other Hammers appointments were for our 2-0 defeat at Burnley last December and, more recently, our 3-0 loss at Wolves in January.

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Coote has refereed three Premier League matches so far this season – he has issued nine yellow cards, one red and awarded no penalties.

Possible line-ups

For West Ham United, Aaron Cresswell is available but Lukasz Fabianski, Winston Reid and Michail Antonio are all out. The Hammers have won just one of their last seven home meetings with Sheffield United in all competitions. The Irons haven’t lost consecutive league games at London Stadium since September 2018 but have also won none of their last nine Premier League games in October, since winning 1-0 against Sunderland in October 2016.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has a fully fit squad to select from. Right wing-back George Baldock is the younger brother of former Hammers striker Sam Baldock. Ex-Hammer Ravel Morrison is unlikely to start against his former club but could feature from the bench. The Blades are unbeaten away from home this season, winning one and drawing three of their matches away from Bramall Lane – the last newly-promoted team to avoid defeat in their first five away games was Hull back in 2008/09. However, Sheffield United are winless in their last 16 top-flight games in London, drawing five and losing 11 since a 2-1 win at Chelsea in October 1992.

Possible West Ham United XI: Roberto; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Masuaku; Rice; Yarmolenko, Noble, Lanzini, Anderson; Haller.

Possible Sheffield United XI: Henderson; O’Connell, Basham, Egan; Baldock, Fleck, Lundstram, Norwood, Stevens; Mousset, McGoldrick.

Enjoy the game – Up the Hammers!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Everton v West Ham

Blast from the past

West Ham United recorded a rare win at Goodison Park on the 17th October 1959. Bobby Darin was number one with ‘Mack The Knife’, Kenneth More and Lauren Bacall were in UK cinemas in North West Frontier and Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp had been born the day before.

Johnny Cartwright made his league debut for the Hammers at inside-right at the age of 18 – he would make eight appearances for the Irons in total, scoring three goals. Cartwright would go on to represent Crystal Palace and Wimbledon before having a successful coaching career. 26-year-old outside-left Malcolm Musgrove (pictured) struck to give the Hammers a lead which they didn’t relinquish in front of 30,653 – Musgrove would score 20 goals in 48 matches in 1959/60 to end the campaign as the Irons’ top goalscorer.

Ted Fenton’s Hammers, who went third in the league with this win before topping the Football League with victory at Arsenal a month later, went on to finish in 14th place in the 1959/60 Division One season while Johnny Carey’s Everton ended up one place and one point below in 15th. Burnley won the league title and Wolves won the FA Cup.

Everton: Albert Dunlop, Alex Parker, Tommy Jones, John Bramwell, Johnny King, Bobby Collins, Brian Harris, Eddie Thomas, Alan Shackleton, Dave Hickson, Jimmy Harris.

West Ham United: Noel Dwyer, John Bond, Ken Brown, Noel Cantwell, Andy Malcolm, Bobby Moore, Mike Grice, Johnny Cartwright, Vic Keeble, Andy Smillie, Malcolm Musgrove.

Club Connections

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, George Eccles, David Burrows, Bob Young, Lucas Neill, John Russell, Alex McCartney, William Kelly.

Midfielders: Harry Dawson, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Don Hutchison, Joe Blythe, Mark Ward, Ray Atteveld, Niclas Alexandersson, Danny Williamson, Ian Bishop.

Strikers: Tony Cottee, Chas Crossley, Tony Weldon, Alex McDonald, Mike Newell, Enner Valencia, Nikica Jelavic.

Slaven Bilic played for both clubs and managed the Hammers. Sam Allardyce and David Moyes have managed both the Toffees and the Irons.

Today’s focus though falls on a player who played just 26 matches for West Ham having initially moved to England with Everton. Lars Jacobsen was born in Odense, Denmark, on 20th September 1979 and began his professional career with local club Odense in the 1996/97 season. After 112 league appearances, and having won the Danish second tier title in 1999 and the Danish Cup in 2002, the right-back moved to Hamburg in the summer of 2002. He returned to Denmark in January 2004, signing for Odense’s rivals FC Copenhagen. Whilst in the Danish capital, he won the title in 2004, 2006 and 2007 and also made his full international debut for Denmark in a 2-0 friendly victory against Israel in 2006. He returned to Germany in the summer of 2007, signing for Nurnberg with whom he had an injury-hit spell.

After one season, the 28-year-old Jacobsen was on the move again, this time to England. He joined David Moyes’ Everton on a free transfer in late August 2008, turning down moves to France, Norway and Spain. He dislocated his shoulder whilst on international duty and did not make his debut for the Toffees until 21st March 2009, in a 2-1 defeat against Portsmouth at Fratton Park. His only full 90 minutes came in a 3-1 win over West Ham on 16th May 2009, a game which saw Radoslav Kovac score his first goal for the Hammers. Two weeks later, Jacobsen made his last appearance for Everton as a half-time substitute in the FA Cup Final against Chelsea, a match the Toffees would lose 2-1. He made six appearances for Everton, without scoring.

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After spending the 2009/10 season at Blackburn, the 30-year-old Jacobsen signed for Avram Grant’s West Ham United on summer transfer deadline day in 2010 and made his debut in a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea at Upton Park on 11th September 2010. Jacobsen had joined a struggling West Ham side and played 12 consecutive matches which yielded only one win – albeit against Tottenham – and two clean sheets. A heel injury kept Jacobsen out for two months either side of Christmas – by the time he returned the Hammers were in trouble that they ultimately couldn’t escape from. Jacobsen made his final appearance in claret and blue as a substitute under caretaker manager Kevin Keen in a 3-0 home defeat to Sunderland on 22nd May 2011, with the Irons already relegated. After 26 appearances for West Ham United, Jacobsen was released following the Hammers’ relegation to the Championship and he returned to FC Copenhagen in the summer of 2011.

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Jacobsen netted his only international goal in a 4-1 European Championship qualifying win in Cyprus in October 2011. He had been part of Denmark’s squad at the 2010 World Cup and was also in the Danes’ Euro 2012 squad. He won 81 caps in total for his country between 2006 and 2015. He won the Danish Cup for a second time in 2012 and the Danish league title for a fourth time in 2013. Jacobsen moved to France in the summer of 2014, signing for Guingamp. Jacobsen, now 40, retired from football in the summer of 2016.


Saturday’s referee is 38-year-old Paul Tierney. The Lancashire-based official has refereed the Hammers on six previous occasions. His most recent Irons appointment was our 2-0 home win against Norwich in August, while he was also in charge the last time we met Everton, in our 2-0 defeat in east London in March. He also refereed our 3-0 win at Newcastle in December.

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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 Javier Hernandez. He also refereed our goalless draw at Shrewsbury in the third round of the FA Cup in January 2018.

Possible line-ups

Everton’s Jean-Philippe Gbamin is out injured and Fabian Delph is a doubt for the visit of the Hammers, while Seamus Coleman is suspended. Everton have lost five of their last six league matches. The Toffees have won more Premier League matches (25) and scored more goals (83) against West Ham than any other team.

For West Ham United, Lukasz Fabianski, Winston Reid and Michail Antonio are on the sidelines. Aaron Cresswell, Declan Rice and Robert Snodgrass should all be available.

Possible Everton XI: Pickford; Sidibe, Mina, Keane, Digne; Gomes, Delph; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Iwobi; Calvert-Lewin.

Possible West Ham United XI: Roberto; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice; Yarmolenko, Noble, Lanzini, Anderson; Haller.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

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