Blast from the past
Queen Elizabeth II once remarked that “1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an Annus Horribilis” – Her Majesty could have been referring to Prince Andrew separating from Fergie, Princess Anne divorcing Captain Mark Phillips, the release of Princess Diana’s revealing book or Windsor Castle catching fire. Much more likely, however, is the possibility that at the forefront of her chagrin was the dwindling fortune of her beloved bubble-blowers as the Hammers suffered a calendar year which included a disastrous relegation from the top flight, the ignominy of being taken to an FA Cup replay by non-league Farnborough and a League Cup exit at the first hurdle at the hands of Third Division Crewe.
As Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle ran away with the First Division title from the outset, West Ham had done enough in the closing months of 1992 to position themselves amongst the pack hunting the second automatic promotion spot to the newly-formed Promised Land known as the Premier League. The Hammers underlined their credentials as promotion candidates with a thoroughly convincing win on Sunday 11th October 1992 when this weekend’s visitors to Upton Park, Sunderland, rolled into town for a game televised live on ITV.
The Shamen were number one with ‘Ebeneezer Goode’ and the Irons were more than good enough in notching up a 6-0 win over the Wearsiders, 24 years after the 8-0 triumph over the same opposition which was the subject of an excellent piece by Tony Hanna earlier this week. Further to the three points and boost to the goals-scored column, which would ultimately prove to be priceless in the Hammers’ successful promotion push, the emphatic result acted as revenge for a 5th round FA Cup exit the season before – Sunderland went all the way to the 1992 Final before being defeated 2-0 by Liverpool.
Sunderland had already gone close through their danger man, Don Goodman, before the striker was forced off to receive stitches for a wound above an eye suffered in a collision with Alvin Martin. By the time he returned to the action, his side were two goals down. Kevin Keen cut inside from the left after a short corner routine and fired a stinging effort beyond Tim Carter at the goalkeeper’s near post after 24 minutes before Trevor Morley pounced on defensive indecision to fire home from close in four minutes later. Martin Allen sprung a poor excuse of an offside trap on 39 minutes to deftly lob over the stranded Carter with the outside of his right foot to give the Hammers a commanding three-goal half-time lead.
Goal number four arrived just four minutes into the second half when Alvin Martin stabbed home after a corner and Mark Robson, recently appointed first-team coach at Aston Villa, clipped a fifth over Carter after 62 minutes. Goodman had an 85th-minute opportunity to provide the visiting support with some cheer after Steve Potts brought down Gary Owers and referee Roger Milford pointed to the spot, but his penalty was brilliantly kept out low to his left by Ludek Miklosko to preserve the Hammers’ clean sheet. Robson rounded off the rout in the final minute, scoring his second and West Ham’s sixth with a rebound into an empty net after the exposed Carter could only parry Keen’s shot.
A crowd of just 10,326 turned out for the victory, the lowest at the Boleyn Ground for 35 years. Attendances would improve as the Hammers went on to finish the 1992/93 season in 2nd place, achieving automatic promotion by virtue of scoring one more goal than Portsmouth. Sunderland closed the campaign in 21st position, one point clear of relegation.
West Ham United: Ludek Miklosko, Tim Breacker, Steve Potts, Alvin Martin, Julian Dicks, Mark Robson, Peter Butler, Martin Allen, Kevin Keen, Trevor Morley, Clive Allen.
Sunderland: Tim Carter, John Kay, Gary Bennett, Kevin Ball, Anton Rogan, Shaun Cunnington (David Rush), Gary Owers, Martin Gray, Gordon Armstrong (Brian Atkinson),
Don Goodman, Peter Davenport.
A large number of players have worn the shirts of both Sunderland and West Ham United. Of the current crop, Stewart Downing will be facing the team he spent a successful loan period with back in 2003 while Hammers manager Sam Allardyce also played for the Wearsiders. Jermain Defoe will return to his former club. A brief run-through of some others who have represented both clubs is best served by dividing them by playing position.
Defenders: Danny Collins, Matt Kilgallon, Keith Coleman, Gary Breen, Ernie England, Tal Ben Haim, Wayne Bridge, George McCartney, Calum Davenport, Andy Melville, Anton Ferdinand, Clive Clarke.
Midfielders: Harry Hooper, Don Hutchison.
Strikers: Billy Moore, David Bellion, Lee Chapman, Brian Deane, Pop Robson, David Kelly, Dave Swindlehurst, David Connolly, Jack Foster, Dick Bell.
Paolo Di Canio also played for the Hammers and managed the Black Cats.
Today’s focus though is on a frizzy-haired centre-half who made his name at Sunderland in the early 1970s before turning out for the Hammers. Mick McGiven was born in Newcastle on the 7th February 1951. He joined Sunderland as a schoolboy and was thrown into the team as an 18-year-old by manager Alan Brown, featuring in every league game in his first full season as Sunderland suffered relegation from Division One in 1969/70. McGiven played 15 times in the second tier during the following campaign, chipping in with three goals, two of which were winners against Norwich and Bristol City at Roker Park. 1971/72 was much improved for Sunderland as they finished fifth in the table, missing out on promotion by only four points – McGiven featured more prominently too as he recorded 38 appearances in all competitions, scoring four goals. After a poor start to the 1972-73 campaign, manager Brown was replaced by Bob Stokoe. McGiven played 20 games in one of the most memorable years in Sunderland’s history but didn’t play in the latter rounds of the FA Cup-winning campaign, though he did feature in both games against Notts County in the third round. McGiven played five more games for Sunderland during the 1973-74 campaign before joining West Ham United on loan – a move he would later make permanent for £20,000 after playing 113 games for Sunderland, scoring 9 goals.
McGiven made his Hammers debut on 1st December 1973 in the annual Anfield defeat, with the Irons only losing 1-0 on this occasion. He made 21 league appearances in the remainder of the campaign, as well as playing in both games in the FA Cup third round as Hereford shocked the Hammers. McGiven missed the entire 1974/75 season through injury, returning in an FA Cup third round home defeat to Liverpool on 3rd January 1976 as the FA Cup-holding Hammers relinquished their grip on the trophy at the first hurdle. He appeared on nine further occasions in 1975/76, including both legs against Den Haag in the European Cup Winners’ Cup. McGiven played 18 matches in all competitions in 1976/77 but only managed 4 the following season. His final match was the 0-0 home draw with Nottingham Forest on 8th October 1977 – after 56 goalless appearances for West Ham United, McGiven’s career was prematurely cut short by injury.
John Lyall handed McGiven a position on the coaching staff and, along with Ronnie Boyce, led the Hammers to FA Cup success in 1980, promotion in 1981 and a third-placed finish in the top flight in 1986. Following relegation and Lyall’s sacking in 1989, McGiven remained under new manager Lou Macari but walked out on 4th January 1990 after becoming disillusioned with the new manager’s regime. He spent nine months working with Chelsea’s youth team before teaming up again with Lyall at Ipswich, helping the Tractor Boys to the 1992 Second Division title and a place in the inaugural Premier League. He returned to Chelsea in the mid-1990s, playing his part in the development of former England captain John Terry. Now 64, McGiven is currently Chelsea’s Senior Opposition Scout.
Saturday’s referee will be Lee Mason from Greater Manchester. Mason refereed four of our games last season, 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 has officiated in one Hammers Premier League match this term, that being 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.
Sam Allardyce will have Carl Jenkinson back and may be able to call on Winston Reid, who will have a late fitness test on Saturday morning. Enner Valencia, James Tomkins and Andy Carroll all remain unavailable though.
New Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat will be without the injured Emanuele Giaccherini but Will Buckley could return. Adam Johnson is back in contention after his club suspension was lifted earlier this week. Ageing centre-back pairing John O’Shea and Wes Brown could be the first casualties of Advocaat’s reign after last week’s 4-0 home humiliation at the hands of Aston Villa. Lee Cattermole is suspended.
Possible West Ham United XI: Adrian; Jenkinson, Collins, Reid, Cresswell; Song, Kouyate, Noble; Downing, Jarvis; Sakho.
Possible Sunderland XI: Pantilimon; Jones, Vergini, Coates, van Aanholt; Johnson, Rodwell, Larsson, Alvarez; Wickham, Defoe.
Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!