Nigel Kahn’s Column

Its Called Silly Season for a Reason

Summer months for the news outlets is generally known as the silly season, the reason is not a lot happens so they have to scratch around for any news stories they can find.
It seems that this season that has transpired to the west ham news outlets, they seem to be struggling for genuine transfer news which probably most of the fan base are pleased but it certainly leaves those that make their name from being "in the know’ to coin a phrase scratching around and “perhaps” gilding the lily with some of the names we have been linked to.

One story breaking as I type though is West Ham have bid for Soloman Rondon of West Brom. Apparently, we’ve bid 10 mill and a couple of players.
To be honest, I quite like him so wouldn’t be upset to see him join, I generally prefer to welcome every player when signed and if he pulls the shirt he will get my support as the manager has obviously seen something in him.

Sometimes I do enjoy baiting the ITKs which is childish but it makes me laugh as sometimes I am party to as much info as they have so can see through the spin of their embellishing of possible contact, but as it is the silly season as well, why not be silly about it.

WHUISA, what a joke they are now.

Hammers United still growing but i still find it strange that they think they can force the owners to talk to them, won’t happen, nor will it end well unless they change the path they are on.

OSB, they keep being bypassed on the big club decisions, Season tickets, and Socios social media influence.

So who is best for proper fan representation, I’m not sure I know, but WHUISA & HU won’t talk to club direct unless it is on their terms, the club won’t talk to them unless they join OSB, who the club only talk to on the subjects they choose.

Personally, i am about finished with WHUISA. they are about as democratic as Russia is in my book, Shameful behaviour by some that started a petition to remove the elected chairman & Vice chairman, they wouldn’t reveal themselves but closed the petition after the resignation of Lew the short-lived chairman and then acting chairman John Ratomski throw in Sue Watson is appointed not only to the committee but is chairman.

Co-incidence? In the words of Hong Kong Phoey, “could be”

People keep saying that the fans need to be united but for me the only way that will ever happen is when a new owner comes in, as they are not burdened by the hatred of many including me over undeliverable claims of the move and the world-class team quote and all the other guff they came out with to increase the share price of West Ham. They are sticks that will always be used to beat the current mob ruining, sorry I meant running our club.

Lastly, with the signing of Four Nails I got to wondering about other building based footballers we could team him up with, so here are a few others we could look at.

Ben Ham(m)er – Huddersfield
Eden (Trip) Hazard – Madrid
Mark DEWALTers – Ex Villa & Liverpool
Makita Jelavic – Ex Birmingham City.

Feel free to add your silly tool named footballers to the list, it is the silly season you know.


West H.A.M in the good ole U.S of A

Flicking through some of my old football magazines recently I was reminded of the original North American Soccer League over in the states, not only that though it seems West Ham were very well represented across the league during the 70s. Some I knew had been out there like “Arry” and Clyde Best but then I discovered others and the list just grew including a couple of surprises.
Pike USA

Geoff made his West Ham debut in March of 1976, he was 20 and had come through the ranks with the likes of Alvin Martin, Mervyn Day and Alan Curbishley.
In the Summer of 76, he joined the Hartford Bicentennial’s, so named as in 76 America was celebrating its 200th year of drinking coffee instead of Tea.
The Bi’s as they were known, (stop sniggering people I’m serious) was a new franchise, started in 75 and recruited quite a few English players into their roster.
They changed their name in 77 to Connecticut Bicentennials, where their coach was to be a certain Malcolm Musgrave, one of the original Cassetari boys and an Ex Man United manager. as per their previous season in 76, they were not successful and one story from a coach I have found regards a game against San Jose Earthquakes who included George Best in their side.

“We used to cut the grass so high in the Yale Bowl that the other teams had trouble playing. It was like two or three inches high.
One time we were playing the Los Angeles Aztecs in New Haven and they had a bunch of foreign stars including Georgie Best. They came into town early in the week and were staying in a motel about ten miles away. Our Head Coach Malcolm Musgrove says ‘Rudi, go over there and see what they’re doing.’ I went over and sat next to the pool for most of the week and they were just drinking themselves to death and sneaking out every night, you know?
I came back and told Musgrove ‘Coach, we’ll kill these guys! They won’t be able to make the second half. They’re all drunk.’ They beat us 5-3. Musgrove said ‘You should have found out what kind of whiskey they were drinking.”
In 1977 Milan Mandaric bought the club and moved it, as is the way with franchise sports in the U.S over to the West Coast and Oakland. Just one year later he sold them and they became the Alberta Drillers in Canada until folding in 1982.
Geoff played 39 games scoring 8 goals and assisting in 10, and can claim to have played against the likes of Best and Pele as well. An experience that would stand him good stead for the rest of his career.

Hurst USA

In 1976 Hurst was finishing his time as a professional in England, his time at West Brom brought his career here to a close and so for possibly one last hurrah, or for a nice bit of wedge, he joined the NASL circus at Seattle Sounders.
The Sounders were packed with Brits and Hurst would team up with an old friend from his West Ham days, old Arry.
They though only had an average season with Hurst scoring 8 goals from 20 games with 4 assists, not bad considering his age at the time (37).
The next season though the sounders would fair better,
Under a new manager, Ex Everton, Southampton and Bournemouth player Jimmy Gabrial and though Hurst never returned, Harry was back and this time joined by Bobby Howe. Sounders would finish 3rd in the league but through the playoff system, they qualified for Soccer Bowl 77 where they faced the New York Cosmos.
Pele, Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto and Italian legend Chingalia. Cosmos would win 2-1.
But Seattle would sign their own world superstar in 1978, the one and only Bobby Moore.

Moore USA

In 1976 while still at Fulham, Bob joined the San Antonio Thunder for a summer of football.
Thunder was a new franchise and 76 was only their 2nd season in existence. playing in the heat of Texas in the aptly named, Alamo stadium they struggled and finished off the pace and out of the playoff picture. Bob would play in more games than any other player for the Thunder that season.
It seems San Antonio wasn’t ready for Soccer and didn’t realise the value they had in Moore, as their average attendance was a [poultry four and a half thousand, and with that in mind the franchise moved to pastures new.
Bobby went to Seattle to join Harry while Thunder went to Hawaii and became Team Hawaii.

In a strange quirk of fate, in 1976 to help them celebrate the Bicentennial, The yanks invited over their old landlords to play in a soccer tournament, England along with Brazil & Italy would play with TEAM USA, in a four-team tournament. As the USA didn’t have anywhere near the quality of players they possess these days, they drafted in the best of the foreign legion in the NASL.
Pele, Chingalia from NY Cosmos, Ex-Spurs and Wales but aptly named Mike England, and Bobby Moore.
This led to Moore playing against England in their final group game, with Moore on the losing side as England ran out 3-1 winners thanks to 2 goals from Keegan and 1 from Gerry Francis. It seems this is not classed as a full international game by England as Keegan’s goals or appearance does not appear in his record.

I will finish off with a team mentioned above in regards San Jose Thunder moving and being renamed.
Now we know Bobby Moore didn’t move with Thunder so why would I mention Team Hawaii.
Well, it turns out if there is one team in the NASL forever linked with the hammers it turns out its Hawaii.
Five of their 20 players were from West Ham, Tommy Taylor, Keith Coleman, Keith Robson, Yilmaz Orhan and Pat Holland all played for Hawaii in 1977.
They lost 15 of their 26 games, losing 11 (draws not allowed in the US) and again only averaged around four thousand fans. Orhan played the most games, 24, and Pat Holland along with Keith Robson scored 4 goals each, Robson’s goals came in only 11 games though so a good ratio for him.
One season only in Hawaii before they were shipped off to Tulsa to become the Roughnecks but not one West Ham player followed them.

Pat Holland TH

Many other Hammers played in NASL including
Clyde Best (Portland Timbers 1978-1981 & various others)

Clive Charles (Portland Timbers 1978-1981)

Dennis Burnett (St Louis Stars 1977-1978)
Ade Coker (Various teams 1974 -1988)
coker & Jennings

Billy Jennings (Chicago Sting 1977)
Paddon USA

Graham Paddon (Tampa Bay Rowdies 1978)

Alan Taylor (Vancouver Whitecaps 1980-1984)

Nigel Kahn’s Column

Lifetime Collecting Prt 2

This week I continue on giving you all a taste of my collection and perhaps some examples of some of the easy ways for kids to start their own collections without spending too much money (to begin with)
When I say I collect anything to do with West Ham I generally do mean anything, if it has a badge or link to the club, I’m interested. I may not buy it but I’m always interested and the more obscure the better I like it, even to the point I have a carrier bag collection.
Ticket stubs were again, one of the first things I kept. As with my programmes, it just started as not throwing anything away but then it grew. It was helpful my Uncle was in the ticket (cough) industry so could supply me easily with them.

The pic shows some of my favourites, including the Liverpool East Terrace ticket and the Spurs South Bank ticket. Special for two reasons, not many terraces back in the day needed a ticket to get onto them, you just queued up and paid on the door, so to have those two is rare I like to think. What sets them apart is they have the counterfoil, which makes them not only very rare but adds a bit to the value I’m told. But as I say to those who ask about the value of stuff I have, its only worth it, if I was selling, since I’m a collector, not a seller, I’m not interested in its worth.
Over the years the west ham ticket style constantly changed, but I believe I have at least 1 ticket from every year since the late 70s. Of course these days with ticket scanning, you can’t tell if a ticket has been used or not but I have some very nice tickets from games gone by. Ive shown some of my England tickets as well, I must admit the old Wembley tickets are my favourites.

I think the cigarette card collections started in the 1920s, I bought a set at Walthamstow town hall boot sale 1 Sunday for about £20 I think back in 1992, I had just bought my 1st house and thought my neighbour who was in his 80s would love to hear about them, he was blind but used to go West Ham back in the day before he lost his sight.
I was sitting in his living room, showing reading him out the names, What you know about Len Gouldon, I said. Len said his wife, that’s old Len across the road, used to play for West Ham. So off Isabelle went to get Old Len, in he came, and, yes, The cigarette card I had of West Hams own Len Gouldon was indeed Old Len. He then tells us that Tommy Lawton was the best forward of the time, had great feet, in his opinion, better than Dixie Dean.
You can see the card with Old Len in the picture, the more modern-day collection came from the fake cigarette sweets we used to get as kids, I only bought them to get the cards as I never really liked those sticks, too sweet for me. The West Ham collection in the binder is Hammers News all-time West Ham 100. A collection that came every month with Hammers News every month I think around 2008.
Also, are some of the very modern-day Match Attax cards, I bought a complete set for my son years ago when trying to get him into football. He wasn’t interested so I gave it away, apart from of course the west ham cards. All add to the collection.

The fanzine started appearing around the late 80s, the first I remembered was On The terraces, swiftly followed by Over Land & Sea. Some of the others are also found in the picture, The Ironworks Gazette which was the name of the actual in house Thames Ironworks magazine that carried the advert by Dave Taylor that he was setting up a football team and needs players. On a mission, The Water in Majorca and the oddly named, We ate all the pies all followed in the 90s. It’s great to read them at times to get a sense of what fans thought at the time and the humour found in them is sadly missing from today’s West Ham. The pic below shows a short-lived but excellent fanzine, 5 Managers. Which was produced for just the last season at the Boleyn, as well as the great Ex Hammer which for me is sadly missed and Blowing Bubbles, which if I’m honest, I struggle to see as a fanzine as its too well produced? Add to the fact they had David Gold write for them I can’t say im a fan of it. If anyone knows of any others please let me know

Lastly for today, if any of you heard last weeks Moore than just a podcast, podcast, then you would have heard about a West Ham programme that recently sold for over 3,000 pounds. it was from the 60s I think but it was for a game that was never played as it was called off in advance, and apparently, there was only 2 known in existence.
I then mentioned that I used to go to the ground if a game was called off and buy a programme if they were on sale.
The first time I did this was Boxing Day 1979, my uncle came to pick me up but said the game was called off. I got upset so he took me to the ground to prove it was off, outside the gates was a programme seller so my uncle bought me one to try to cheer me up.
The game wasn’t played until April which obviously means a totally different programme was needed.
The game itself is well known as Billy Bonds was sent off for fighting with Colin Todd that night and also it was the first game back at Upton Park of local lad and former hero, Alan Curbishley.
I can’t say I know what the Un-played game programme is worth but as I said before, Its only worth something if I’m selling.

Thanks for reading

Nigel Kahn’s Column

Lifetime Collecting Part 1


As many of you know, I am a collector of West Ham memorabilia. Or ‘crap’ as my wife would say.

Housed in my shed, I’ll admit I have a large collection of all different things. Basically, if it has a West Ham logo on it, or it’s attached to West Ham in any way, I’m interested in it.
I am often asked though how I started collecting and what got me into it. Basically, it started with the match day programme. Every game my uncle would buy me a programme, which I kept as a memento of the game. Back then it was handy sized, especially for a kid’s hands. It could fit in a pocket and didn’t have 30 pages of adverts. It basically told you news, both ticket and team, games coming up, and a small history section which is where my love of the history of the club stemmed from. Not forgetting a couple of pics from the previous game and the info on the team we were playing. Once I got through Bill Remfry’s (club DJ back in the day) column, I was basically as happy as a pig in s***.

Match weekly 1

I am a hoarder but at the age of seven I didn’t know it. I kept everything I had to do with West Ham and football in general. As a kid, I got every week bought for me, again by my uncle, Shoot & Match Weekly magazine. Match started in September 1979 and my mum said I was only allowed to keep one, the other had to go once I had finished reading it, so I kept Match as I had No1. I still have issue 1 now, along with every other issue up to 1988 when I was 18. I then decided I was a bit old for Match Weekly. I don’t know if it was a kid’s football mag but at 18 I suppose I had to grow up at some point.

The appearance of Match in 1979 coincided with West Ham’s run to the cup final, so it made receiving the issues even sweeter as they often focused on West Ham.

Of course, though, I was still keeping my programmes. I moved onto put them in binders to stop them being damaged. The size changed in 1983, not for the better if you ask me. It is not about being misty-eyed in remembering the small programme but it basically did everything we needed from a programme. It listed the 11 starters for both teams in the middle pages as well as telling us who the one mascot was. I was one of those kids armed with a pen that crossed out those not playing and inserted in my scruffy handwriting the names of the replacement.

The match fact section didn’t really tell us about the games but it just listed the Youth team lineup and result – names we didn’t know, like Houghton or Cowie, but hopefully we would. Sadly, Houghton, we would know about, just not playing for us. A Scottish born Irishman learning his trade at West Ham. I’m sure there is a joke there, apart from the fact we let him go. Cowie was George by the way. He never made it for us, or anywhere else that I can remember. But to this day I know I can use these programmes to look back, especially at the youth match facts and see how prolific Tony Cottee was as a 16-year-old, and I can remember the first time I read his name.

As collecting goes, there’s no real value to most programmes, as collecting them is very popular, though living a short stroll from the ground does have its bonuses in that department.

match W 2

I have a Boxing Day programme from 1979 West Ham at home to Birmingham City, nothing out of the ordinary, except the game was postponed in the morning, I was so upset my uncle took me up to the ground to prove it, where I bought a programme for the game that was later played in April. You know the game, the one where Bonzo was sent off for fighting Colin Todd and nearly missed the cup final. Yup, imagine if he had missed the cup final for that reason, sent off in a game that should have been played before we even started the Journey to Wembley.

So Parents, if you have a football-mad kid and he wants to start collecting, start with programmes, but be warned, over 40 years later their wives may not be thanking you.
Next week I’ll try to share with you some of my unique items that are in my collection, that include West Ham bottled water, (unopened) and even plastic carrier bag collection.
Yes, people, I am that Mad/sad or both.

Lastly, I’m not a great football shirt wearer now, but this season the club have come up trumps with the new kits. We all have our own take on the home kit and the traditional colours of it (shorts) but the away is special, and the fact it comes sponsor free as well. If you want I love, just need to replace the bag on it and it would be a true winner, though sky blue shorts with the white shirt was actually the away kit from 1980. I don’t know why we wore all white in the final as I don’t remember us playing in the all-white away kit in 79/80 until the semi-final.

If you don’t like them, just be rest assured, they will only be here for a season, unlike the good old days or 5 or 6.


The West Ham Father & Sons Club

With the impending arrival of Alvin Martin’s son, David, he will then add the two of them to the select band of father & sons to have been at the club, & I’m sure David hopes to play for the club as well to then be a fully paid-up member of the father & son club.

The first members of this select club were Jim Barrett & his son, also named Jim. Both were proper West Ham born & bread and actually played a reserve or A team game as it was called back then, together in 1946. Big Jim, as the father was fondly known, possibly qualifies as a legend of the club, playing over 500 games in his 20 years making his debut in 1925 and playing his last game in January 1945 just 6 days before his 38th birthday. Upon retiring Big Jim then joined the coaching staff at the club, a true one-club man.

Jim Jnr joined the Hammers from school but had to wait four years before starting his first game. He would play just under 100 times before signing for Nottingham Forest in 1954. He retired aged just 29 but returned to the club as a youth coach assisting the youngsters as they won the FA Youth Cup in 1963, the first time the club had won that trophy. He also continued playing in the A team up to 1967 where his last appearance was as a substitute for a certain Tony Carr.

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Next up is Bill Lansdowne and son Billy. Bill Snr was part of the team that gained promotion to the first division in 1958 but Injury curtailed his appearances as did the emergence of a certain Bobby Moore. Senior would play 67 games in total, scoring 5 goals, but he did not leave the club on retiring, he also joined the coaching staff, progressing up to Youth Coach where he helped bring through a Billy Lansdowne.

I must admit I get a bit misty eyed when I think of Billy Jnr (no, not like that) as 1 night in October 1979 Billy scored a hat-trick against Southend in a league cup replay that the Hammers won 5-1. A couple of weeks before Bill had scored in the league against Burnley. Sadly that sums up Billy Jnrs time at West Ham as he only managed 14 games including sub appearances in total, scoring just those 4 goals, but for the 9-year-old me, he was a hero, if only for just 3 weeks.

Strange thing is, I remember was that his last game wasagainst Swansea in November 1979. It was my only time standing on the West terrace for a first-team game, My cousin took me to the game and he preferred standing rather than use my uncle’s seating season tickets. Billy moved on to Charlton and Gillingham before forging a career in Sweden.

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In 1991 Billy Bonds signed Kenny Brown Jnr from Plymouth and thus he and his dad, Ken Brown, would be the third entrants to the Father-son club. Ken senior was born In Forest Gate and would play over 400 games for his local club, another player where the word legend could be attributed to him. He scored though only 4 goals which Kenny Jnr would surpass in playing only 79 appearances. He scored six times though, none more celebrated than his shinner against Man United in 1992 that infuriated Fergie as United’s title charge was stopped at Upton Park.

Next up are the two Frank Lampards, Senior was a club legend born and brought up in the area and played more times for the club than any other player apart from Billy Bonds.
Frank left to spend a season at Southend playing and assisting Bobby Moore and was brought in to assist Harry Redknapp when he was elevated to become manager, even though Frank had not been in football for nearly 10 years. While assisting Harry, though, they brought through Frank Junior, part of a Golden generation of youth players the club would bring through but not see the best of. Frank Jnr still is sung about by the fans though I’m not sure he appreciates the sentiments.

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Aged just 17 when making his debut, Dan Potts, son of another club Legend Steve, broke the cycle of the father & son club being exclusively for those that shared the same name. Dan, though, didn’t make the same impression as his father, He managed only 13 appearances without scoring. Steve Potts, of course, is famous for the fact he played over 400 times scoring just 1 goal, against Hull, which in truth the keeper should be embarrassed about as he let it through his legs. He was the Hammer of the year twice, 1993 & 1995, and runner up in 1992 and 1994.

Dan is now at Luton Town where strangely enough he plays with not one but two other members of the club. Elliot Lee, son of Plaistow born Rob Lee and George Moncur son of John. Neither of those really troubled the club statisticians with Elliot making 7 appearances scoring just the once, and George gaining just 2 outings.

As we know, the father’s achievements at West Ham outweigh anything their sons have managed and David Martin will never get near achieving what his dad did but for me I always welcome a returning son to the club. Surely when growing up David was a West Ham fan and as such we can forgive him for his dalliance with Millwall. In fact, we could take some glee in that his last gift to Millwall was dropping the ball into the goal allowing Brighton to equalise in this season’s cup quarter-final and allowing Brighton to then knock them out on penalties denying our old enemy a trip to Wembley.

There are some near misses in regards to the Father-Son club as well. Lou Macari brought with him his son Mitch, who was a youth player for a couple of seasons, also Gianfranco Zola’s son, Andreas, was with us as well appearing in reserve games. Of course, both fathers never played for the club but If the sons had made it into the first team I’m sure we could have allowed them in.

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