Dan Coker's Match Preview

With England playing the Netherlands in the Nations League Semi-Finals tomorrow, here’s my look at the Hammers’ Dutch Connections…

Ray Atteveld

Ray Atteveld was born in Amsterdam on 8th September 1966 and began his career with Haarlem in 1985 before signing for Everton in 1989. A tough-tackling midfielder who could also deputise at right-back, he made 68 appearances for the Toffees, scoring two goals.

In February 1992, the 25-year-old Atteveld was signed on a month’s loan by Billy Bonds as West Ham battled against relegation from the First Division. Atteveld actually made more appearances in the FA Cup for the Hammers than he did in the league, making his debut by starting the fifth round tie at Sunderland’s Roker Park which ended in a 1-1 draw on 15th February 1992; he was again selected for the replay back at Upton Park 11 days later. John Byrne’s double put the Second Division Wearsiders in control before two wonder strikes from Martin Allen put the Irons back on terms. David Rush grabbed the winner as Sunderland progressed all the way to the Final that year. Atteveld’s only league appearance for West Ham was sandwiched in between the two cup ties, at Hillsborough in a 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

Atteveld left Everton for Bristol City in the summer of 1992 but departed for Belgium’s Waregem the following year. He returned to the Netherlands with Roda and went on to have spells with fellow Dutch sides Vitesse, Groningen and Den Haag before retiring in 2002. Atteveld has since managed Roda and Den Haag in his native country as well as AEL Limassol in Cyprus. He later worked as a consultant academy coach at FC Banants Yerevan in Armenia before moving to Kazakhstan in 2013 where he worked as Academy Director at FC Kairat Almaty. Atteveld is currently Assistant Performance Director at Israeli club Maccabi Tel-Aviv, a post he has held since 2016 – he is responsible for the development of the Under-11 to Under-16 age groups at the club.

Jeroen Boere

Jeroen Boere was born in Arnhem on 18th November 1967. He started his career with Excelsior in 1985 before moving to De Graafschap two years later. An old-fashioned centre-forward in the target man mould, Boere moved to VVV-Venlo in 1988 but returned to De Graafschap in a loan deal – he scored an impressive 28 goals in 56 appearances during his two spells with De Graafschap. Boere was on the move again in 1990, signing for Roda JC but he returned to VVV-Venlo later that same year. He joined Go Ahead Eagles in 1991 before moving to England two years later.

The 25-year-old Boere joined Billy Bonds’ newly-promoted West Ham United for a fee of £250,000 in September 1993, hot on the heels of the arrivals of David Burrows, Mike Marsh and Lee Chapman. He suffered an ignominious debut on 25th September 1993, receiving a red card for an elbow on Kevin Scott in a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle shortly after entering the fray as a substitute. Boere scored his first goal for the Hammers in a 2-0 League Cup second round second leg win at Chesterfield on 5th October 1993. He made only three further appearances in claret and blue in 1993/94 and spent the final weeks of the campaign on loan at Portsmouth.

Embed from Getty Images

Boere joined West Brom on loan in the early stages of the 1994/95 campaign, with Harry Redknapp now in the manager’s hotseat at Upton Park. He returned to east London in November 1994 with the Irons entrenched in a relegation battle; he scored his first league goal for the club in his first Premier League start, in a 2-1 defeat at QPR on 4th December 1994. Boere followed this up with a brace of headers the following weekend in a 2-2 draw at Leeds, salvaging a point from Elland Road after the Hammers had been two goals down. Forging a promising strike partnership with Tony Cottee, Boere scored with another header against Tottenham at the Boleyn on 14th January 1995 but the Irons would lose 2-1 to a Spurs side inspired by goalscorers Jurgen Klinsmann and future Hammer Teddy Sheringham. Boere’s strike against Tottenham’s Ian Walker did, however, deny the goalkeeper a chance to break a consecutive clean sheets record held by Ray Clemence.

With the return from injury of Don Hutchison, Boere found his first team opportunities again restricted, although he did score in a 3-0 home win over Wimbledon on 13th April 1995 and bagged a vital late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Ipswich four days later, which would transpire to be his final goal for the club. He made his final appearance in claret and blue as a substitute in a 1-1 home draw with Tottenham on 30th August 1995 before joining Crystal Palace the following month as part of the deal which brought Iain Dowie back to Upton Park for a second spell. Boere had scored seven goals in 29 appearances for West Ham United – all of these goals can be viewed in my video below.

After six months with the Eagles, Boere moved to Southend in March 1996 and spent two years at Roots Hall before moving to Japan to play for Saitama-based Omiya Ardija. In May 1999, after dinner with his wife at a restaurant in Tokyo, he was stabbed in his left eye and arm by two unknown men; his attacker was reported to be an Israeli criminal who was later found shot through the head in a Bangkok river. Boere lost his eye in the incident, forcing his retirement from football at the age of 31.

After his retirement, Boere owned The Half Moon pub in Epping High Street from 1999 until 2004. He moved to Spain in September 2004 to work as a real estate agent. Jeroen Boere tragically died at the age of just 39, on 16th August 2007. Reports regarding the circumstances of Boere’s death are conflicting; some outlets reported that the Dutchman died in a car crash, possibly on Ibiza, while other media reported that he was found dead at his home in Marbella. The Ilford Recorder stated that Boere had committed suicide. Boere left his wife and child, as well as two sons from a previous marriage.

Marco Boogers

Marco Boogers was born in Dordrecht on 12th January 1967. He started his career with second tier Dordrecht in 1986 before moving to top flight side Utrecht in 1988. He signed for RKC Waalwijk in 1990 but was soon on the move again, this time to Fortuna Sittard in 1991. Boogers joined Sparta Rotterdam in 1992 and finally settled, staying at the club for three seasons and helping the club to secure finishes in the lower-to-mid-table region of the Eredivisie in each of his campaigns with the club.

Embed from Getty Images

The 28-year-old Boogers moved to England in the summer of 1995, signing for Harry Redknapp’s West Ham United in a deal worth around £1m. The centre-forward made his debut as a second-half substitute in a 2-1 home defeat to Leeds on 19th August 1995, the opening day of the 1995/96 season. Boogers is infamously remembered for his second appearance in claret and blue four days later, again as a substitute and this time at Old Trafford in a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United. The Dutchman was sent off after scything down Gary Neville and was struck with a four-match ban for reckless behaviour. The incident can be viewed in my video below.

The myth endures that Boogers then went AWOL to a caravan in the Netherlands. As with many a myth, this is far from the truth. West Ham’s former PA announcer, Bill Prosser, takes up the tale in a 2005 letter to The Guardian:

“Here’s a stitch-up of a work colleague, albeit an accidental one. In the 1990s I was the PA announcer at Upton Park. I also handled all of the club’s travel arrangements. You will remember that Marco Boogers famously went a bit doolally shortly after joining the club and was reported to be living in a caravan in Holland… Unfortunately it is untrue and it is my fault. Marco was depressed after being sent off in his second appearance for West Ham at Old Trafford and disappeared for a few days. West Ham’s Clubcall reporter phoned me and said he was trying to find Boogers for an interview but could not reach him. He asked if I had booked any flights for him. I told him I hadn’t, but added: ‘If he has gone back to Holland, he’s probably gone by car again.’ The reporter misheard me and stated on Clubcall that I had said: ‘If he’s gone back to Holland, he’s probably gone to his caravan.’ As you know, journalists often listen to Clubcall. Which explains why, the following day, the back page headline in The Sun was: ‘Barmy Boogers Living In A Caravan’. The legend endures … I feel a bit responsible for his misfortune.”

Boogers returned to first team action in east London in November 1995, making his third appearance for the club, again as a substitute, in a 4-1 home defeat to Aston Villa on 4th November 1995. He started, and scored, in Alvin Martin’s second testimonial, against Chelsea, a week later but could not repeat this form in league matches. He made his fourth and final appearance in claret and blue, yet again as a substitute, in a 4-2 defeat at Blackburn on 2nd December 1995. Writing in his 2014 autobiography, Harry Redknapp said of Boogers:

“Some of the risks were extreme. After being asked what I thought was a ridiculous amount by Bristol Rovers for a striker called Marcus Stewart in 1995, we went with Marco Boogers of Sparta Rotterdam, having only watched him on video. Other managers had bought on taped evidence but that had never been my way. Yet we were running out of time, the season was about to start, Boogers looked good, and would cost half of what Rovers wanted for Stewart. What the tapes never show, however, is what a player is like as a trainer, or a person. Boogers was hard work. The players didn’t like him, and he was a lazy worker. He got one kick in our second game of the season at Old Trafford, but it was on Gary Neville, and he was shown a red card. This caused him to become depressed, he claimed, and he returned to Holland. Very soon, we made that arrangement permanent.

Boogers joined Groningen on loan in February 1996. He was blighted by knee problems and returned to former club RKC Waalwijk a year later. He joined Volendam later in 1997 and ended his career back where it began, at Dordrecht, with a four-year spell between 1999 and 2003. He remained with his hometown club as technical director after retiring as a player and was briefly caretaker manager in 2005. Boogers is pictured on the left in the image below; he left the club in August 2017.

Embed from Getty Images