Dan Coker's Match Preview

Blast from the past

West Ham United arrived at Cassio Road, the former home of this weekend’s opponents Watford, for a Southern League First Division fixture on 28th November 1914 while en route to a fourth-place finish. H.H. Asquith was Prime Minister, Carry On actor Charles Hawtrey was born two days later and, two days before the match, HMS Bulwark was blown apart by an internal explosion at her moorings on the Medway off Kingsnorth, Kent, killing all but nine of her 805 crew. A 1-0 victory in front of a crowd of 2,000 was recorded thanks to a strike from 21-year-old centre-forward Dan Bailey, his fourth goal in five matches. Goalkeeper Joe Webster and outside-left Jimmy Carr featured for the visitors at the home of their former club.

Born in East Ham on 26th June 1893, Bailey (pictured) had joined the Hammers from Custom House and made his debut in a goalless draw with Northampton at Upton Park on 15th March 1913. He took over Danny Shea’s inside-right position when the legendary Irons forward moved to Blackburn for a record £2,000 later that year. For this trip to Watford in November 1914, Bailey was switched to the centre-forward berth in the absence of another West Ham legend Syd Puddefoot – Puddefoot would be the Irons’ top scorer for the 1914/15 season with 18 goals in 37 appearances, while Bailey would bag five goals from 20 appearances. Bailey’s career was badly disrupted by World War One but he returned from service in Egypt to feature for West Ham in the Second Division after the club’s election to the Football League in 1919. After scoring 27 goals in 95 appearances for West Ham United, he departed for Charlton in 1921 – Dan Bailey died at the age of 73 in April 1967.

Syd King’s Hammers ended the 1914/15 season fourth in the Southern League First Division, while Watford topped the table at the end of the campaign. Everton won the league title and Sheffield United won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Joe Webster, Frank Burton, Alfred Tirrell, Bob Whiteman, Bill Askew, Tommy Randall, Herbert Ashton, George Butcher, Dan Bailey, Jack Mackesy, Jimmy Carr.

Club Connections

Former Hammer Domingos Quina is now on Watford’s books. Others to have represented both clubs, divided by position, include:

Goalkeepers: Billy Biggar, David James, Ted Hufton, Perry Suckling, Manuel Almunia, Joe Webster, Jack Rutherford.

Defenders: Jon Harley, Calum Davenport, Lucas Neill, James McCrae, Chris Powell, Colin Foster.

Midfielders: Henri Lansbury, Alan Devonshire, Alessandro Diamanti, Stuart Slater, Jobi McAnuff, Jimmy Lindsay, Joe Blythe, David Noble, Jimmy Carr, Mark Robson, Valon Behrami, Carl Fletcher.

Strikers: James Reid, David Connolly, Mauro Zarate, Jack Foster, Roger Hugo, Billy Jennings, Bertie Lyon.

Len Goulden played for West Ham and managed Watford, while Malky Mackay played for both clubs and went on to manage the Vicarage Road club. Glenn Roeder played for the Hornets and managed both clubs; Gianfranco Zola has managed both the Hammers and the Hornets.

This week’s focus though is on a much-travelled Scottish centre-forward who represented both clubs. Peter Kyle was born in Cadder, East Dunbartonshire, on 21st December 1878 and represented Glasgow and District schools before playing for Glasgow Parkhead. He had been rejected after trial periods with Clyde, Hearts and Thames Ironworks (later to be West Ham United) but did turn out for junior club Larkhall Thistle.

Having reportedly been rejected by Clyde due to possessing a fierce temper, Kyle joined First Division Liverpool in 1899 for £100, playing five league games for the club. Unhappy with mainly reserve team football, he dropped down into the Second Division to sign for Leicester in the summer of 1900. After just over a year in the East Midlands, Kyle was on the move again, signing for West Ham United in the autumn of 1901.

The 22-year-old Kyle (pictured), a heavy-set centre-forward who was over 6’ in height, made his Hammers debut in a 1-0 FA Cup third qualifying round win at Leyton on 2nd November 1901 – it was the only time he would savour victory in a West Ham shirt. He made his only Southern League appearance for the club in a 2-1 defeat at QPR the following week and his final match for the Irons came in a 2-1 FA Cup fourth qualifying round loss at home against Grays United on 16th November 1901. After just three games for West Ham, Kyle was shipped out to fellow Southern League outfit Kettering in a swap deal for Welsh international full-back Bill Jones in December 1901. Jones would spend the remainder of the 1901/02 season in east London, making 15 appearances for the Hammers – Jones was tragically killed in action during World War One, in May 1918, and is buried at the Doiran Military Cemetery in the north of Greece, near the south-east shore of Lake Doiran.

Kyle, meanwhile, represented Kettering in the Southern League before appearing for Wellingborough. He returned to Scotland in September 1902, playing once for Aberdeen before joining Cowdenbeath three months later. He moved to Hearts in the summer of 1903 and represented Larkhall-based side Royal Albert, Port Glasgow Athletic and Partick Thistle in 1904. Kyle returned to the Southern League in 1905, signing for Tottenham – the extrovert centre-forward was involved in an incident which validated those clubs who had been previously concerned about Kyle’s temperament. He was suspended by his club in the spring of 1906 for fighting with Spurs team-mate Chris Carrick, an incident which was deemed “a breach of the club’s training rules”. Teesside-born Carrick had also played for West Ham, but during the 1904/05 season so he had not been a team-mate of Kyle’s at the Hammers.

Kyle was swiftly transferred to First Division Woolwich Arsenal in April 1906 and proved there was little doubt over his footballing ability, scoring 22 goals in 60 senior outings – he was also called up by his country to take part in a trial match in 1907 but never played a full international game for Scotland. Kyle was Arsenal’s top scorer in the top flight in 1907/08 but, with the club strapped for cash, he was sold to First Division rivals Aston Villa before the end of that campaign. By October 1908 the wayward striker was on the move again, staying in the top flight to sign for Sheffield United. His old failing came to the fore once again though when he was sacked for failing to train properly with the Blades and he returned to Scotland with former club Royal Albert in the summer of 1909.

Kyle returned to Southern League football with Watford at the age of 30 in November 1909. He scored four goals in 13 appearances but was released in February 1910 for what was, according to the West Herts Post, “utterly disgraceful and demoralising conduct” which also involved team-mates Frank Cotterill and Jock Grieve. Kyle returned to Scotland to join Royal Albert for a third spell and finished his career at Raith Rovers, whom he joined in July 1911. Peter Kyle died on 19th January 1957 at the age of 78.


The referee tomorrow will be Christopher Kavanagh. The Manchester-born official has refereed the Hammers on eight previous occasions, most recently for our 4-1 win at Watford in May when he sent off the Hornets’ Jose Holebas and awarded the Irons a penalty, converted by Mark Noble after a foul on Michail Antonio. Prior to that, Kavanagh officiated our 2-0 defeat at Chelsea in April and our 2-0 home win over Newcastle in March, a game in which he also awarded the Hammers a penalty for a foul on Chicharito which was again converted by Noble.

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Kavanagh had previously been in charge for our 2-2 home draw with Brighton in January, our 1-1 draw at Huddersfield last November and our 1-0 home defeat to Wolves last September. He was the man in the middle for our 2-0 win at Leicester in May 2018 and also issued Arthur Masuaku with a red card for spitting in an FA Cup fourth round defeat at Wigan in January 2018.

Possible line-ups

Tom Dele-Bashiru, Ismaila Sarr, Troy Deeney and Adalberto Penaranda are out injured for Watford, while Abdoulaye Doucoure and Roberto Pereyra are doubts.

For Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers, Mark Noble, Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller are available but Winston Reid remains out. West Ham have lost only two of their last 15 league matches at Watford.

Possible Watford XI: Foster; Femenia, Dawson, Cathcart, Holebas; Hughes, Capoue, Doucoure, Pereyra; Deulofeu, Gray.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Masuaku; Rice, Noble; Lanzini, Fornals, Anderson; Haller.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!