Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Norwich v West Ham

Blast from the past

“You’d better beware, you’d better take care, you’d better watch out, he ain’t got much hair!” – fans of early ‘70s glam rock will recognise (some of) those lyrics from The Sweet’s ‘Blockbuster’, which was number one on the 10th February 1973 when Norwich failed to heed the warning and the follicly-challenged Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson sealed maximum points for the visiting Hammers. Elsewhere, Last Tango In Paris was in UK cinemas and The Wombles had just made their television debut.

This 1-0 victory at Carrow Road in front of 32,597 was the last time West Ham United won in the league at the home of this weekend’s opponents, Norwich City. The game also saw a debut for midfielder Bertie Lutton who had arrived from Brighton a month earlier. Goalscorer Robson would go on to win the Hammer of the Year award at the end of the season and finish as the club’s (and the Football League’s) top goalscorer with 28 goals from 46 games.

Robson’s strike saw Ron Greenwood’s Hammers continue a march which saw them end up sixth in the First Division. Ron Saunders’ Canaries were to finish in 20th place in 1972/73, two points clear of relegation. Liverpool won the First Division title and Sunderland won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Bobby Ferguson, John McDowell, Tommy Taylor, Bobby Moore, Frank Lampard, Bertie Lutton, Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking, John Ayris, ‘Pop’ Robson, Clyde Best.

Club Connections

A long list of players have turned out for both West Ham United and Norwich City over the years. Robert Snodgrass used to ply his trade at Carrow Road, while Sam Byram welcomes the club he left last summer. Other players who have appeared for both clubs include:

Goalkeeper: Robert Green.

Defenders: Edward Wagstaff, Malky Mackay, John Gurkin, Elliott Ward, John McDowell, Kenny Brown, Calum Davenport, Fred Milnes, Charlie Craig, Mark Bowen, Steve Walford.

Midfielders: Bill Silor, Luke Chadwick, Matt Jarvis, Martin Peters, Gary O’Neil, Henri Lansbury, Scott Parker, David Bentley, Dale Gordon, Johnny Sissons, Jimmy Neighbour, Graham Paddon, Matthew Rush.

Strikers: Billy Ingham, Justin Fashanu, Albert Foan, David Cross, Keith Robson, Alex Birnie, Craig Bellamy, Freddie Kearns, John Hartson, Les Robinson, Tony Cottee, Ron Williams, Ted MacDougall, Alan Taylor, Dean Ashton.

In addition, Glenn Roeder has managed both clubs while ex-Hammers Ken Brown, Archie Macauley, John Bond and Chris Hughton have managed Norwich.

Today’s focus though is on a player who represented both clubs in the very early years of the 20th century. Billy Linward was born in Hull on 8th February 1877 and first played for Grimsby All Saints, from where he moved to Doncaster in the Midland League for the start of the 1895/96 season. Just as Doncaster were elected into the Football League for the 1901/02 season, Linward moved to Southern League West Ham United, receiving a wage of £2.10s a week.

Linward, an outside-left who was no slouch on the field, made his debut for the Hammers on 7th September 1901 in a 2-0 win at Bristol Rovers. He is pictured here, looking the epitome of Edwardian elegance in his photograph for the 1902 club handbook. The 24-year-old Linward scored his first goal for West Ham in a 4-1 win over Luton at the Memorial Grounds on 12th October 1901. He scored twice in successive games the following month, in a 2-1 defeat at QPR on 9th November 1901 and in a 2-1 loss to Grays United in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup a week later. His last goal for the Irons came in a 2-1 home win over Swindon on 14th December 1901. No player appeared in more matches for the Hammers in 1901/02 than Linward. He played in all 30 Southern League First Division matches in 1901/02 as the Hammers finished fourth; the only game he missed in league or cup that season was an FA Cup third qualifying round win at Leyton.

Linward also played in all of the Hammers’ first eleven matches of the 1902/03 season, ten of them in the league. His final appearance for West Ham came on 13th December 1902 in a 2-0 defeat at Lincoln in the Intermediate Round of the FA Cup – later that month he was on the move to the Football League, joining Woolwich Arsenal of the Second Division. Linward had scored four goals in 42 matches for West Ham United.

Having won promotion to the top flight in 1903/04, Linward joined Norwich in the summer of 1905; the Citizens (as Norwich were then nicknamed) had just become a Southern League club. He made his debut on 2nd September 1905 in a 2-0 defeat at Plymouth, thus having the honour of appearing in Norwich’s first ever match as a professional side. He played again against Watford and Brighton before the month was out but these three appearances would be the sum of his Norwich contribution and, after failing to secure a first-team place, he left at the end of the season.

Linward later played for Scottish side Kilmarnock before returning to England to play for Maidstone. He ended his footballing career at Dartford. Billy Linward died in West Ham aged 62, on the 8th January 1940.


Saturday’s referee is Kevin Friend. 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. This season, Friend has refereed the Hammers in our 3-0 defeat at Burnley in November and, most recently, for our 2-0 loss at Manchester City in February.

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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

Norwich City will have to do without Sam Byram, Christoph Zimmermann, Grant Hanley and Moritz Leitner, while Todd Cantwell is a doubt. Norwich have won just one of their past 11 league matches, drawing one and losing nine, and are currently on a six-game losing streak – one defeat short of their longest such sequence in the Premier League. The Canaries, however, are unbeaten in their previous 17 home league games against the Hammers, winning nine and drawing eight, with their last defeat being in this preview’s featured match, a 1-0 loss in February 1973.

West Ham United are again without Robert Snodgrass and Felipe Anderson. The Irons are without an away clean sheet in the league since December’s 1-0 win at Southampton.

Possible Norwich City XI: Krul; Aarons, Godfrey, Klose, Lewis; Buendia, Trybull, McLean, Hernandez; Pukki, Drmic.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek, Fornals; Bowen, Haller, Antonio.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Burnley

Blast from the past

In today’s featured match, we travel back the short distance to 3rd November 2018, when Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper were number one with ‘Shallow’, Bohemian Rhapsody topped the UK box office and West Ham United welcomed Burnley to east London.

The Hammers ran out 4-2 winners in front of 56,862 spectators at London Stadium that afternoon, taking the lead in the tenth minute when Marko Arnautovic dispossessed James Tarkowski before racing clear and firing beyond former West Ham custodian Joe Hart in the Burnley goal. Ben Mee then cleared off the line from Felipe Anderson before Johann Berg Gudmundsson slotted home to equalise right on half-time.

The Irons retook the lead in the 68th minute when Grady Diangana found the superb Anderson who drove a left-footed effort past Hart and into the corner – referee Roger East played an excellent advantage in the build-up as Diangana was completely taken out by Tarkowski, who was booked for his wildly-mistimed challenge. West Ham’s lead was wiped out for a second time with thirteen minutes remaining when Chris Wood’s thumping header hauled the visitors level again – Wood had entered the fray as a substitute just five minutes earlier (not for the only time in the last couple of years, the goal would have been avoided had there been a man stationed on the post for West Ham).

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Man of the Match Anderson’s second goal of the game restored the Hammers’ advantage with six minutes left to play, his shot deflecting in off Mee. The points were made safe two minutes into stoppage time when an excellent pass from Anderson was chested down by Michail Antonio into the path of his fellow substitute Javier Hernandez, who lifted the ball over Hart and into the net to seal the victory.

Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers would end the 2018/19 Premier League season in tenth position, while Burnley would finish 15th. Arnautovic would be the Hammers’ top scorer with 11 goals from 30 appearances, while Lukasz Fabianski would be voted Hammer of the Year. Manchester City won a league and FA Cup Double.

West Ham United: Lukasz Fabianski, Pablo Zabaleta, Fabien Balbuena, Issa Diop, Aaron Cresswell, Robert Snodgrass, Declan Rice, Pedro Obiang (Javier Hernandez), Grady Diangana (Michail Antonio), Marko Arnautovic (Angelo Ogbonna), Felipe Anderson.

Burnley: Joe Hart, Matthew Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Ashley Westwood, Steven Defour, Aaron Lennon (Robbie Brady), Matej Vydra (Ashley Barnes), Sam Vokes (Chris Wood).

Club Connections

A small collection of players have turned out for the Hammers and the Clarets. They include:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, Tommy Hampson and Herman Conway.

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

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

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

John Bond played for the Hammers and managed the Clarets.

Today’s focus, though, falls on a player who spent short spells with both West Ham United and Burnley. Frank Birchenough was born in Crewe on 25th November 1897 and began his career with local side Haslington Villa. A goalkeeper, he played non-league football with Nantwich before moving to West Ham.

The 22-year-old Birchenough (pictured) made his only Hammers appearance in a 2-1 Easter Monday defeat at Nottingham Forest in the Second Division on 5th April 1920. He was cover for the legendary Ted Hufton, who would later win six England caps. At the end of the season, having made just one appearance for West Ham United, Birchenough signed for Burnley in August 1920.

Birchenough was again cover to a top goalkeeper, this time Jerry Dawson who would go on to win two England caps. Birchenough made two appearances for John Haworth’s Burnley in the top flight, playing his small part as the Clarets went on to win the First Division championship in 1920/21. He left Burnley, at the end of that title-winning campaign.

Birchenough later played for Whitchurch before returning to Nantwich. He died aged 62, on the 12th February 1960.


The referee on Wednesday will be Michael Oliver. He has refereed 23 of our matches, officiating in five wins for the Hammers, six draws and 12 defeats. Oliver has refereed the Irons four times this season, in our 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace in October (when he awarded the visitors a match-levelling penalty); for our 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham in November; for our 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United in January; and, most recently, for our 3-3 home draw with Brighton in February.

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Oliver also refereed our 1-1 draw at Leicester in October 2018, when he sent off Mark Noble. His only previous red card issued to a West Ham player came six seasons ago, when he sent off Kevin Nolan in our 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in December 2013. Oliver also refereed our 3-1 home win over Manchester United last season.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United are without Robert Snodgrass and Felipe Anderson, while Sebastien Haller remains a doubt. Michail Antonio has been directly involved in five goals in his last six league appearances, scoring three and assisting two.

Burnley are without Matthew Lowton, Ben Mee, Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes, while Ben Gibson is in exile. Chris Wood has scored six goals in his five games against West Ham – if selected, Wood will be making his 100th Premier League appearance. Victory for Burnley would see them complete a top-flight league double over the Hammers for the first time.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek, Noble; Bowen, Antonio, Fornals.

Possible Burnley XI: Pope; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Long, Pieters; Gudmundsson, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Newcastle v West Ham

Blast from the past

In today’s featured match, we travel back the short distance to 1st December 2018, when Theresa May was Prime Minister, Ariana Grande was number one with ‘Thank You, Next’ and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald topped the UK box office. West Ham United, meanwhile travelled to the North East to face Newcastle.

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The Hammers ran out 3-0 winners in front of 51,853 spectators at St James’ Park that afternoon, taking the lead in the eleventh minute when Javier Hernandez swept home in front of the Gallowgate End from a right-wing Robert Snodgrass cross. The Mexican striker scored his second 18 minutes into the second half when Marko Arnautovic flicked on with his head and Hernandez coolly slotted low beyond Martin Dubravka. The points were made safe in the final minute when Jack Wilshere released Felipe Anderson who finished unerringly to complete a thoroughly satisfying day out for the travelling Claret and Blue Army.

Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers would end the 2018/19 Premier League season in tenth position, while Newcastle would finish 13th. Arnautovic would be the Hammers’ top scorer with 11 goals from 30 appearances, while Lukasz Fabianski would be voted Hammer of the Year. Manchester City won a league and FA Cup Double.

Newcastle United: Martin Dubravka, DeAndre Yedlin, Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez, Javier Manquillo, Matt Ritchie (Christian Atsu), Ki Sung-yueng, Mohamed Diame, Kenedy (Jonjo Shelvey), Ayoze Perez (Joselu), Salomon Rondon.

West Ham United: Lukasz Fabianski, Pablo Zabaleta, Fabien Balbuena, Issa Diop, Aaron Cresswell (Arthur Masuaku), Robert Snodgrass, Declan Rice, Mark Noble (Jack Wilshere), Felipe Anderson, Marko Arnautovic (Pedro Obiang), Javier Hernandez.

Club Connections

West Ham United and Newcastle United have shared a multitude of personnel over the years. Andy Carroll could face his former employers on Sunday. A brief run-through of others who have represented both clubs is best served by dividing them by playing position.

Goalkeepers: Matt Kingsley, Pavel Srnicek and Ike Tate.

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

Midfielders: Kevin Nolan, Mohamed Diame, Scott Parker, Lee Bowyer, Rob Lee, 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 Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce have managed both clubs. Glenn Roeder also played for Newcastle and managed both clubs.

This week’s focus though is on a goalkeeper who played for Newcastle and had two spells with West Ham. Neil Shaka Hislop was born in Hackney on 22nd February 1969 and graduated from St Mary’s College in Trinidad. Shaka earned a scholarship to play college football at Howard University in the United States and graduated from Howard with an Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering. He signed for Reading in 1992 before moving on to Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle for a fee of £1.6m in the summer of 1995.

Hislop made his Newcastle debut on the opening day of the 1995/96 season in a 3-0 home win over Coventry on 19th August 1995. The Magpies lost only two games before Christmas with Hislop playing every match until suffering an injury at Chelsea in early December. He regained his place in April, with the Geordies only losing one of their remaining seven games after his return. Five defeats in his mid-season absence though – including one at Upton Park in February 1996 – meant Newcastle blew a 12-point lead to concede the title to Manchester United.

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Another former Newcastle and West Ham goalkeeper, Pavel Srnicek, kept Hislop out of the side for much of the first half of the 1996/97 season. Five defeats from the end of August to Boxing Day led Keegan to restore Hislop to the starting line-up for a 7-1 win over Tottenham but Keegan left the club the following month, with Kenny Dalglish replacing him in the St James’ Park hotseat. Newcastle finished as Premier League runners-up for the second consecutive season. The signing of Shay Given provided further competition for Hislop but he regained the starting spot in November 1997, retaining it until an injury allowed Given back into the side in February 1998. Hislop was called up for an England friendly match against Chile at Wembley in February 1998 and, a month later, he was one of three over-age players selected to play for the England Under-21 side against Switzerland. His final Magpies match was a 1-0 win at Aston Villa on 1st February 1998. He had made 71 appearances for Newcastle, keeping 25 clean sheets.

The 29-year-old Hislop signed for Harry Redknapp’s West Ham United in the summer of 1998 on a free transfer – the Hammers were looking to replace Ludek Miklosko, who had left the club the previous winter and been only temporarily replaced by Bernard Lama. Hislop made his Hammers debut in a 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday on 15th August 1998 and kept three clean sheets in his first three matches for the club before a 4-3 home defeat to Wimbledon – he went on to keep 16 clean sheets in 41 appearances in his first season, as the club finished fifth. Despite that lofty position, the Hammers conceded four goals in a game on six occasions and also lost 5-1 at home to Leeds and 6-0 at Everton – Hislop was one of three players sent off in that defeat to Leeds on 1st May 1999. He was voted Hammer of the Year at the end of his first season with the club.

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Hislop helped the Hammers to InterToto Cup success in the summer of 1999, playing in five of the Irons’ six matches en route to a UEFA Cup place. He was sent off for the second time in his West Ham career in a 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough on 17th October 1999, for handball outside the penalty area. A broken leg suffered early on in the 5-4 home win over Bradford in February 2000 ended Hislop’s season. He kept ten clean sheets in 36 appearances during a campaign in which the Hammers finished ninth. Hislop kept 12 clean sheets in 42 games in 2000/01 but the loss of Rio Ferdinand to Leeds affected the defence and the Irons would end the season in 15th. Hislop played through the pain barrier in the famous 1-0 FA Cup fourth round triumph at Old Trafford that season.

Redknapp left the club at the end of the season, Frank Lampard Junior followed Ferdinand out of the player exit door and Glenn Roeder was appointed manager – one of his summer signings was England goalkeeper David James. An injury to the new custodian whilst on international duty meant Hislop started the first 13 games of the season, keeping five clean sheets but also conceding four at Charlton, five at Everton and seven at Blackburn. James’ return relegated Hislop to the bench in mid-November 2001 – his last appearance of his first spell at West Ham was the 4-4 draw at Charlton on 19th November 2001.

Hislop was reunited with Redknapp in the summer of 2002, dropping down to the First Division to join Portsmouth. He helped the club to promotion in his first season as Pompey replaced the Hammers in the top flight in 2003 and remained at Fratton Park until the summer of 2005. Hislop returned to Upton Park, signing for Alan Pardew’s newly-promoted West Ham to provide competition for Jimmy Walker, Stephen Bywater and fellow new signing Roy Carroll. The 36-year-old Hislop made his second debut for the Hammers in a 4-2 League Cup second round win at Sheffield Wednesday on 20th September 2005 (both his debuts for the club were at Hillsborough) and replaced the injured Carroll in the league at the end of October. He famously joined the attack for a stoppage-time corner at White Hart Lane, sufficiently distracting the Tottenham defence to allow Anton Ferdinand to head a last-ditch equaliser in a 1-1 draw.

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Carroll returned to the side in December, with Hislop making appearances in FA Cup wins at Norwich and at home against Blackburn but the Ulsterman was injured again at the end of January with Hislop taking over for the majority of the rest of the season and playing in every FA Cup game (Walker played three league matches, two of them directly before the FA Cup quarter-final and semi-final as Pardew prioritised the cup). Hislop kept seven clean sheets in his 25 matches in 2005/06 as the Irons finished ninth, with his last appearance for the club coming in the 2006 FA Cup Final against Liverpool, which the Hammers lost on penalties. Hislop would later represent Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup, including a group stage match against England – he won 26 caps between 1999 and 2006. My video below is a compilation of his best West Ham moments.

Having made 157 appearances for West Ham United over two spells, keeping 50 clean sheets, Hislop signed for Major League Soccer team FC Dallas in the United States in the summer of 2006. After suffering a back injury, Hislop left FC Dallas and retired from professional football in August 2007. Since retiring, Hislop has written a weekly blog for The Guardian website and helped coach the Quinnipiac University football team. He is the cousin of American sprint athlete Natasha Hastings. Hislop, now 51, is currently a commentator on ESPN.


Sunday’s referee will be Craig Pawson; 2019/20 is Pawson’s eighth as a Premier League referee. In 2014/15 he refereed West Ham’s 3-1 home win over Liverpool and sent off Adrian in our 0-0 draw at Southampton, a decision that was later overturned. His Hammers appointments in 2015/16 were both at the Boleyn Ground, for our 2-2 draw with Manchester City in January 2016 and the 3-3 draw with Arsenal three months later.

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Pawson’s matches in charge of West Ham United in 2016/17 saw him send off Harry Arter as the Hammers defeated Bournemouth 1-0 in August 2016, while he also officiated in our 2-1 home win over Chelsea in the fourth round of the League Cup in two months later. He also refereed our 5-1 home defeat to Arsenal in December 2016. He awarded Watford a penalty and sent off Michail Antonio as the Irons drew 1-1 at Watford in February 2017. Pawson did not referee the Hammers at all in 2017/18; his Irons games last season were our 8-0 win over Macclesfield, our 2-1 win at Southampton and, most recently, our 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace in February 2019. His only match involving the Hammers this season was our 2-0 defeat at Tottenham last month.

Possible line-ups

Newcastle United are set to be without Javi Manquillo, Florian Lejeune, Ciaran Clark and Sean Longstaff but Steve Bruce is hoping Jamaal Lascelles and Joelinton could be available. Newcastle have kept four clean sheets in the Hammers’ last seven trips to St James’ Park.

West Ham United will be without the injured Robert Snodgrass while doubts remain about the availability of Arthur Masuaku, Mark Noble, Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller. The Hammers have won away at Newcastle once since November 2012, in this preview’s featured match.

Possible Newcastle United XI: Dubravka; Krafth, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose; Shelvey, Bentaleb; Saint-Maximin, Almiron; Joelinton; Gayle.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek, Noble; Bowen, Antonio, Fornals.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Chelsea

Blast from the past

16th September 1961 – with Shirley Bassey at number one with ‘Reach For The Stars/Climb Every Mountain’ and What A Carve Up! in UK cinemas, West Ham United met Chelsea at Upton Park in front of 27,530. Also on this day, three people died and 35 were injured when a stand collapsed during a Rangers match at Ibrox.

Ron Greenwood had just started his first full season as manager of West Ham; he had represented Chelsea in his playing days. Former Southampton and Arsenal striking great Ted Drake was manager of Chelsea, and he had played for West Ham as a guest in two wartime matches in June 1940. Peter Brabrook was in the visitors’ XI; he would move to the Hammers just over a year after this match. West Ham right-back Joe Kirkup was in the hosts’ line-up; he would go on to sign for Chelsea in 1966. The West Ham side from this match are pictured below.

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The Irons broke the deadlock in the eighth minute, Govan-born inside-left John Dick (pictured above, front row, second from the right) notching his fourth goal of the season. Dick would end the 1961/62 season as the Hammers’ top scorer, with 23 goals from 38 appearances. The second goal arrived twelve minutes later, courtesy of 28-year-old left winger Malcolm Musgrove (pictured above, front row, far right). Chelsea pulled one back 13 minutes after half-time through centre-forward Barry Bridges but couldn’t conjure up an equaliser.

The Hammers would finish eighth in 1961/62 while Chelsea would be relegated, finishing bottom of the First Division. There was a Scottish one-two for Hammer of the Year with goalkeeper Lawrie Leslie topping the vote and John Dick finishing runner-up. Ipswich won the league title and Tottenham won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Lawrie Leslie, Joe Kirkup, Ken Brown, Bobby Moore, John Bond, Tony Scott, Geoff Hurst, Phil Woosnam, Malcolm Musgrove, Alan Sealey, John Dick.

Chelsea: Peter Bonetti, John Sillett, Mel Scott, John Mortimore, Allan Harris, Peter Brabrook, Tommy Docherty, Frank Blunstone, Mike Harrison, Barry Bridges, Bobby Tambling.

Club Connections

A decent number of players have represented both West Ham United and Chelsea. Victor Moses spent the 2015/16 season on loan with the Hammers and is currently on loan at Inter Milan from parent club Chelsea. Frank Lampard Junior started his playing career with the Irons before representing Chelsea and is now manager of the Blues. Others to have worn the colours of both clubs include:

Goalkeepers: Craig Forrest and Harry Medhurst.

Defenders: Tal Ben Haim, Scott Minto, Wayne Bridge, Ian Pearce, Joe Kirkup, Glen Johnson and Jon Harley.

Midfielders: Bill Jackson, Andy Malcolm, Syd Bishop, Peter Brabrook, Alan Dickens, George Horn, Eric Parsons, Robert Bush, Scott Parker, Yossi Benayoun, Joe Cole, Jim Frost and John Sissons.

Strikers: David Speedie, Len Goulden, Billy Bridgeman, Demba Ba, Joe Payne, Clive Allen, George Hilsdon, Carlton Cole, Billy Brown, Jimmy Greaves, Pop Robson, Billy Williams, Ron Tindall and Bob Deacon.

Ron Greenwood and Gianfranco Zola played for Chelsea and managed West Ham, while Sir Geoff Hurst played for the Hammers and managed the Blues. Bobby Gould played for West Ham and went on to be assistant and caretaker manager of Chelsea. Avram Grant has managed both clubs.

Today’s focus is on a former West Ham United striker who went on to manage Chelsea. Dave Sexton was born on the 6th April 1930 in Islington. He was the son of former professional boxer Archie Sexton, who fought Jock McAvoy for the British Middleweight title in 1933 – Dave played for non-league clubs Newmarket Town and Chelmsford City before starting his professional career with Luton in 1951. He transferred to the Hammers in March 1953.

Sexton made his debut for West Ham on Good Friday in a 2-1 home defeat to Fulham on 3rd April 1953. He celebrated his 23rd birthday by scoring his first goal in claret and blue against the same opposition just three days later on Easter Monday, in a 3-2 win at Craven Cottage. A striker of some repute, he scored some valuable goals in his three years with the club and played for the FA against the RAF in 1953. Sexton opened the 1953/54 season with a double in a 5-0 thrashing of Lincoln on 19th August 1953, his first goals at Upton Park, and followed that up twelve days later with a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Rotherham, also at the Boleyn. He scored 14 goals in 34 appearances as the Hammers finished 13th in the Second Division in 1953/54.

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Sexton made 26 appearances as West Ham moved up to an eighth-placed finish in 1954/55, scoring 12 goals, including a hat-trick in a 6-1 trouncing of Plymouth in east London on 5th February 1955. He was restricted to just 16 appearances in 1955/56; he would only score two goals that season but both would come in his final appearance for the club, on 28th April 1956 in a 3-0 home win against Bristol City. The Hammers finished 16th. Sexton had scored a total of 29 goals in 79 appearances for West Ham United.

The 26-year-old Sexton moved to Leyton Orient in May 1956 and joined Brighton in 1957, with whom he won the Third Division South title in 1957/58. He joined Crystal Palace in 1959; his playing career was ended by injury in January 1962.

After retiring Sexton moved into coaching, starting at Chelsea before leaving to begin his managerial career at former club Leyton Orient in 1965. He joined Arsenal as first team coach under Bertie Mee in 1966 but returned to Chelsea a year later, in October 1967, to become manager following the departure of Tommy Docherty. Sexton brought science and philosophy to the role; he emphasised the importance of diet and fitness, introduced film footage to coaching sessions that he had painstakingly edited himself and deployed different systems. His Chelsea side finished sixth in 1967/68, fifth the season after and then third in 1969/70. He led the club to FA Cup success in 1970 after a replay win over Leeds at Old Trafford with a side containing the likes of Peter Bonetti, Ron Harris, Charlie Cooke and Peter Osgood. Sexton’s Chelsea overcame Real Madrid to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup a year later and also finished sixth in the league.

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The Blues also reached the League Cup Final in 1972, but lost to Stoke (who had knocked out West Ham in an epic series of semi-final matches). The club embarked on a tailspin, finishing seventh in 1971/72, 12th the following season and then 17th in 1973/74. The club had overspent on a new stand, which put the manager under financial pressure, and Sexton also fell out with several unruly stars, including Osgood and Alan Hudson, who were subsequently sold to supporter dismay. Sexton was relieved of his duties in October 1974 – the 1974/75 season would end in Chelsea’s relegation from the top flight.

Sexton was appointed manager at QPR a few weeks after leaving Stamford Bridge and led the club to runners-up spot in the First Division, and within a point of the title, in 1975/76 – this remains QPR’s highest-ever league finish. Sexton took over as manager at Manchester United in 1977, replacing Docherty as he had done when becoming Chelsea boss. Sexton led the Red Devils to the 1979 FA Cup Final, where they lost to Arsenal, and led the club to runners-up in the league in 1979/80 – he left Old Trafford in April 1981. He was appointed manager at Coventry a few weeks later but was dismissed in the summer of 1983.

Whilst manager at Manchester United and Coventry, Sexton was also coach of the England-Under 21 side from 1977 through to 1990, winning the Under-21 European Championships in 1982 and 1984. He became the FA’s first Technical Director at Lilleshall in 1984, the England set-up offering the perfect home for his modest, cerebral approach. He was an assistant to England managers Ron Greenwood and Bobby Robson, and also worked with Terry Venables, Glenn Hoddle and Kevin Keegan.

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Sexton was still at the forefront of modern coaching techniques in his seventies; in 2001, new England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson turned to Sexton to run a team of scouts who would compile a database and video library of opposition players, a strategy Sexton had pioneered three decades previously. A lover of art and poetry, Sexton completed an Open University degree in the humanities and was made an OBE in 2005. He had lived in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, since becoming Coventry manager in 1981 and was commemorated with a new building in the town centre in his honour in 2008 – Sexton House is a refurbished building divided between shops and offices. Dave Sexton died on 25th November 2012, aged 82.


The referee on Wednesday will be Martin Atkinson. 2019/20 is Atkinson’s 15th as a Premier League referee. Since West Ham United achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 Atkinson has refereed 25 of our league matches, officiating in 11 wins for the Hammers, three draws and 11 defeats.

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His Hammers appointments last season were our 3-1 win at Everton in September 2018 and our 1-0 home defeat to Tottenham in October last year. His most recent match in charge of the Irons was our 1-0 defeat at Arsenal in March; he also refereed our 1-0 win at Southampton in December.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United are without Robert Snodgrass and Sebastien Haller, while Arthur Masuaku is a doubt. The Hammers have won three of their last five home games against Chelsea in all competitions. Prior to the win there this season, West Ham’s last victory at Stamford Bridge had been back in 2002; the Hammers went on to do the double over the Blues that season, winning the home game 1-0, but would then go on to be relegated.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard Junior will be without Marco van Ginkel, but Fikayo Tomori, Andreas Christensen and Christian Pulisic are all likely to be available.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice, Noble; Bowen, Antonio, Fornals.

Possible Chelsea XI: Kepa; James, Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Kante, Jorginho, Mount; Willian, Abraham, Pulisic.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

Talking Point

What Happened To Toni Martinez?

Happy 23rd Birthday Toni Martinez

Toni Martinez was born on 30th June 1997 in Barrio del Progreso, Murcia, Spain and began his career with hometown outfit Murcia before moving to Valencia. He played for Valencia’s B team in the Spanish third tier, scoring two goals in 16 games, before signing for West Ham for a fee of £2.4m in July 2016. He had a spell on loan at League One Oxford, scoring three goals in 17 games. He also helped West Ham’s Under-23 side earn promotion to the top tier of the Premier League 2 competition.

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The 20-year-old Martinez made his Hammers first team debut as a substitute under David Moyes in a 0-0 FA Cup third round draw at Shrewsbury on 7th January 2018. The centre-forward helped the Irons to a 1-0 win in the replay, setting up Reece Burke’s winner. His third and final West Ham appearance came in the 2-0 FA Cup fourth round defeat at Wigan on 27th January 2018.

Martinez joined Spanish second tier side Real Valladolid on loan for the second half of the 2017/18 campaign, scoring one goal in 11 appearances. He spent the first half of the 2018/19 season on loan back in the Spanish second tier at Rayo Majadahonda and the second half of that campaign at Lugo in the same division, also on loan.

Martinez joined Portuguese side Famalicao last summer on a free transfer; the club had just been promoted to the Primeira Liga as runners-up in LigaPro, their first promotion to the top flight in a quarter of a century. He made his debut on 3rd August 2019 in the first round of the Taça da Liga, Portugal’s secondary cup competition, as a 59th-minute substitute in a 2-0 home loss to Covilha. He scored five minutes into his league debut for Famalicao away to Santa Clara the following week, his new side’s first goal back in the big time; they went on to win the match 2-0. Martinez scored three goals in three games between 30th October and 9th November, helping his side to a 2-1 home win over Gil Vicente, a 2-2 draw at Braga and a 3-3 home draw with Moreirense.

Martinez captained the side in a Taça de Portugal Placard (Portugal’s premier cup competition) third round match at home against Coimbra on 23rd November; he also scored the only goal of the game shortly before half-time. He scored in the next round too, in a 3-0 home win over Mafra, and Famalicao went on to win 1-0 away at Pacos Ferreira in the quarter-finals to claim their first appearance in the last four of the competition since 1946. They faced Benfica in a two-legged semi-final in February 2020 – Martinez scored in the first leg in a 3-2 defeat at the Estadio da Luz and scored again in the second leg. The match would end in a 1-1 draw though, with Benfica reaching the Final in a narrow victory on aggregate. Martinez had scored four goals in six matches in Famalicao’s run to the last four.

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Meanwhile, back in the league, Martinez had bagged the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win at Boavista on 11th January 2020 and scored a stoppage-time equaliser in a 1-1 home draw with Maritimo eight days later. He made it three goals in four games with another strike in a 2-2 draw at Rio Ave. Martinez scored Famalicao’s goal in a 2-1 defeat at Pacos Ferreira on 23rd February before captaining the side to a famous 3-1 home win over Sporting Lisbon on 3rd March. The Portuguese league restarted on 3rd June and Martinez was back on the goal trail last Wednesday in a 1-1 draw at Moreirense.

Martinez turns 23 today and has 13 goals in 34 matches in all competitions for Famalicao so far this season. His club currently sit fifth in the Primeira Liga in their first season following promotion; they have six matches left to play and will qualify for next season’s Europa League if they can hold on to fifth spot. Birthday boy Martinez and his side face relegation-threatened Portimonense this evening.

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