Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Man Utd v West Ham

Blast from the past

Today’s blast from the past features a pre-war Second Division victory at the home of this evening’s opponents, Manchester United. It arrived on the 22nd of April 1933, a 2-1 win at Old Trafford in front of 14,958 spectators on the day Sir Henry Royce died at the age of 70 – car manufacturer Royce was the co-founder of Rolls-Royce.

The 1932/33 season was a tempestuous campaign in West Ham United’s history – it was the club’s first season back in the Second Division following relegation the previous campaign. The club were managed at the start of the season by Syd King but, two days after losing their ninth game of the season, King was sacked on 7th November 1932 having been reputed to have had problems with alcohol and having previously insulted a director at a board meeting after turning up drunk. King had taken the Hammers’ relegation the previous season so badly that it had affected his mental health and, a month after his sacking, he committed suicide by drinking alcohol laced with a “corrosive substance”. An inquest into his death concluded that he had been suffering from paranoia and that he had taken his life “whilst of unsound mind”.

A run of four wins in the last five games moved the club out of the relegation places with one game of the season remaining. This run included the Hammers’ only away win of the season, at Old Trafford against Manchester United. The winning goal in the 2-1 victory was scored by 24-year-old Arthur Wilson, a Newcastle-born inside-right, who many years later recalled the goal:

“It was a real belter from 30 yards. The ball hit the underside of the bar and struck the goalkeeper on the back of the neck before crossing the line. The force of the shot knocked him to the floor.”

Jackie Morton (pictured) scored the Irons’ other goal, while Neil Dewar struck for Manchester United. West Ham’s players were promised a continental tour if they managed to beat relegation – this did not materialise.

West Ham were by now under the management of Charlie Paynter – the second manager in West Ham’s history, Paynter first became involved with the club in 1897 and worked his way up from reserve-team trainer in 1902 to first-team trainer under King in 1911. Paynter remained West Ham manager for 18 years, from 1932 until 1950 when he was made an ‘ambassador-at-large’ and replaced as first-team manager by Ted Fenton.

The Irons finished 1932/33 in 20th place in the Second Division, just one point clear of relegation and having not been higher than 16th all season. Manchester United finished sixth but the Hammers’ Old Trafford triumph completed a double over the Red Devils after a 3-1 win at Upton Park the previous December. West Ham’s defence was also the poorest in the league, conceding 93 goals in 42 matches. The club’s top scorer was Vic Watson with 28 goals; 24 in the league and four in the FA Cup. The Irons did reach the semi-final of the FA Cup though, where they lost to eventual winners Everton. Stoke topped the Second Division and Arsenal won the league title.

Manchester United: John Moody, John Mellor, Henry Topping, Jimmy J Brown, Thomas Frame, Ernest Vincent, Tommy Manley, Ernest Hine, Neil Dewar, William McDonald, George McLachlan.

West Ham United: Pat McMahon, Alf Chalkley, Albert Walker, Joe Cockroft, Jim Barrett, Jimmy Collins, Jim Wood, Arthur Wilson, Vic Watson, Len Goulden, Jackie Morton.

Club Connections

West Ham United manager David Moyes returns to the club he managed for most of the 2013/14 season, while Manchester United coach Michael Carrick welcomes his first professional club to Old Trafford. A largely impressive list of players join the pair in having represented both West Ham United and Manchester United over the years. These include:

Goalkeepers: Roy Carroll, Les Sealey.

Defenders: Noel Cantwell, Patrice Evra, Fred Milnes, Jonathan Spector, Rio Ferdinand.

Midfielders: James McCrae, Bill McCartney, Paul Ince, Ralph Milne, Luke Chadwick, Ravel Morrison.

Strikers: Charlie Mackie, Billy Grassam, Stuart Pearson, Javier Hernandez, Ted MacDougall, Teddy Sheringham, David Bellion, Carlos Tevez.

In addition, Dave Sexton played for the Hammers before going on to manage the Red Devils. Lou Macari played for the Old Trafford club before managing the Irons.

Another ex-Hammers player to go on to manage Manchester United is the oldest living Hammer, Frank O’Farrell. Born in Cork on the 9th October 1927, O’Farrell dreamed of becoming a locomotive driver like his father Patrick and supplemented the wages he earned as a fireman on the Cork-Dublin main line by playing semi-professional football for Cork United. He replaced Tommy Moroney in the Cork side when Moroney joined West Ham in 1947 and later followed him to Upton Park – at the age of 20, O’Farrell was spotted by a West Ham scout named Ben Ives and signed for Charlie Paynter’s Hammers in January 1948.

After playing over 50 reserve matches, the 22-year-old O’Farrell made his debut for the Hammers on 28th September 1950 in a 2-1 win over Colchester in the Essex Professional Cup before making his league bow two months later under Ted Fenton in a 4-1 defeat at Notts County on 25th November 1950. A wing-half, he became a first-team regular in 1951/52, making 44 appearances as the Hammers finished 12th in the Second Division. His first goal for the Irons came in a 3-1 loss at Blackburn on 22nd December 1951. O’Farrell bagged his first Upton Park goal in a 2-1 FA Cup third round victory against Blackpool on 12th January 1952 and scored his first league goal in east London in a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest on 22nd March 1952. He made his debut for Ireland on 7th May 1952 in a 6-0 defeat to Austria in Vienna.

The 1952/53 campaign saw West Ham drop to 14th, with O’Farrell making 42 appearances and scoring one goal, in a 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest on 18th October 1952. He also scored his first goal for his country as Ireland wreaked revenge on the Austrians by beating them 4-0 at Dublin’s Dalymount Park on 25th March 1953, O’Farrell scoring his side’s fourth with ten minutes to go. He scored his second and final goal for his country in a 5-3 defeat to France in Dublin on 4th October 1953.

O’Farrell married local East Ham girl Ann in 1954 in St Anthony’s Church in Forest Gate. He played 22 times without scoring in 1953/54 with West Ham finishing 13th, and made 29 appearances in 1954/55, scoring once in a 5-2 home thrashing of Bristol Rovers on 11th September 1954. The Hammers had finished eighth in 1954/55 but dropped to 16th the following season, with O’Farrell playing 47 matches. Both his goals that season were scored at the Boleyn Ground, the first in a 6-1 trouncing of Notts County on 3rd September 1955 and in a 3-0 Southern Floodlit Cup win against Crystal Palace on 10th October 1955.

O’Farrell’s final goal for the Hammers came in a 1-1 home draw with Liverpool on 3rd September 1956, with his last match for the club coming five days later in another 1-1 home draw, this time with Rotherham. Having scored eight goals in 213 appearances in all competitions for West Ham United, O’Farrell joined First Division Preston in November 1956 in a swap deal involving centre-forward Eddie Lewis. While at the club, he helped North End to the runners-up spot in the top flight in 1958; meanwhile in the same season, his former club finally achieved promotion back to the First Division.

O’Farrell made his ninth and final appearance for Ireland on 10th May 1959 against Czechoslovakia while he was a Preston player. He was forced to retire as a player due to injury in 1961 but swiftly became manager at Southern League outfit Weymouth. Four years later he took over the hotseat at Fourth Division Torquay and led the Gulls to promotion in his first season in charge before stabilising the club’s Third Division position in the following two campaigns. In December 1968 he was appointed as manager of struggling First Division side Leicester – he couldn’t arrest the Foxes’ slide though and the club were relegated but they did make a losing appearance in that season’s FA Cup Final, beaten 1-0 by Manchester City. Leicester missed out on an immediate return to the top flight by just two points the following season but O’Farrell led them to the Second Division title and promotion in 1970/71.

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Following this achievement O’Farrell (pictured above on the left with his assistant at Old Trafford, and fellow former Hammer, Malcolm Musgrove) was appointed as manager of Manchester United. Since winning the European Cup in 1968, the Red Devils had finished 11th in 1969, leading to Sir Matt Busby stepping down to be replaced by Wilf McGuinness. United finished the following season in eighth place and Busby returned to the top job midway through the 1970/71 campaign as the club replicated their eighth position of the previous season. After initial speculation that Jock Stein would replace Busby, it was O’Farrell who was named as the club’s new manager in June 1971. He started well and United were top of the table at Christmas and held a ten-point lead at one stage before seven successive defeats brought the club’s season crashing down and they finished, again, in eighth position. The softly-spoken Irishman struggled to control the increasing excesses of George Best and team morale suffered as a consequence. O’Farrell has said of the brilliant but mercurial Ulsterman:

“George Best was like every other player except that he was much more in the public domain. George Best was big news. There were times when I didn’t know where he was. He would be away for a couple of days, and I’d ring his digs and ring his house, but no-one knew where he was. Eventually he would come back, and the other players got annoyed when I picked him because they would think ‘Why has he been picked when we have trained and he has been away?’ Well, quite simply I had to pick my best players and the rest of the team weren’t good enough without George. A half-fit George Best was better than a lot of the team and I owed it to the fans and to the team to pick the best players. Every time I had reservations about picking George, I would do it anyway because I knew he could win you a game.”

After failing to win any of the opening nine matches of the 1972/73 season, United’s form continued to be patchy at best until a 5-0 defeat at Crystal Palace in mid-December 1972 finally resulted in the end of O’Farrell’s tenure at Old Trafford and he was replaced by Tommy Docherty.

O’Farrell became manager of Cardiff in November 1973, but quit in April 1974 to take the manager’s post with the Iranian national team who he led to the 1976 Asian Cup. He returned to Torquay as manager in November 1976, moving upstairs to become General Manager in March 1977 when Mike Green was appointed as manager. He became Torquay manager again in June 1981 before once more returning to his General Manager post on the appointment of Bruce Rioch in June 1982. He remained in this role until 1983, when he retired from football but continued living in Torquay and occasionally worked as a scout for Everton and Bolton. He also ran a nursing home with his wife and has been active in church affairs. Now 92 years of age, O’Farrell still lives in Devon and celebrated 60 years of marriage with Ann in 2014. Interviewed last year, O’Farrell said:

“Although I’ve had to give up driving, I’m generally well for my age and can’t have any complaints about my career or my life. Well, maybe there’s only one small tinge of disappointment – I never got to drive that steam train!”


Wednesday’s referee is 39-year-old Paul Tierney. The Lancashire-based official has refereed the Hammers on seven previous occasions. His most recent Irons appointment was our 2-0 defeat at Everton in October. He also refereed our 2-0 home win against Norwich in August and was in charge for our 2-0 defeat to Everton in east London in March 2019. He also refereed our 3-0 win at Newcastle in December 2018.

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Tierney’s first West Ham appointment was for the 1-1 draw with Everton in November 2015 which saw James McCarthy’s tackle on Dimitri Payet put the Frenchman out of action for two months (pictured above). His second Irons game was our 0-0 draw at West Brom in September 2017, when he chose to issue just a yellow card to Ben Foster for his late tackle on Javier Hernandez. He also refereed our goalless draw at Shrewsbury in the third round of the FA Cup in January 2018.

Possible line-ups

Manchester United are without Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe, while Luke Shaw is a doubt. Harry Maguire should be available. The Red Devils are still in the hunt for a top-four finish and will move into the top four should they avoid defeat; they have not ended a full round of fixtures in the Champions League places since mid-September.

West Ham United are without Robert Snodgrass while Ryan Fredericks is a doubt. The Hammers, who require one point to secure survival, have picked up just two points at Old Trafford in their last ten visits, stretching back to May 2007. West Ham are looking to complete their first league double over Manchester United since 2006/07 – the Irons won September’s reverse fixture 2-0. The Hammers have scored at least three goals in six different league matches in 2020, a joint high alongside Manchester City and Manchester United.

Possible Manchester United XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Williams; Pogba, McTominay; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial.

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

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Watford

Blast from the past

Today’s focus sees us travel back nearly 118 years, to the 18th October 1902 – the first Borstal (youth offenders’ institution) had opened two days previously in Borstal, Kent. West Ham United, meanwhile, secured a 3-1 victory over Watford in front of 4,000 at the Memorial Grounds.

21-year-old centre-forward Sidney Sugden lined up for his one and only West Ham appearance in this match. John Farrell had played in the opening five games of 1902/03 but was unfit so Sugden, then playing for Ilford, volunteered to fill the spot. Described by a contemporary reporter as “a wonderfully dashing player with a splendid turn of speed and a deadly shot, but not a good team man”, Sugden was so keen to remain an amateur that he had declined an offer from Aston Villa, giants of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. He did eventually sign on as a professional with Nottingham Forest of the First Division after his solitary appearance for the Irons and was their top scorer in 1903/04. He returned to the Southern League First Division in 1905, spending three years at QPR before a season each with Brentford and Southend.

Sugden wasn’t on the scoresheet in this 3-1 win over Watford though – 21-year-old inside-right and captain Billy Grassam (pictured) bagged a brace with inside-left Billy Barnes scoring the other. In a week which has seen Michail Antonio become the latest prestigious member of the Hammers’ Hat-Trick Club, it’s worth noting that Scotsman Grassam was West Ham United’s first ever hat-trick hero, scoring four goals in a 7-0 rout of Gravesend United on the opening day of the 1900/01 Southern League First Division season. He was also the Hammers’ first scorer of a hat-trick in the FA Cup, in a 3-2 fifth qualifying round replay win at Clapton Orient on 12th December 1900. Grassam would top the Hammers’ scoring charts for 1902/03, with 19 goals from 30 matches, but would move on at the end of the season and have spells with Manchester United, Celtic and Leyton. He returned for a second spell in east London in 1905/06 before departing for Brentford in 1909. Bill Grassam died in New York in 1943.

Syd King’s Hammers would end the 1902/03 Southern League First Division season in tenth position, while Watford would finish 15th and were relegated as a result of Test Matches. Southampton topped the division, The Wednesday won the First Division title and Bury won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: Fred Griffiths, James Dow, George Eccles, James Bigden, Tommy McAteer, Joe Blythe, John Campbell, Bill Grassam, Sidney Sugden, Billy Barnes, Billy Linward.

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 on Friday 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 26 of our league matches, officiating in 12 wins for the Hammers, three draws and 11 defeats. Atkinson is pictured below, refereeing our 4-2 home defeat to Watford in September 2016.

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Atkinson’s Hammers appointments last season were our 3-1 win at Everton in September 2018 and our 1-0 home defeat to Tottenham in October 2018. He refereed our 1-0 win at Southampton in December, our 1-0 defeat at Arsenal in March and, most recently, our 3-2 home win over Chelsea earlier this month.

Possible line-ups

For West Ham United, Robert Snodgrass misses out through injury, while Felipe Anderson is a doubt. If selected, Mark Noble will be making his 500th West Ham appearance; he has scored three goals in his last two league games against Watford. The Hammers have won three of their past four league meetings against this evening’s visitors, as many as in their previous nine against the Hornets.

For Watford, Daryl Janmaat, Isaac Success and Gerard Deulofeu are out injured. Troy Deeney is expected to be fit to play. Watford have recorded only eight league wins this term, with four of them coming against the current bottom three.

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

Possible Watford XI: Foster; Femenia, Kabasele, Dawson, Masina; Capoue, Hughes; Sarr, Doucoure, Welbeck; Deeney.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!

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!

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