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.


On This Day, 26th June: Happy Birthday Mervyn Day

Happy 65th Birthday Mervyn Day

Mervyn Day was born in Chelmsford, Essex on the 26th June 1955 – as a spot of trivia, he was educated at the same primary school as Sir Geoff Hurst, Kings Road Primary School, and represented Essex Schools at all levels. ‘Merv’ joined Ron Greenwood’s West Ham on a youth contract in 1971 and signed a professional contract two years later. Day’s father passed away when Mervyn was just 17 – Greenwood signed Day on full terms to enable the young goalkeeper to earn a little more money to help out at home.

Day (pictured below with another Hammers goalkeeping great Ernie Gregory) made his West Ham United debut on a rainy 27th August 1973 in a 3-3 home draw with Ipswich at the age of 18 and, just a season later, he was keeping a clean sheet against Fulham at Wembley as part of the Hammers’ 1975 FA Cup winning side. He was named the PFA Young Player of the Year for 1974/75 – Tony Cottee is the only Hammer to have won the award since, while no other goalkeeper has claimed the award since Day. The young custodian experienced European competition the following season, playing in every round of the club’s run to the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final where they were defeated 4-2 by Anderlecht.

Day’s form and confidence began to tail off and, after relegation to the Second Division in 1978, John Lyall signed Phil Parkes, paying a world record fee for a goalkeeper in the process. On breaking into the first team, Ron Greenwood had declared that Day was “the West Ham goalkeeper for the next ten years”. Day never quite lived up to that heady expectation and, after 237 appearances between the sticks for West Ham United, Day’s Hammers career came to a close on 10th February 1979 in exactly the same way as it had started, with a 3-3 draw at Upton Park, although this time the opposition was Sunderland in the Second Division. He signed for Leyton Orient for a fee of £100,000. He was chosen as the England ‘B’ substitute goalkeeper against New Zealand at Leyton in October 1979 and was made club captain in 1982.

After four years rebuilding his confidence with our east London neighbours, the 28-year-old Day signed for Aston Villa as cover for Nigel Spink in 1983 for a fee of £15,000. He teamed up with former Hammers team-mate Alan Curbishley at Villa Park – a partnership that was to be resurrected later in the pair’s careers. After two years at Villa, Day was on the move again, this time to Leeds where he spent a successful eight years helping restore the Elland Road club to the top flight and being part of the squad that won the 1991/92 First Division title. He spent two brief loan spells with Luton and Sheffield United before ending his playing career with Carlisle, having appeared in over 700 league and cup matches.

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Day spent just over a season as manager of Carlisle from August 1996 to September 1997 before becoming Curbishley’s first-team coach at Charlton. He followed ‘Curbs’ back to where it all began, becoming assistant manager of West Ham United in December 2006 and staying through to Curbishley’s resignation in September 2008. He has since worked as chief scout at Leeds, been Head of Recruitment at Brighton and West Brom, and been Head of Scouting at Bristol City. Day, 65 today, is currently First Team Domestic Scout at Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.

Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Tottenham v West Ham

Blast from the past

Today’s focus sees us travel back over 93 years, to the 15th April 1927 – George Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ was given an electric re-recording by Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra, with Gershwin at the piano, and the first Volvo rolled off the production line in Gothenburg, Sweden as West Ham United secured a 3-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in front of 42,010 at White Hart Lane.

Outside-left Jimmy Ruffell bagged a brace in this Good Friday match, with inside-right Stan Earle scoring the other as the Hammers pushed into the First Division’s top four with five matches remaining. Charlie Handley scored Tottenham’s consolation. The Hammers then travelled up to Burnley for an Easter Saturday match the next day, which they would lose 2-1, before being back in action again on Easter Monday, again against Tottenham who would gain swift revenge with a 2-1 victory at Upton Park. Two-goal hero Ruffell is pictured below with Bobby Moore nearly 46 years later on 17th February 1973, the day the World Cup-winning England captain surpassed Ruffell’s record number of West Ham United appearances.

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Ruffell would end the season with 14 goals from 40 appearances, second only to the legendary Vic Watson who scored an incredible 37 goals in 45 matches, although did not find himself on the scoresheet on this spring afternoon in North London.

The win at White Hart Lane would transpire to be the Irons’ final victory of the season. Syd King’s Hammers would end the 1926/27 First Division season in their at-the-time highest ever position of sixth, while Tottenham finished 13th. Newcastle won the league and Cardiff won the FA Cup.

Tottenham Hotspur: Jack Britton, Matt Forster, Cecil Poynton, Harry Skitt, Jack Elkes, Alex Lindsay, Frank Osborne, Taffy O’Callaghan, Arthur Sanders, Charlie Handley, Jimmy Dimmock.

West Ham United: Ted Hufton, Jack Hebden, George Horler, Jimmy Collins, Jim Barrett, Albert Cadwell, Tommy Yews, Stan Earle, Vic Watson, Viv Gibbins, Jimmy Ruffell.

Club Connections

Ryan Fredericks returns to his former club; a large group of players join him in having turned out for Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Divided here by position, they include:

Goalkeepers: Bill Kaine, Charlie Ambler, Tony Parks, Fred Griffiths.

Defenders: Calum Davenport, Paul Konchesky, Mark Bowen, Mauricio Tarrico, Steve Walford, Chris Hughton, Percy Mapley, Fred Milnes, Mitchell Thomas, Neil Ruddock.

Midfielders: Paul Allen, Scott Parker, Michael Carrick, Jimmy Neighbour, Matthew Etherington, Ilie Dumitrescu, Mark Robson, David Bentley, Charlie Whitchurch, Chris Carrick, Martin Peters, John Smith.

Strikers: Mido, Frederic Kanoute, Almer Hall, Bobby Zamora, Peter Kyle, Sergei Rebrov, Kenny McKay, George Foreman, Dave Dunmore, Teddy Sheringham, Les Bennett, Jermain Defoe, Bill Joyce, Robbie Keane, Fred Massey, Jimmy Reid, Clive Allen, Les Ferdinand, Jimmy Greaves, Harry Bradshaw.

Jack Tresadern played for West Ham and managed Tottenham, while Trevor Hartley also played for the Hammers and managed Spurs on a caretaker basis. Alan Pardew played for Tottenham and managed the Hammers, while Harry Redknapp played for the Hammers and managed both clubs.

Today’s focus though is on a player who started his career at Tottenham before enjoying nine seasons with West Ham. John Moncur was born in Stepney on 22nd September 1966 – he first impressed for Harlow, South-West Essex and London Schools before joining Tottenham as an apprentice in April 1983. He had spent time with Arsenal, Leyton Orient and West Ham but his father, John Senior, was Tottenham’s youth development officer at the time. Moncur made his Tottenham debut at the age of 20 in a 1-0 defeat at Everton on 11th May 1987, a match which also saw future Hammers Tony Parks, Chris Hughton and Neil Ruddock turn out for Spurs in a largely reserve XI days before the FA Cup Final. Moncur’s Tottenham debut had followed two loan spells away from White Hart Lane earlier in 1986/87, first with Third Division Doncaster and later with Fourth Division Cambridge. He made five appearances for Spurs in 1987/88 and only one in 1988/89; his time was mainly spent in the reserves with Paul Gascoigne and Vinny Samways blocking his path to the first team.

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Further loan spells took Moncur to Portsmouth in the Second Division in the spring of 1989 and third-tier Brentford in the autumn of that year. He returned to Tottenham to make five appearances in the second half of 1989/90 and scored his only goal for Spurs with a header in a 2-1 defeat at Derby on 24th February 1990. Moncur made 11 appearances for Tottenham in 1990/91, while his final game for the club was his only appearance of 1991/92, in a 1-0 League Cup second round first leg defeat at Swansea on 25th September 1991. After a loan spell at John Lyall’s Ipswich in the autumn of 1991, Moncur signed for Second Division Swindon, and former Tottenham colleague Glenn Hoddle, in March 1992 for a fee of £80,000. He had made 24 appearances for Tottenham, scoring one goal.

Having helped Swindon gain promotion in 1993, and after enjoying a season in the Premier League with the Wiltshire-based club in 1993/94, Moncur signed for Billy Bonds’ West Ham United in June 1994 for £1m. Chelsea, by now managed by Hoddle, had also shown interest but Moncur opted to sign for the club he had supported as a boy; he made his debut in claret and blue in a 1-0 defeat at Norwich on 27th August 1994. By the time the 27-year-old Moncur made his debut, Harry Redknapp had taken over the managerial reigns from Bonds. Moncur was a classy central midfielder who was composed in possession and displayed good vision; he scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 2nd October 1994 and followed that up three days later with his first goal at Upton Park in a 2-0 League Cup second round second leg win over Walsall. He scored his third goal of the campaign in a crucial 2-0 win at Aston Villa on 18th March 1995, a cracking left-foot strike from distance after collecting the ball with one of his trademark Cruyff turns. Moncur formed an effective central midfield partnership with Ian Bishop in 1994/95, making 35 starts as the Hammers finished 14th.

The Hammers finished tenth in 1995/96, with Moncur making 23 starts. He scored his first goal of the season with a viciously-swerving long-range shot at Bristol Rovers, the only goal of the game in a League Cup second round first leg win. His only other goal that season was also in a cup competition, in a 2-0 FA Cup third round win over Southend at the Boleyn on 6th January 1996. 1996/97 saw a change in shirt number for Moncur – Paulo Futre refused to play for his new club unless he could wear his beloved number ten shirt then owned by ‘Moncs’. The promise of a stay at Futre’s Portuguese villa won Moncur round and he wore the number 16 shirt for the rest of his Hammers days. The Irons dropped down to a 14th-placed finish in 1996/97, Moncur making 31 starts and again scoring two goals. Both strikes came against Leicester and earned the Hammers a crucial six points, the first in a 1-0 victory at Upton Park on 19th October 1996 and the second in a vital 1-0 win at Filbert Street on 23rd April 1997.

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West Ham were upwardly mobile and competition for midfield places was becoming fierce with the signings of Steve Lomas and Eyal Berkovic coupled with the emergence of Frank Lampard Junior from the youth team. Moncur still managed 20 starts in 1997/98 as the Hammers finished eighth; he scored his only goal of the season in a 6-0 home win over Barnsley on 10th January 1998. The Hammers moved on up to a fifth-placed finish in 1998/99 but Moncur only made 15 appearances, with eight of those from the bench – he picked up his first red card in a 2-1 win at former club Tottenham on 24th April 1999. The dismissal was for two yellow cards, with the second being issued after a late challenge on Jose Dominguez – with the Hammers leading very late on, Moncur raised two clenched fists to the claret and blue army as he exited the field of play. It was around this time that Moncur had started to explore the Christian faith to help him deal with his anger; he was confirmed in May 1999.

‘Moncs’ made 25 starts in a 1999/2000 season which saw West Ham finish ninth. He was given his second red card of his Hammers career in a 1-0 defeat at Coventry on 25th September 1999, again for two yellow cards with the second being awarded for an off-the-ball kick at Gary McAllister. Moncur scored his final goal for West Ham in a 5-4 win over Bradford at Upton Park on 12th February 2000. All nine of Moncur’s Hammers goals can be viewed in my video below.

The 2000/01 season was the start of Moncur being used more from the bench, with Michael Carrick and Joe Cole establishing themselves in the side – he made 17 appearances but 11 of them were as a substitute. This pattern continued under new manager Glenn Roeder in 2001/02. Moncur picked up his third and final red card for the Hammers in a 3-0 FA Cup third round win at Macclesfield on 6th January 2002, receiving two yellow cards in the same incident – he had fouled an opponent and, in attempting to pull him back to his feet, instigated a fracas. When the kerfuffle had died down, Moncur was booked for the foul and then given a second yellow for the ensuing incident and was sent off.

All seven of Moncur’s appearances in the relegation season of 2002/03 were from the bench; his last appearance for the Hammers came in a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal at Highbury on 19th January 2003. Moncur had made 203 appearances for West Ham United over nine years, scoring nine goals; he was booked on 61 occasions and sent off three times. The 36-year-old Moncur retired after leaving West Ham having become disillusioned by his lack of playing time and the club’s relegation. His son George went on to make two appearances for the West Ham first team – he is now at Luton while another of Moncur’s sons, Freddy, played for Leyton Orient and most recently turned out for Romford. Moncur and his wife Kerry have a third son, Timmy. Now 53, Moncur has invested in power plants and recruitment; he launched Drillmore Solutions in 2014, a Chingford-based company which recruits workers for oil rigs around the globe.


Tuesday’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. Tonight’s match is his first involving the Hammers this season.

Possible line-ups

West Ham are bidding to maintain their 100% record at Tottenham’s new stadium. Lucas Moura is set to return for the hosts but Juan Foyth and Japhet Tanganga are out.

West Ham United are likely to be without Robert Snodgrass and Sebastien Haller while Pablo Zabaleta and Arthur Masuaku are doubts. Angelo Ogbonna could return. The Hammers have won only twice in their last 16 Premier League games away to Tottenham, drawing six and losing nine.

Possible Tottenham Hotspur XI: Lloris; Aurier, Dier, Sanchez, Davies; Sissoko, Winks; Bergwijn, Lamela, Son; Kane.

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

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


On This Day, 21st June: Happy Birthday Stuart Pearson

Happy 71st Birthday Stuart Pearson

Stuart Pearson was born in Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire on 21st June 1949. He joined the Tigers as an amateur, combining his apprenticeship with the local telephone company. He signed professional forms in 1968, playing with and eventually succeeding the club’s all-time top scorer Chris Chilton. His skill, strength, determination and clinical finishing gradually endeared him to Tigers fans and he went on to score 44 league goals in 129 appearances for the club. Pearson joined newly-relegated Manchester United for £200,000 in 1974 where his 17 goals helped them to an immediate return to the top flight. He went on to play in successive FA Cup Finals in 1976 and 1977, scoring the opener in the latter Final as United beat Liverpool 2-1 and celebrating with his trademark raised right fist. He won 15 caps for England while at Old Trafford, scoring five goals for his country.

Pearson, nicknamed ‘Pancho’, moved south and signed for Second Division West Ham in August 1979. He made his debut on the first day of the 1979/80 season, in a 1-0 defeat at Wrexham on 18th August 1979 and scored his first goal for the club in a 3-1 League Cup second round first leg win over Barnsley at the Boleyn Ground ten days later. He scored five league goals in his first season in claret and blue and grabbed two in the run to the FA Cup Final, the opener in a 1-1 third round draw at West Brom and the equaliser in the 1-1 semi-final draw with Everton at Villa Park. Pearson also famously fired in the shot from which Trevor Brooking stooped to conquer in defeating Arsenal 1-0 in the Final.

Pearson struggled with injury for the next two seasons. His only goal of the 1980/81 campaign was the winner in a 1-0 European Cup Winners’ Cup third round second leg win away to Dinamo Tbilisi; the Hammers would lose the tie 4-2 on aggregate. The Irons secured promotion back to the top flight at the end of that season though and Pearson’s last goal for the club would come back in the First Division, in a 2-1 home defeat to Arsenal on 5th December 1981. He was forced to retire in 1982 having scored ten goals for the Hammers in 50 appearances in all competitions; his last appearance for the club was as a substitute in a 1-1 draw against Manchester City at Upton Park on 2nd February 1982. Three of those ten goals, scored against Sunderland (September 1979), QPR (February 1980) and Everton (April 1980), can be viewed in my video below.

Pearson did play at a lower level in South Africa and the North American Soccer League before opening a shop at Whitefield, near Manchester, which sold European tile imports. 71 today, he also spent time coaching at Stockport, Northwich Victoria, West Brom and Bradford between 1985 and 1994. He has also done punditry work for Manchester United’s television channel.

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