Book Review

Book Review West Ham United 1965-1973

NOTE FROM IAIN: The Predictor League for Aston Villa on Monday is open HERE. Entries can be submitted until 6pm on Monday.

If you’re like me and wondering what on earth to ask for for Christmas or what to buy a Hammers fan for a present, then look no further than Alan Shubrooks’ beautifully produced book of photographs taken over an 8 year period of West Ham United’s home and away games.

A pictorial record featuring more than 1700 unseen photographs from 100 classic matches

As a young boy, Alans’ father would take him to see the Hammers play at Upton Park and when he became interested in photography and purchased his first single lens reflex camera, Alan decided to take photos of the matches from the stands. Caught amongst the push and shove of the packed terraces, Alan would try to capture the game, but it was not so easy and he desperately wanted to get closer to the action and join the press photographers near the pitch.

Bold enough to take an opportunity at the start of a home game, Alan walked over to where the press photographers were perched as the referee blew his whistle and eyes were fixed on the game, and embarked on an incredible journey that took him all over the country with the team to capture the highs and lows of top flight football. After this first match taking pictures near the goal, Alan went home to develop his film, anxious to find out if he had captured the game, and printed out a selection of photographs and the following morning post them to his local newspaper.

To Alan’s surprise, the photos he had taken were printed and so his journey began where Alan’s photographs that captured some of the most memorable games for the following years would be regularly printed both in the newspapers alongside match reviews and also used for the home match day programmes.

Throughout this journey Alan had a unique opportunity to capture some candid photos of the players, recording action both on the pitch but also behind the scenes, such as Frank Lampard in the ambulance after having broken his leg against Sheffield Utd on 27th April 1968. Alan, a young man full of confidence, stepped straight into the ambulance and took several shots of Lampard waiting to be taken to hospital. Following the team for 150 matches, Alan’s photos provide a detailed record of some of the most memorable games West Ham played, such as the 3-1 victory over Chelsea to move to 6th in the league on 27th January 1973. Or Ron Boyces’ testimonial on 13th November 1972. And Trevor Brookings’ hat trick against Newcastle on 6th April 1968.

Ipswich Town v West Ham United 23rd November 1968

There’s one match in the book where the action shots are amazing and stand out for me and that’s when West Ham played Ipswich Town away on 23rd November 1968. The shots show the physical nature of the game but demonstrate Alans craft where he managed to capture some fantastic in action shots. Hursts penalty from behind the goal, Miller leaping in the air after being brought down by Jefferson – these shots in particular looked fantastic in the newspapers after the game. The shots of Hancock, the Ipswich goal keeper, as he punches the ball illustrate the skill of Alan’s photography that help to make this book such a must have for any Hammers fan.

In the book Alan explains how he got to take these amazing photos, but also how different it was then for a photographer to record the matches, often with poor light and being limited to how many frames he could shoot. There was also the technical issue of developing the film and getting the prints sent off in time to be included in the newspaper match reviews. Alan found a very unique solution that meant he was able to travel back with the team on the train from places like Manchester and develop his film on the move. A far cry from how photographers images are now digitally uploaded during the game to be sent around the world!

Alan has scanned in 6000 images, editing them all to reveal an incredible record of the matches West Ham played, and also found some newspaper articles that were printed with his photographs from the time. Alan has researched each match to include the date and attendance figures as well as some key information and personal observations that bring the photographs to life and provide such a memorable record of West Ham United that feature legendary players such as Geoff Hurst, Trevor Brooking, Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds and many more such as Clyde Best, Frank Lampard, Martin Peters and John Sissons.

Alan agreed to be interviewed by me and spent time explaining how he took his photographs and put the book together as well as sharing some of his best memories of his time following the team and documenting their matches at both home and away games. Alan’s passion for the game, his photography and dedication to bringing these images together, encouraged by Geoff Hurst, has created a valuable record of some of the most memorable players of that time in action.

To order your copy, go to https://www.westhambook.com I chose the collectors set which includes a signed copy of the book with a dedicated personal message handwritten by Alan. You also get set of 5 10×8 inch glossy photos from classic 1960’s and 1970’s matches. A beautiful gold foiled presentation collectors box. A numbered certificate of authentication of the limited edition. I highly recommend this to any Hammers fan, young and old, as a wonderful trip down memory lane or as an incredible record of a particular time in the history of the club.

Special Limited Edition Box Set


Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

In Focus: Scott Parker

Scott Parker was born on 13th October 1980, currently first team manager with Fulham, played as a midfielder for West Ham United for just over 4 seasons scoring 12 goals in 129 appearances.

Parker began his career at Charlton Athletic in a 0-0 draw on 23rd August 1997, coming on as a substitute. After sporadically making appearances as a substitute Scott was loaned to Norwich in the Championship before returning to Charlton and quickly returned to the first team squad replacing the injured Mark Kinsella. Parkers form was such that after recovering from injury, Kinsella could not get back into the Charlton starting line up. Parker established himself as key player with his tackling, ability to carry the ball from defence into attack and to play some telling passes that created many chances for his teammates.

Parker moved to Chelsea on a four and a half year contract for £10m fee, but the then Charlton manager, Alan Curbishley, criticised Scotts attitude following the news of Chelsea’s interest. Initially signed for cover for Claude Makelele and Frank Lampard, his time at Chelsea proved frustrating with Parker limited to League Cup appearances and then suffering a broken metatarsal. Despite only 4 league appearances Scott collected a Premier League winners medal in the 2004-05 season.

The following summer Parker was sold to Newcastle in July 2005 for £6.5m becoming a regular in the first team, showing consistency during a difficult season for the Magpies. But later in the season Scott was diagnosed with glandular fever, which came at a rather unfortunate time that ended any hopes Parker had to make the England squad for the upcoming 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Parker replaced the retired Alan Shearer as captain and his performances earned Scott a recall to the England squad after 2 years and led Newcastle to the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2006 before moving to West Ham United in June 2007 for £7m fee. Injuries limited Scott’s start until December 2007 where Parker scored a last minute winner in a 2-1 victory against Middlesborough.

Parker then played a major role in West Ham’s 2008-09 season earning the first of three Hammer of the Year by the clubs supporters and retained the award for the following season, which was highlighted by Scott’s winning goal against Wigan Athletic in a 3-2 victory that secured Premier League status for another season.

Scott signed a new 5 year contract in September 2010, despite interest from Tottenham Hotspur, where David Sullivan stated that Parker was not for sale for any price. Considered one of the most consistent English midfielders there were calls for Scott to feature regularly for the national team. Carlton Cole praised Parkers inspirational team talk at half time when 0-3 down against West Bromwich Albion that finished 3-3 after a Hammers comeback.

Despite relegation Parkers performances throughout the season and his recall to the England squad, Scott was placed on a six player shortlist for PFA Players’ Player of the Year, but he missed out but to be voted FWA Footballer of the Year.

Parker had started the new season in the Championship playing the first four matches for West Ham, scoring against Watford on 16th August before moving to Spurs on 31st August 2011. Parker handed in a hand written transfer request saying saying “I have had a fantastic four years at West Ham United and will never forget all the support I have had from the fans and everyone associated with the club.” “The manager and board have tried hard to convince me to stay but at this stage in my career, I need to be playing in the Premier League, especially now that I am involved with England.” “I hope the fans will understand and respect my decision and I wish the club every success in their fight for promotion this season.”

Latterly Parker spoke of his time at West Ham, and despite building a close affinity with the club and its fans, the former midfielder felt it necessary to move on for the benefit of his own career after relegation in 2011, but the connection remains strong.

“It’s a fantastic football club where I had four unbelievable seasons,” Parker has said “It ended in relegation but that disappointment will not dampen the memories I take from that place. The fanbase is incredible, Upton Park was a special place, so I’ve got many fond memories.”

Parkers playing time at Spurs was again limited due to injury for the start of the 2012-13 season after being named Player of the Year in the previous year. Scott moved to Fulham on 19th August 2013 as the Cottagers were relegated to the Championship. Parker retired from playing at the end of the 2016-17 season.

Journalist William Saletan wrote ”Parker doesn’t score or get credited with assists. He leaves that to the guys up front. What Parker does instead is win games. He does this not by punctuating the match but by controlling it. He smothers oncoming attacks. He forces opponents off the ball. He orchestrates distribution out of the back, setting in motion a Spurs onslaught that will culminate 60 yards downfield … You can’t watch the game up close without noticing Parker.”

Rice recently spoke highly of Parker, believing he has the ability to mimic Parker’s style of play:

“If you look at Scott Parker and his career, I think he was so under-appreciated and he wasn’t spoken about enough, because he was actually such a top, top, top player.

“In terms of the way he played, he would rat around people, his passing ability was unbelievable and the way he used to lead the team showed he was a top player, so if I could have a career like Scott’s I’d be delighted.

“He was a fantastic player and a great person as well.”

Parker played arguable some of the best football of his career during his time at West Ham and as he hung up his boots he said:

“When was a boy I dreamt of becoming a professional football player and I feel very honoured to have accomplished my dream. I have always tried to set high standards on and off the pitch. I hope most of all throughout my career I have been a good role model not only to my sons but also to all of my teammates who played with me as well as all those who supported me.”

Enjoy Scott Parkers goals for West Ham.


Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

From the Vaults: West Ham United v Fulham 22nd February 2019

Continuing my series of photo highlights from previous home matches as the season continues under the COVID-19 restrictions where stadiums remain empty. I miss the opportunity to document our home games so its nice to look back at previous images.

The dramatic win at the London Stadium against a hard working Fulham side where Ademola Lookman failed to convert a last kick of the game penalty to share the spoils, we look back at a 3-1 win for the Hammers over Fulham that delivered the Cottagers 18th Premier League defeat leaving them 19th in the table on 17 points.

West Ham climbed to 9th in the table on 36 points under Pellegrini and finished the season 10th on 52 points, whilst Fulham’s miserable form under Claudi Ranieri continued as they were relegated in 19th Place on 26 points.

Controversy surrounded West Ham’s equaliser by Hernandez after Babel had put Fulham ahead on 3 mins after a bright start for the visitors as the Hammers began to get back in to the game. The Hammers capitalised on Fulham keeper Rico’s failure to clear a corner as Antoni and Ogbonna flicked on for Hernandez to head the ball home. The goal stood despite replays showing the ball had struck Hernandez on the arm and even Matthew Upson, commentating on the game, called it out as a deliberate hand ball.

Fulham never looked like getting back in to the match as Diop rose up to head home a Snodgrass corner to leave the Hammers a head at half time. The match is remembered as well for the excellent performance of Rice, who had recently declared his availability to play for England, as he kept the play ticking over with a solid defensive display with six tackles, three interceptions and regaining the ball 13 times earning Rice the man of the match award.

Rice commented that the manager had been telling him all season to protect the back four saying he loves playing in that holding role.

Hernandez was substituted by Arnautovic who drew an excellent save by Rico and provided an assist for Antonio with a chipped ball for the third goal. Lanzini made a substitute appearance after an absence from a knee injury to bring a boost to the Hammers for the rest of the season.

Back to the 7th November 2020 as the Hammers climb to 11th in the League after Soucek’s goal stood as Haller was in an offside position but deemed not to be interfering with play. Areola, the Fulham goalkeeper made some crucial saves for the Cottagers in the first 10mins of the match but with some wasted chances the Hammers patience played dividends up until the last second of the match as Lookman kicks his penalty straight at Fabianski securing all three points.

Imagine what the atmosphere would have been like in a packed stadium after that last kick of the ball with the players celebrating as Lookman, who has been one of Fulham’s better players this season, held his head in his hands!

Enjoy the photos from 2 seasons ago.

Stay safe everyone.


Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

From the Vaults: West Ham United v Manchester City 29th April 2018

On 29th April 2018 Manchester City came to the London Stadium to display their dominance in a season they were run away champions achieving 100 points, with Manchester United trailing in 2nd place on 81points. It was a season where the champions achieved the highest ever points tally within a season and the biggest points gap from a second placed team.

Moyes was in his first stint as the gaffer at West Ham where we finished 13th on 42 points, not enough to retain Moyes as manager in a season of few positives. A run of better results in January and 2 wins and a draw in our last three matches of the season secured our Premier League status for a 6th consecutive season after promotion in 2012.

West Ham were defeated 4-1 five times in that season and after Arsenal’s win over us the game at London Stadium against Manchester City held little hope in the final run in for the end of the season. The outcome could have easily been predicted.

The players did not graft in this match and despite Cresswell’s curled free kick beyond Ederson, a series of defensive mishaps and a Zabaleta own goal piled on the misery as Raheem Sterling inspired City towards their title and 100 league goals in 35 matches.

What a different story to the 1-1 draw at the London Stadium against a City side struggling to get started this season with just 8 points from their first 5 games. Contrast that with the Hammers achieving 8 points from their last 4 games that also include impressive wins against Wolves and Leicester and the amazing comeback from 0-3 down away to Spurs.

Antonio’s impressive over head kick to open the scoring was just another excellent moment we almost expect from a player who has transformed into a goal scoring machine since lockdown restart. Hammers had to work hard for their point with City peppering the home goal and enjoying 70% possession. In fact if you compare stats between these two matches their are very similar. City did everything except score another goal, with Foden’s equaliser the only reward.

Is this is different West Ham we are seeing this season? We can certainly enjoy talking about impressive player performances rather than soak in the misery of another poor result. We are also proving difficult to beat even when we are 0-3 down away. Only time will tell but even at this early stage of the season there seem to be some very encouraging signs with a team prepared to fight for the result and hold on until the end for a point – or even to get a point with the final kick of the game.

Be safe everyone


Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

From the Vaults: West Ham Utd v Newcastle 3rd November 2019

NOTE FROM IAIN: Don’t forget to enter the Predictor League for tomorrow evening’s match against Charlton HERE. I’ve extended the normal deadline until midday tomorrow. Remember, you need to have a new profile on the new sight to enter. You can sign up HERE.

I hope everyone is safe and well.

I’m missing the match days and having the opportunity to record the game and the atmosphere with my camera. We are currently in different times with the uncertainty that surrounds when fans will be allowed back into stadiums to watch live football given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

But, I would like to share some photographic highlights of previous matches as we play each team this season and hopefully you will find these posts interesting. Also I’ll be restarting the In Focus and Through the Lens series, which I hope you will all enjoy as well.

Our opening season defeat to Newcastle continues the poor form we have against the Magpies that was all too evident last season in the 2-3 defeat at London Stadium that continued a five game stretch without a Premier League win at that time.

A very poor first half handed Newcastle the game as the team went into the dressing room 2-0 down and despite a late rally in the second half with Balbuena and Snodgrass both scoring we never looked like scraping even a draw and were lucky not to have lost by a greater margin.

As is typical teams who have struggled to score seem to find the back of the net with ease when they come to London Stadium and Clark, Fernandez and Shelvey all got onto the score sheet that helped Newcastle climb away from the relegation zone to within a point of the Hammers. There were opportunities in the first half but we lacked ideas in the final third of the pitch as the Magpies dominated the first half.

Snodgrass made a rallying call in his post match interview stating it was a reality check that the players needed to end their poor form and get back to where the team had started the season. Pellegrini was perplexed by the poor performance saying we had been pressing high in previous matches.

But we were by that time without Fabianski and Jimenez’s form in goal was a growing cause for concern, especially when he should have stopped Shelvey’s free kick from creeping in the net. By then fans had been streaming out of the stadium. The poor form started away against League One side Oxford United and we now play Charlton Athletic in the second round of the Carabao Cup. Lets hope we are not going to repeat a similar run of form this season.


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