Dan Coker's Match Preview

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!