Today we dust off the covers of the Under The Hammers almanac and take a sneaky look at the week 12 to 18 September in the Hammer’s history.
If in 1964 you were lucky enough to own a 625 line UHF TV then you may have been one of the 20,000 viewers who tuned in to the new BBC2 football highlights programme, Match of the Day. Week 4 of the show on 12 September 1964 featured the game at Upton Park between West Ham and Tottenham which was hailed by presenter Kenneth Wolstenholme and summariser Wally Barnes as the most exciting game shown to date. A Johnny Byrne hat-trick (he also had a penalty saved) saw the Hammers secure a 3-2 victory with Jimmy Greaves netting two for the opposition.
A video of the second half can be seen below. West Ham were leading 1-0 at the break.
Also on 12 September, but over 40 years later in 2005, there was another hat-trick this time for Marlon Harewood as newly promoted West Ham demolished Aston Villa 4-0 in a Yossi Benayoun inspired display in the Monday night match.
Another game that caught my eye was a 3-3 draw with Leicester on 13 September 1975 where, and I hope I am remembering this correctly, we came back from 3-0 down to earn a draw and maintain an unbeaten start to the season. We ended the day in second spot in the old First Division. We were also top of the league in November but ended the season in 18th position.
September also sees the early rounds of the League Cup and a fair share of those potential banana skins. You might think that beating a lower league side over two legs would not be a problem yet we still managed to get knocked out by Northampton Town in 1998 losing the away leg 2-0 on 15 September. A year earlier we had also lost an away leg to Huddersfield but managed to turn that one around in the return game.
This week’s featured game is the European Cup Winner’s Cup First Round First Leg away to Castilla (aka Real Madrid Reserves) at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on 17 September 1980. The match is mainly remembered for the crowd trouble inside the stadium with over 50 travelling supporters being evicted from the ground by Spanish police and one fan dying after being hit by a bus outside the ground. There were also counter claims of extreme provocation.
The aftermath saw the crowd scenes described as a 哲ight of Shame・and led to UEFA investigation and predictions that West Ham would be thrown out of the competition. As it tuned out UEFA originally ruled that the return leg would have to played at least 300 km from Upton Park but on appeal revised the decision to have the game played behind closed doors at the Boleyn.
For the game itself, David Cross headed home a Brooking cross to put West Ham a goal up in a game that they were largely controlling. However, Castilla pulled a goal back in the 64th minute and then scored two more before the end to run out 3-1 victors. Prior to this game West Ham had gone six matches without conceding a goal and so it was very disappointing that the last two goals were both the result of poor back passes.
Parkes, Stewart, Lampard, Bonds, Martin, Devonshire (Brush), Morgan (Barnes), Goddard, Cross, Brooking, Pike
Notable Hammer Birthdays this week:
13 September: Pat Holland (66)
16 September: Sam Byram (23)
17 September: Billy Bonds (70)
18 September: Brian Dear (73)