If you had ventured along to Upton Park on 4 November 1995 you would have been one of the few people to have seen Marco Boogers in action for West Ham in the 4-1 defeat by Aston Villa . Our only signing of note in the pre-season the million pound striker’s career with the Hammers consisted of just 4 substitute appearances. We lost each of these games and in one he was famously sent off at Old Trafford for a “sickening horror tackle” on Gary Neville. Harry Redknapp who had signed Boogers on the strength of video footage claims that this was his worst ever signing although apparently Marco never did go to seek refuge in caravan.
In 1988 West Ham thumped Derby 5-0 (Stewart, Martin (2), Keen, Rosenior) in a 3rd round League Cup tie. It was a season where we reached the semi-final of that competition and the 6th round of the FA Cup but were also relegated. A feat also achieved during the Avram Grant season. So beware of good cup and poor league from! Three seasons later we had returned to the top flight but were relegated once more but not without recording a shock 1-0 victory at Highbury on 2 November through a Mike Small screamer past David Seaman.
Some excellent goals were scored in a topsy-turvey encounter with QPR on 2 November 1968 including a Bobby Moore piledriver and a spectacular Harry Redknapp volleyed winner. The goal celebrations were far more restrained back then. A few years previously on 4 November 1961 West Ham had won 5-3 away to Manchester City (Sealey (2), Dick (2), Musgrove) in a match notable for Booby Moore’s only sending off as a West Ham player.
As an aside Moore was also sent off while at Fulham in a 1976 league cup replay away to Bolton. In a game of few stoppages Bolton had equalised in the 6th minute of injury time resulting in Moore given his marching orders for dissent. Bobby stormed off the pitch taking the rest of the team with him who then refused to return to play the 30 minutes of extra time until convinced to do so by the referee and two policemen. No further goals were scored.
There have been plenty of fireworks on 5 November including a 1960 6-0 thrashing of Arsenal (Malcom, Woosnam, Dunmore (3), Dick) and a 1966 drubbing of Fulham (Peters 2, Hurst 4). Hurst went on to score 29 league goals that season and 41 in all competitions; oh for a goal scoring striker. The same day in 1975 witnessed a 3-1 ECWC success at home to Araraet Erevan (Taylor, Paddon, Keith Robson) as we made our way towards a final appearance.
The day after Bonfire Night was often spent scouring the neighbourhood for old fireworks but in 1976 we trooped off to see a bottom of the table clash between West Ham and Tottenham. The Hammers were rock bottom with just 1 win and 2 draws from 12 matches played while Tottenham had fared little better and were just 3 places better off. In a game where any pretence of defence was abandoned early on the Hammers raced into a 5-1 lead (Bonds, Curbishley, Brooking, Jennings, Pop Robson) before Hoddle and Keith Osgood threatened a late comeback. However, West Ham held on to run out 5-3 victors and end a sequence of 5 consecutive defeats. Much to our delight at the time Spurs were relegated at the end of the 1976/77 season although the euphoria was short lived as the following campaign saw our own relegation and them make an immediate return. Day, Bonds, Lampard, Curbishley, Lock, Taylor, Devonshire, Pike, Jennings, Brooking, Pop Robson.
Notable Birthdays this week:
3 November Ian Wright (53)
4 November Enner Valencia (27)
7 November Rio Ferdinand (38)
7 November Arthur Masuaku (23)