This Week in Hammer’s History

League and Cup Winners Cup action, a tiring week for the Boys of 86 and some heavy reverses in the week 27 March to 2 April in Hammer’s History.

This Week Hammers HistoryThere are some results that we can only look back at while hiding behind the sofa and two games played in the week 27 March to 2 April fall firmly into that category.

On April Fool’s Day in the 1999/ 2000, Harry Redknapp’s Hammers visited Old Trafford and after 11 minutes had taken an unlikely lead through Paulo Wanchope.  It didn’t remain unlikely for long, however, as goals from Scholes and Irwin quickly put the hosts into a lead that they would not lose.  Two more goals from Scholes and one each from Cole, Beckham and Solksjaer rattled past Craig Forrest to send the Hammers away with a humiliating 7-1 defeat.

The same week in 1985 West Ham were at Vicarage Road on the wrong end of a 5-0 thrashing by Graham Taylor’s Watford – Luther Blissett and John Barnes among the scorers.  Little evidence at the time that the following season would become the best ever in Hammer’s history.

The fixture backlog in 1985/86 required West Ham to play 16 league games between 15 March and 5 May, three of which took place this week.  It started with the highest high of a 4-0 away win at Stamford Bridge against a Chelsea side also very much in the title race at the time.  Goals from Cottee (2), McAvennie and Devonshire doing the damage.

Two days later the momentum continued with a 2-1 home win against Tottenham; a goal apiece again for deadly duo Cottee and McAvennie lifting West Ham to 5th in the table, 10 points behind the leaders, Everton, having played 5 games fewer.

The week was to end in something of a low, however, as the Hammers went down 2-1 away to Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.  Cottee scored the West Ham goal but the game is best remembered for a goal scored from a free-kick by Dutchman Johnny Metgod.  Taking a fast bowler’s run up Metgod struck the ball with such venom that it went straight through the despairing hands of Phil Parkes.

In 1976 the first leg of the European Cup Winners Cup semi-final had West Ham travelling to play Eintracht Frankfurt at the Waldstadion. A spirited performance resulted in a 2-1 defeat to set up the second leg for one of the all-time great floodlit nights at Upton Park.  In the game a fine Graham Paddon strike had put the Hammers into the lead before the Germans hit back twice either side of half-time.

Day, Coleman, Lampard, Bonds, Taylor, McDowell, Holland, Paddon, Jennings, Brooking, K Robson

The 1981 League Cup Final Replay against Liverpool also took place during this week at neutral Villa Park.  Liverpool had drafted in a young Ian Rush for the game but it was West Ham who took the lead after 10 minutes with a diving Paul Goddard header from a Jimmy Neighbour cross.  Liverpool stepped up the pressure in response and goals by Dalglish and Hansen were enough to secure a first League Cup success for the Merseysiders.

Parkes, Stewart, Lampard, Bonds, Martin, Devonshire, Neighbour, Goddard, Cross, Brooking, Pike (Pearson)  

Notable Birthdays:

27 March             Hayden Mullins                 38
27 March             Pedro Obiang                      25
27 March             Stuart Slater                       48
28 March             Michail Antonio                27
29 March             James Tomkins                  28
2 April                   Eyal Berkovic                     45
2 April                   Teddy Sheringham           51