England Expects

Can Aaaron Cresswell become the 40th Hammer to earn an England cap?

1962 World Cup Squad

If Aaron Cresswell earns his first international cap tonight he will become the 40th player to play for England as a West Ham player.  The odds have improved for a Cresswell cap with an injury to Ryan Bertrand adding to Southgate’s intention to rest Danny Rose so that he is fresh to face us on Saturday.

It would be a tremendous achievement by Cresswell to represent his country and it always provides added incentive for following an England game when there is a Hammer in the team.  Otherwise England matches have simply become a chore and an unwelcome interruption to the club season.

My first recollection of an England game was an international against Mexico in 1961.  The game played on a Wednesday afternoon was being shown live on TV and can remember excitedly hurrying home from junior school to watch the closing stages as England romped to an 8-0 victory.  I wouldn’t bother to cross the road and watch the game in Radio Rentals window nowadays.  There were no West Ham players in the England team at that time but starting with the 1962 World Cup finals Bobby Moore became a fixture in an England shirt for the next decade.  A fascinating newsreel report of the Mexico game below:

 

Of the 39 players winning England caps while at West Ham only 12 pre-dated  Bobby Moore and, of these, Len Goulden was the only player to win more than 10 caps.  Goulden had become established in the England team in the late 1930’s with  14 caps only for his career to be interrupted by the Second World War. Goulden featured in the infamous May 1938 friendly against Germany in Berlin in front of a watching Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess and Joseph Goebbels (Hitler was due to attend but Ticketmaster messed up his booking!)    Despite Germany invading Austria in order to strengthen their squad and sending their players off for an unprecedented two week training camp (as the England players marked the end of the season with a pint of mild and 10 Woodbines) the game ended in a 6-3 victory for England.  Before the match the English players had been encouraged by the British Ambassador to give a Nazi salute during the German national anthem as a mark of respect.  Goulden broke the net when scoring the last of the six English goals and is alleged to have remarked “Let ’em salute that one!”  After the war Goulden moved to Chelsea and received no further international calls.

Moore (108), Hurst (49), Brooking (47) and Peters (33) are the only players to have earned more than 20 caps while at West Ham while a further 9 players have won 10 or more caps: Martin (17), James (17), Goulden (14), Upson (14), Sinclair (11), Green (11), Byrne (10), Ferdinand (10), J Cole (10).  There have been 12 one-cap wonders and then there are the criminally overlooked Billy Bonds and Julian Dicks.

If Cresswell gets the deserved nod tonight in what is likely to be a fairly tame encounter I hope he gives a good account of himself and remains injury free.

It is looking increasingly like Gareth Southgate will be the uninspired  choice as England manager heralding a golden era of mediocrity.  It is a Roederesque appointment whereby those in charge appear to have no clue and so appoint the guy holding the parcel.  At least England can’t get relegated.

This Week in Hammer’s History

Plenty to jeer plus a little cheer from the week 14 – 20 November in Hammer’s History.

This Week Hammers HistoryDefeats to the teams you love to hate feature strongly in this week’s ‘Week in Hammer’s History’.  We start with a routine 2-1 reverse at White Hart Lane in November 1982 in a match where we started the day in 2nd place sensing that victory could have put us top of the pile with 11 games played.  Sadly that didn’t happen and, as with most of our opportunities to hit top spot, lines were fluffed and a collective freeze ensured that we would not reach the same dizzy heights again that season.

The West Ham team from the early 1980’s is one of my all-time favourites.  A side with Brooking and Devonshire at the top of their powers brought a famous FA Cup win followed by the runaway promotion winning campaign of 1980/81.  The league was won with a record points total and a meagre  4 defeats is an all-time West Ham record.  However, two of the four losses were at the hands of the same team – Luton Town.  Defeat in the first home game of the season was followed up by another in November 1980 to put an end to a 14 match unbeaten run and inflict a first away defeat of the campaign.  The final score 3-2 with two Trevor Brooking goals unable to save the day.

Some years later in November 1988 we were back at Kenilworth Road which now sported a new plastic pitch.  This was a surface that we have never appeared to be comfortable with and a halfhearted performance resulted in a painful 4-1 drubbing.  See for yourself in the clip below.

In November 1992, with the new Premier League underway, West Ham travelled south of the river to face Millwall in what would be their last visit to The Den.  The game was featured on ITV’s London Match and ended in a 2-1 victory for the hosts; Malcolm Allen and Phil Barber scoring for Millwall with Mark Robson replying for the Hammers.  If you are so inclined you can find the whole of this game on Youtube.

Raising the mood a little there have been the usual smattering of high scoring affairs during this week including a 4-0 demolition of Leicester City in 1968 (Peters, Dear (2), OG), a 5-0 League Cup massacre against the much loathed Blades in 1971 (Best (2), Robson (3)) and a 5-2 thrashing of Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1974 (Lampard, Bonds, Jennings, Gould, Brooking).  The win against Sheffield United (see below – the game was played on 17 November 1971) set up the epic League Cup semi-final quadrilogy against Stoke City either side of the new year.

Finally, we end with an 8 goal thriller against Charlton at The Valley in 2001.  Paul Kitson making his first start for almost 2 years opened the scoring after 3 minutes (his first West Ham goal for almost 3 years).  Defensive errors by Dailly and Repka saw Charlton take the lead before Kitson scored again to make it all square at half time.  Charlton regained the lead early in the second half, Scott Parker the provider for Jonatan Johansson, before West Ham equalised again as Kitson prodded home to complete an unlikely hat-trick.  Jermaine Defoe, on as a substitute for Kitson, fired the Hammers ahead before Johansson’s injury time equaliser evened things up for a final time.

Hislop, Schemmel, Minto (Lomas), Dailly, Repka, Foxe, Sinclair, Carrick, Kitson (Defoe), Di Canio, Hutchison (J Cole)  

This week’s birthdays:

14 November:  Alan Taylor (63)
15 November: Jimmy Neighbour (d. 2009)
15 November: Keith Robson (63)
17 November: Titi Camara (43 – 63)
18 November: Jimmy Quinn (57)
19 November: Tony Gale (57)

England 3 Scotland 0

Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?

Likely LadsIn the mid-1960’s there was a comedy programme on TV about two young football-mad Geordies. It was called the Likely Lads and was one of my favourites at the time. It starred a young James Bolan and Rodney Bewes. It was written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, who wrote other successful comedy series such as Porridge and Auf Wiedersehen Pet.

It was set in Newcastle and the two working class friends, Bob and Terry, had different outlooks on life. Bob (Rodney Bewes) aspired to be one of the middle classes, whilst Terry constantly accused him of being a traitor to his class. This “class warfare” was the basis of much of the humour in the sitcom, and was a common theme in comedy programmes of the 1960’s and 1970’s. There was a very famous sketch in the Frost Programme in 1966 which featured John Cleese, Ronnie Barker, and Ronnie Corbett, representing the upper class, middle class, and working class respectively. The beauty of the routine was enhanced by the heights of the actors who were very tall, medium height, and short. For me it was one of the all-time brilliant comedy sketches.

A few years after the Likely Lads finished it was reprised in 1973 with two further series entitled Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads. My favourite episode was first aired on 20 February 1973. I remember the date very well for reasons I won’t expand fully upon, but West Ham had just beaten WBA 2-1 on the previous Saturday afternoon, with a 98th minute goal scored by Pop Robson, which was just desserts as West Brom had produced one of the most negative, time-wasting performances I have ever seen from a team. A scrapbook I kept at the time included a Sunday Telegraph report of the game where David Miller wrote “this wretched display by West Bromwich – hacking, arguing, and niggling throughout – will leave few of those present shedding tears at their imminent disappearance into the Second Division.” Another cutting in my scrapbook, this time by Sam Bartram in the Sunday People, includes the words, “Referee Kerkhof’s rumbling of the Albion time-wasting tactics was one of the few things that he did right all afternoon.”

The following Saturday, along with my fellow writer, Geoff Hopkins, we visited the Victoria Ground in Stoke, where we lost 2-0. My main recollection of that day was the long trip home, finally arriving at 4am before getting up to play Sunday morning football the following day.

Sorry, I digress. My favourite “Likely Lads” episode was called No Hiding Place. It consisted of Bob and Terry’s attempts at avoiding the score of an England international game being played in Bulgaria one afternoon, as they wanted to watch the highlights of the game at 10.20 that evening without knowing the score. In those days of course, there were fewer resources for finding out the outcome of games, but they still had to avoid TV news, radio reports, and evening newspaper coverage. The situation was exacerbated as they had a £5 bet each with another character in the programme that they could avoid finding out what happened before settling down to watch the game at night. This other person, Flint, played by Brian Glover, was intent on tracking them down; the comedy unfolded as they went to extraordinary lengths to avoid knowing what happened. The irony in the end was that the game had been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

I was reminded of the episode when trawling through the TV channels a couple of weeks ago and came upon it on one of those stations that constantly broadcasts old comedies. It brought back memories and I set myself a challenge to mirror the programme by avoiding the England v Scotland live game on Friday evening, and watching the highlights without knowing the final outcome.

I went to the cinema when the game was on, but I had to make sure I didn’t turn my phone on for the whole evening, and also drove with the radio turned off. I also had to be certain  that when I got home I avoided the news on TV which followed the game, as they always like to tell you what happened (look away now if you don’t want to know – and then they give you about half a second to find the remote control!).

In my younger days I loved to watch international football. Perhaps it was because there were usually West Ham players involved? These days I am not too bothered, except perhaps for tournaments, but I have many memories of the England v Scotland encounters of the past, and I was keener to see this than usual. However, I was not that keen that I wanted to watch the whole game!

As it happened I succeeded in my personal challenge and settled down to watch the match without knowing the outcome. ITV condensed the highlights into about 20 minutes of football, and then a much longer discussion about the game. In what I saw England looked good going forward; they scored three headed goals with clinical finishes, but looked woeful defensively. Against better sides they might have conceded a few goals. Scotland, too, looked quite good going forward, but their finishing left a lot to be desired to say the least!

On the whole it was a good evening. An enjoyable film followed by brief highlights of the game which had the right result. I was glad I didn’t stay at home to watch the whole match. I did wonder to myself how hard it would have been these days, to avoid knowing the outcome of a game for around ten hours, as in the Likely Lads.

And whatever did happen to the Likely Lads? James Bolan has been a successful TV actor throughout his life, most recently in several series of New Tricks. Those readers with young children or grandchildren will know him as Grandpa, in Grandpa in My Pocket. Rodney Bewes has appeared on TV, the stage, and films, but not much recently that I can recall. Reputedly, the two actors have not spoken to each other since falling out in the 1970s.

The Window to Watch

Dear Santa, please bring me a set of transfers for Christmas.

Transfer WindowIt’s another international break and rather than going on holiday, twiddling their thumbs or feigning interest in England’s world cup progress most online media has turned its attention to the surefire fail-safe topic of the upcoming January transfer window; remeber there are only 81 shopping days to go and I, for one, am getting excited for the launch of the John Lewis Transfer Window video.

A few days ago we published our review of the season to date and without doubt the outcome of those next 8 Premier League games will set the tone for any transfer activity that takes place during January. We are supposedly a club with growing ambition but if we continue to flounder in the lower reaches of the league at the end of December then player recruitment will, by necessity, be focused on survival rather than growth.

Having had a (generally accepted) disastrous pre-season window it would be doubly disappointing to be forced to bring in players whose main attribute is either their experience or an ability to roll up their sleeves for a relegation dogfight. It goes without saying that maintaining Premier League status is the top priority but I had hoped the days of the short term fix were well behind us. If we are able to claw our way to mid-table obscurity by mid-season than at least the plan can return to one of continuous improvement; even if the execution of that plan is not always successful.

Scanning through the steady trickle of transfer speculation that has started to surface we have already been linked with a bench-full of unsuitable players looking for another big payday; while on the other side of the equation it appears that several Hammer’s names are being pencilled in as other clubs prepare their list of targets prior to opening up their war chests.

Players reportedly ‘on our radar’ include: striker Mario Mandzukic (31), probably because he is Croatian, who is currently out of favour at Juventus; Branislav Ivanović (32) and snarling Cesc Fàbregas (29) who have both fallen down the pecking order at Chelsea now that they are a decent side again; and Mamadou Sakho (26) the hopeless Liverpool defender. Unsurprisingly, there is nothing there to get the juices flowing I have already mentally filed them as made up nonsense as all would be desperate signings. In the case of the Liverpool Sakho my assumption is that the link was a Friday afternoon post pub cut and paste error and should really have been West Brom. where he would be far more suited.

Over recent seasons West Ham have thrown off the reputation of being a selling club even if the real reason for this is that we have not had any players that other clubs wanted. Now the times appear to be changing again with predators allegedly sniffing around Payet and Obiang and even the injured striking duo of Carroll and Sakho. It would be disappointing but not surprising if Payet left to capitalise on his new found superstar status with a final bumper contract at one of the Champion’s League clubs where money doesn’t matter (such as PSG). In theory I guess a club can refuse to sell but in practice they generally yield to players looking to leave to further their bank balance rather than have them skulk around the training ground.

The injury records of Sakho and Carroll would seem to make transfers in a few months time extremely unlikely. A scenario where such a player returns to full fitness, demonstrates their goalscoring ability (at a club where a striker has not scored all season) and is still sold is too fanciful even for West Ham.

Loan flops Simone Zaza and Gokhan Tore should certainly be dumped out of the January window if not before. With Tore, it seems that Besiktas are proving reluctant to accept returns for damaged goods and we may have the same battle as trying to return unwanted Marks and Spencer underwear after Christmas if not in the original packaging. My fear with Zaza is the emergence of another classic West Ham cock-up (from the makers of Mannygate and Tevezgate) where we have mistranslated the Italian in the lone arrangement and by bringing him on as 85th substitute at Leicester on 31 December we mistakenly make the deal permanent.

My real hope for the next window is that we have identified some realistic targets who can hit the ground running to improve the first team options from day one and then go about our business quietly.

West Ham Heroes – Number 5 – Sir Trevor Brooking

The occasional series on Hammer’s heroes remembers the silky skills of Sir Trevor.

Sir Trevor Brooking

Perhaps the most skillful player I ever saw in a West Ham shirt was Sir Trevor Brooking. He made his debut for the club in 1967-68. I remember the season well. I was at Barking Abbey School and the early part of the season coincided with me and my friends starting in the third year, which was one of the age groups for one of the school football teams. We used to play games against other schools on Saturday mornings, and then in the afternoon we’d head off to Upton Park to watch our heroes play.

Trevor made his debut in the away game at Burnley at the end of August on a Tuesday evening, and then came on as a substitute for Billy Bonds to make his home debut the following Saturday against Manchester United. He had only played a handful of games before getting a run in the team as Christmas approached.

The first game I can really remember him playing for us, where he made quite an impact on me, was in the Boxing Day morning game against Leicester City. In those days the Boxing Day games used to kick off at 11 am, and I sat in the old West Stand to watch us fight back from conceding two goals in the first quarter of an hour, to win the game 4-2. Trevor scored one of the goals and a Brian Dear hat-trick sealed the win, but it was one of those games where we could have scored double figures.

The reason we didn’t was because of a superlative performance by the 18 year old, Leicester keeper, Peter Shilton. It was the first time I’d seen Shilton play and I wasn’t surprised when Leicester sold Gordon Banks, then the England keeper, to ensure Shilton was a regular in the Leicester goal.

On the day after we broke up from school for the Easter holidays, I remember Trevor scoring a great hat-trick in a 5-0 rout of Newcastle, one with his left foot, one with his right, and one with his head. It’s often said that Trevor didn’t score headed goals but that is not strictly true. I can specifically remember a diving header from about 18 yards to earn us a last minute 2-2 draw (I think against Wolves), and of course the important ones, the winning goal in the 1980 Cup Final against Arsenal, and a headed goal to break the deadlock in the European Semi-Final in 1976 against Eintracht Frankfurt. That was probably the best game I ever saw, and was possibly Trevor’s finest for West Ham. He made the second goal for Keith Robson, and then curled in the important third goal.

Only three players, Billy Bonds, Frank Lampard (the senior one), and Bobby Moore, turned out in more games for West Ham than Trevor. He played over 600 games and scored over 100 goals, a good return for a midfielder. He played 47 times for England, scoring five goals, but the peak of his career in the 1970’s was a lean time for the national side as we failed to qualify for the finals of the 1974 and 1978 World Cups.

He was comfortable with both feet, and had an uncanny knack of letting the ball run across him before playing it. So many defenders knew what he was going to do, but they couldn’t stop him. His ability to set up goals for others would have put him high up in the assists charts throughout his career, but those statistics were not kept in those days.

His last game for the club was the final game of 1983-84, a season which promised so much for the club. After winning the first five games we topped the league, and stayed in the top three throughout virtually the whole season until around mid-March, when a spectacular nose-dive saw us plummet to ninth, winning just one of our final dozen games. His final goal for us was scored on the last day of 1983 when we thrashed Tottenham 4-1 at Upton Park.

He never wanted to be a manager, but he stepped into the breach a couple of times in 2003, and although it was only on a caretaker basis, his record of nine wins in 14 games makes him the most successful manager we’ve ever had in terms of win percentage. After his playing career ended he was a long time pundit for the BBC on Match of the Day, and had a long career in senior administrative roles at the FA. He was knighted in 2004, and of course had stands named after him at Upton Park, and now the London Stadium.

He was Hammer of the Year an unprecedented five times and has always been regarded as a true gentleman. He was quite simply a West Ham legend. He was one of a rare breed; a player who played for just one club throughout his whole career. It was a pleasure to watch him play so many great games for us over such a long career.

The Third International Break

Another enforced interlude provides the opportunity to review the season to date

Embed from Getty Images

On 9 November one year ago I was writing my first book, Goodbye Upton Park, Hello Stratford, which chronicled West Ham’s final season at the Boleyn Ground.  On that exact date I wrote a chapter reviewing the Premier League season as we went into the third international break. Twelve months ago we were just twelve games into the season when it was interrupted for the third time to allow international matches to take place. This time we have played one fewer.

On 9 November 2015, Aston Villa occupied the bottom slot, Sunderland were just above them, and Bournemouth made up the trio of teams occupying the relegation places. Of course, only one of them went down, as the Mackems and the Cherries climbed to 17th and 16th respectively by the end of the season. The other two relegated teams, Norwich and Newcastle sat in 15th and 17th place on this day. Is this a warning to Middlesbrough and West Ham?

A year ago we were sixth in the table, just one point below Tottenham. Our North London neighbours had only lost once, but drawing half of their games kept them down in fifth place. This season Spurs are unbeaten so far, but drawing six of their eleven games has once again kept them down in fifth. Ironically the first game after this break in 2015 was a visit to White Hart Lane where we were “Kaned” 4-1. History repeats itself fixture-wise this season, but I am hoping that we don’t get a repeat of the score from last time.

What a difference a year makes for Liverpool. This time last year they sat in mid-table and were lucky to be that high thanks to some dubious refereeing decisions going their way. They had just lost at home to Palace and after that flop, some way off the top, Klopp had a strop, caught everyone on the hop, and had a pop at the Kop (not so easy to say) for deserting the ground before the final whistle. A year on they do now sit at the top after a breathtaking demolition of Watford last weekend, a performance matched by Chelsea in their exhilarating 5-0 victory over high flying Everton. Manchester City and Arsenal follow closely on their heels (they occupied the top two positions a year ago) so it looks like the title will be won by one of the top four.

After their unexpected success last season Leicester have reverted to where you would expect them to be and only have one more point than ourselves. The league is very close if you ignore the top seven and bottom two, with just five points separating Watford in eighth and Hull in eighteenth.

We are seventeenth, in part due to a shocking goal difference of minus 9; only the bottom three clubs have a worse figure, Hull (-14), Swansea (-11), and Sunderland (-12). Last season 38 points (or exactly one point a game) was the figure needed to keep your place in the Premier League. This time around a similar pattern is emerging with just the bottom three not averaging a point a game. But we are only just on that level, and with the tough (on paper) run of fixtures to come against teams occupying 5th, 6th, 4th and 1st, we could easily find ourselves in the relegation mix (usually termed a dogfight) early in December. We really need to raise our level of performance in those games and take something from them.

After that run we have easier games (on paper, again) at home to Burnley and Hull, before visiting Swansea and Leicester to finish off 2016, and to reach exactly the half-way point in the season. But we haven’t shown that we can easily beat “relatively weaker” sides either this season (or indeed last). Our two home victories (out of six home games) were very late 1-0 wins over Bournemouth and Sunderland, we managed 1-1 draws with Middlesbrough and Stoke, and lost to Watford (2-4) and Southampton (0-3). We have managed just six goals in our six home Premier League games, a very poor figure, especially given the fixtures. This is matched by our five goals in five away games. So, eleven games played, eleven goals scored, and eleven points on the board. Not what we were expecting after last season, perhaps!

So now I’ll put my prediction hat on, and say that in the next eight games, taking us up to the midpoint of the season, we will amass a further eleven points taking us up to 22, which would be seven short of where we were in the middle of last season. Anything much less than this and we will still be in potential relegation trouble. The bookmakers think we’ll be OK. We are joint sixth favourites (with Crystal Palace) to be relegated, after Sunderland, Hull, Swansea, Burnley, and Middlesbrough.

How many of our players can look at themselves in the mirror and be pleased with their performances to date this season? Antonio, perhaps, early on for his goalscoring which earned him an England squad place, although the goals have dried up recently. Obiang, who has been man of the match for me in most of the games he has played, and who surely has cemented his place in the starting line-up. Fernandes and Fletcher have shown a lot of promise from limited opportunities, too. As for everyone else, I don’t think any of them have reached the level they played at last season. I am pleased for Aaron Cresswell getting his chance finally in the England squad, though he has hardly played since returning from injury; the call up is based more on his consistency last season, and a new manager prepared to recognise it.

This Week in Hammer’s History

It is goal, goals, goals with interesting repeat patterns in the week of 7 – 13 November in Hammer’s history.

This Week Hammers HistoryThis week in history twice brought us 4-1 victories against a Manchester City side that were, as yet, unable to reap the benefit of Arab millions. The first was back in 1959 and then more recently in 2000 in what turned out to be Rio Ferdinand’s last home game as a West Ham player before his transfer to Leeds United.

There have been four 3-3 draws during this week of which two were home games against West Bromwich Albion in 1961 and 1977; the others being away at Arsenal in 1963 and at home to Nottingham Forest in 1988. Adding to the goal rush there were three games that ended 4-3 and although only one of these ended in the Hammer’s favour it was a satisfying away victory at White Hart Lane in 1966 where Jimmy Greaves missed a penalty for the hosts. The two 3-4 reverses were at home to Leeds (2002) in the Roeder relegation season and also at home to West Brom the following season which included one of want away Jermaine Defoe’s three pre Christmas red cards. The first half of the Leeds game was maybe one of the worst 45 minute performances I have ever seen;  featuring a level of incompetence from Repka and Dailly that would be difficult to match it ended with the Hammers 1-4 in arrears. Unfortunately a spirited (but ultimately unsuccessful) second half comeback inspired by Di Canio probably saved Roeder from loosing his job there and then.

Hard to imagine that just three games against West Bromwich Albion had yielded a total of 19 goals and if you want more you could throw in a 5-2 win in the 1988 Full Member’s Cup for good measure.

A rare away romp in 2007 saw West Ham thrash hapless Derby County who would go on to record just one win and 11 points all season. The Hammer’s goals coming from Bowyer (2), Erherington, Solano and an OG.

Finally an encounter that is often up there with the greatest ever games played at Upton Park; the League Cup clash with Don Revie’s title chasing dirty Leeds in 1966. It was a great week for the Hammers which started with a 6-1 home victory against Fulham and would end with the win described above at Tottenham a week later. Sandwiched in between on a misty Monday night in east London was the League Cup 4th round tie.

Back then it wasn’t practice to rest players for League Cup games and although Leeds were missing Sprake and Lorimer through injury they fielded a strong side including the usual uncompromising suspects of Charlton, Hunter, Bremner and Reaney.

The West Ham performance that night was described at the time as “irresistible”, “breathtaking”, “awesome” and having the “gloss of greatness”.

The Hammers were a goal up within two minutes when Byrne set up John Sissons to curl his shot into the corner of the goal. More good work by Byrne on the half hour released Brabrook whose cross was side footed home by Sissons for 2-0 before the same player completed a first-half hatrick five minutes later. Hurst added a fourth just before half time to make it 4-0 at the interval. A four goal advantage at half time is not necessarily a guarantee of victory for West Ham but in the second half Byrne set up two more goals for Hurst while in between Peters scored another. The final score was West Ham 7 Leeds United 0. Hatricks for Sissons and Hurst and a mesmerising individual performance by Budgie Byrne as he taunted and destroyed the Leeds defence.

Standen, Bovington, J Charles, Peters, Brown, Moore, Brabrook, Boyce, Byrne, Hurst, Sissons.

This week’s birthdays:

8 November   Peter Brabrook (79)
8 November   Joe Cole (35)
8 November   Alan Curbishley (59)
8 November   Martin Peters (73)
10 November Vic Watson (d 1988)
11 November  Pop Robson (71)
12 November  Carlton Cole (33)