theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

Welcome to the West Ham United Memorabilia Collection featuring everything Claret and Blue

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email:  theyflysohigh@btinternet.com

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Benefit & Testimonial ...

A testimonial match is a practice in some sports, notably football and especially in the United Kingdom, where a club puts on a match in honour of a player for service to the club.

By tradition, clubs typically grant testimonials to players upon reaching 10 years of service with a club, although they sometimes are given to players with less service as they approach retirement. These matches are always non-competitive. Typically, former greats for the club are invited to participate, either in the match itself or the surrounding festivities. For especially prominent players, some all-time greats of the game may be invited, or the opposition can be a national team. Alternatively, if a player is strongly identified with more than one club team, the testimonial may involve the player's current and past clubs. All proceeds from the match go to the player.

The practice started in the days when players, even those at top professional clubs, were paid far less than they are today. Few players were able to live on their club wages, much less save for retirement. The testimonial was a charitable gesture by the club; as testimonials were typically very well-attended matches, the practice of giving the players the proceeds from the match often enabled the honorees either to retire or establish themselves in another line of work once they finished playing.

In recent years, testimonials have been less frequent, especially in the top levels of European professional football and other sports in which the top players are able to make enormous salaries, many times the average wage. Today's top-level player often have far less need for the money from a testimonial than players from the past would have. Also, because of changes in the structure of the professional game, players are far less likely to stay with one club for an extended period of time than in past decades. Finally, many fans are disinclined to come to testimonials for top professionals, since they are often perceived as giving a huge windfall to a player who most likely does not need the money.

West Ham United Benefit games

TOMMY ALLISON

West Ham United v. Portsmouth

14 December 1907

SLUG Memorabilia

Recognition of long and

loyal service from one of the

club’s all time greats

Ernie Gregory

Please choose a Player to view

Bobby Moore Testimonial

West Ham v. Glasgow Celtic

Upton Park’s First

Testimonial Match

Charlie's Night

Charlie Paynter

TOM ROBINSON

West Ham United v. Queens Park Rangers

14 October 1912

07_12_14 WHU v. Portsmouth ALLISON 12_10_14 WHU v. QPR Robinson Hallas & Moore

Geoff Hallas’ & Brian Moore’s

Short West Ham Careers

John Lyall Testimonial

After several thwarted comebacks, a persistent knee injury finally forced John Lyall into early retirement

Geoff Pike

The midfield dynamo's special day was against top Yugoslavian side Dinamo Zagreb

Billy Bonds

Billy Bonds received the extremely rare honour of being awarded not one, but two testimonial games!

After 12 seasons of first team

action Boyce was a worthy

recipient of a benefit game

Ron Boyce Ken Brown

West Ham supporters pay tribute to Ken Brown “king and jester at

Upton Park for 14 seasons

Ferguson's testimonial came two

days after the Hammers had

clinched the Second Division title

Bobby Ferguson Wally St Pier

Wally St. Pier was awarded a testimonial after 45 years service

Trevor Brooking Test

On and off the field he was a

shining example of loyalty

The benefit game turned out to be memorable in more ways than one

Julian Dicks

£5,000 signing from Southall, Devonshire played 448 competive first team games over 14 seasons

Alan Devonshire button Phil Parkes

Parkes served West Ham during arguably the club’s most successful decade

For The Record

'Stretch' was the recipient of two richly deserved testimonial games

Alvin Martin Dick Walker Testimonial

Walker’s West Ham career stretched from 1932 to 1957

George Parris

Smokey's testimonial was held two years after he had left the Hammers

Well deserved testimonial after

50 years of loyal service

Eddie Chapman Steve Potts

Reliability and calmness made him an ideal captain

Frank Piercy

Posthumously awarded testimonial for a loyal

West Ham servant

An Upton Park thank you to 'Tonka' who contributed 12-years to the Hammers' cause

Ray Stewart