Welcome to the West Ham United Memorabilia Collection featuring everything Claret and Blue
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One of West Ham United’s star graduates from The Academy sadly passed away in June 2016 after losing his battle with cancer.
A former England schoolboy trialist, Eamonn Dolan played schools football for Chelmsford and Essex County, later playing youth football for the Republic of Ireland.
Nicknamed “The Professor” from gaining 12 ‘O’ levels and one ‘A’ level, he joined the Hammers as a junior in 1983. In his seven year association with the club he progressed to the senior ranks and recorded 21 competitive first team appearances scoring four goals.
He transferred to Birmingham City in 1990 and later moved again to Exeter City. It was in his time at St. James Park that he was first diagnosed with cancer. After overcoming the disease he continued his career in a coaching capacity before joining the long list of distinguished Ex-Hammers who became Football League managers when he took over the reins with The Grecians in 2003.
Born: Adrahan, Galway, Republic of Ireland September 20, 1967
Eamonn Dolan died June 20, 2016 aged 48.
As a talented striker he topped West Ham’s scoring tables for the youth and later the reserve team before making his Football League debut, coming on as a substitute, in the last game of the 1986-87 season against Manchester City.
South East Counties League Division 2
September 3, 1983
Eammon and his twin brother Pat, both signed for the Hammers in the summer of 1983. The brothers donned the claret and blue shirt for the first time in a South East Counties Division Two fixture against Oxford United.
Pat claimed the bragging rights in the Dolan household by registering one of the goals in the 6-2 demolition at Chadwell Heath on September 3, 1983.
However it was Eamonn who had the last laugh at the end of the campaign, scoring 14 goals, to Pat's 2 strikes.
Republic of Ireland Youth International
Although Dolan didn't hit the net as often as he wished, his four senior goals for West Ham were all scored at the Boleyn Ground. When he did score, Eammon enjoyed some great banter with the supporters on the "Chicken Run" terraces at Upton Park.
His goal celebration antics included "Donkey Dancing" and "The Aeroplane", they were a mixture of both amusement and bafflement to the home fans.
These days, goal scoring celebrations are all too commonplace, Eamonn was a pioneer in the art of celebrating a goal and light years ahead of the Premier League prima donnas of today.
The TODAY League Division One
May 9, 1987
Republic of Ireland under-21 striker Eamonn Dolan screens the ball from City’s Redmond, the lanky Hammer evades his opponents tackle by cutting back on the outside
Eamonn Dolan heads Hammers’ late leveller to take the Zenith Cup tie against Plymouth Argyle into extra-time at Upton Park November 29, 1989.
Hammers' Swansong Finale Goal
Date of Birth:
Joined Hammers (Apprentice professional):
Adrahan, Galway, Republic of Ireland
September 20, 1967
4 League Cup
2 Zenith Data Systems Cup
1 Zenth Data Systems Cup
Brian McDermott former Reading manager
He didn’t want the limelight, he just wanted people to feel better. When I was manager, when things weren't going right, just talking to him would give me a lift
Throughout his football career, our lanky striker has been the model professional
theyflysohigh would like to pass on our condolences to Eamonn's friends and family at this sad time.
In November 1989 he made a flying return visit to Ireland. West Ham received an invitation to play a Munster Select XI at Limerick in the Republic of Ireland on Monday November 13, 1989.
West Ham United was obviously a much-respected name in Limerick, and a former Hammers' player drove 120 miles to see the match. He was John Carroll, born in Limerick; a contemporary of Danny McGowan and Fred Kearns, Carroll made five Second Division appearances in the 1948-49 season. Fellow Irishman Carroll and Dolan posed for the reunion.
Return to Ireland
Port Vale goalkeeper Mark Grew, outside his area, goes down at the feet of Dolan
West Brom goalkeeper Stuart Naylor seems to find something to smile about...
but it’s no laugh for his team as Eamonn fires
Hammers’ first goal
Longest Run of League & Cup Games
The West Ham striker strides through a challenge from Sheffield United defender Stancliffe before Blades’ goalkeeper Simon Tracey, wrong footed by Dolan, takes the only option left...
and gives away a penalty by tripping the Hammer
Brothers in Arms
21 Claret & Blue Games
Eamonn Dolan's West Ham United first team career embraced 21 competitive games and a contribution of four goals.
These 15 league and six cup appearances were spread over four seasons before his first team opportunities hindered by a stream of injuries and fierce competition led to a transfer to Birmingham City in December 1990.
A summary of his claret and blue career is as follows:
Joins West Ham United as a junior in the summer of 1983
Signed apprentice professional July 2, 1984
Member of the West Ham under 18 squad which won the South East Counties Senior League in 1984-85
In January 1985 scores a hat-trick for Eire Under-17 in their win over Northern Ireland in Belfast
Awarded his first professional contract March 25, 1985
Member of the West Ham reserve squad which won the Football Combination in 1985-86
Hammers’ Young Player of the Year 1986
Capped for Eire Under-21s
First team debut in the Division One game against Manchester City on May 9, 1987
On September 30, 1989 he comes on as a substitute to score his first goal for the first team in the Division Two 2-3 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion
At Upton Park on October 18, 1989 he scores a league double in the 5-0 thrashing of Sunderland
Claret and Blue Debut
1984-85 South East Counties League Senior Division Champions
For the first time since the competition started in 1955 the West Ham juniors won the South East Counties Senior Division Championship trophy. They surpassed the runner-up positions achieved by the 1982 and 1983 sides. Scoring 120 goals in just 30 matches gave the Hammers an average of four goals a match.
Eamonn was a key member of the squad as he appeared in 27 of the 30 league matches scoring 23 goals. The 1985 squad also included future first teamers: Steve Potts, Paul Ince, Kevin Keen and Stuart Slater.
With brother Pat now playing his football with Arsenal. The Dolan twins opposed each other for the first time at Chadwell Heath. Their South East Counties Senior Division game on November 30, 1985 ended with a 4-1 victory for the Gunner's.
Captain Steve Potts receives the
South East Counties League trophy
Football Combination Champions
In the following season the reserves emulated the juniors’ achievement by winning the Football Combination.
West Ham’s reserves top their division by scoring 141 goals from their 42 Combination matches.
Eamonn made his reserve team debut this season on October 5, 1985 in a 4-2 defeat to Combination runners-up, Arsenal.
Four days later in his second reserve team appearance Eamonn scored his first reserve team goal in the 3-1 victory away to Charlton Athletic. While not a reserve team regular, Eamonn contributed four goals in his seven appearances.
This season’s juniors couldn’t match the success of the previous season as the Hammers slipped to seventh in the SE Counties Senior Division.
Though Eamonn topped the Hammers’ scoring table with 12 goals to supplement his two in both the Southern Floodlit Junior and FA Youth Cups.
West Ham United 6 - 2 Oxford United
Ince 3, Mayes 2 [1 pen], Dolan P.
Football League Debut
Prior to the kick-off of the Hammers home game against Everton in November, Eamonn was presented with West Ham’s Young Player of the Year Award.
Eamonn’s progression was marked with him finishing as top reserve team goal scorer with 21 in 25 games. The youngster was rewarded with being one of the two substitutes for West Ham’s last game of the Football League season. In the 69th minute he was called on to replace an injured Mark Ward in West Ham’s 2-0 home win over Manchester City.
Eamonn Dolan kneeling down, front row left
Tom McAlister, Steve Potts, Gary Strodder, Neil Orr, Paul Ince, Mark Ward (Eamonn Dolan), Kevin Keen, Stewart Robson, Liam Brady, Frank McAvennie, Tony Cottee
Full First Team Debut
On November 10, 1987 Eamonn made his long awaited full first team appearance when he played in the Simod Cup elimiation at the hands of Millwall at Upton Park. While his first full Football League debut was not until March 12, 1988 against Charlton Athletic at The Valley in a 3-0 reverse.
In February 1989 Dolan joined Bristol City on a month’s loan where he chalked-up just 3 appearances but was unable to find the net with the Ashton Gate club.
For the Hammers' reserves however it was a different story, Eamonn clocked 23 games to finish as top reserve scorer with 13.
Under manager Lou Macari, The Professor enjoyed his longest run of consecutive first team matches. In this nine game run he scored his three football league goals in claret and blue.
The first after coming on as sub at home to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday September 30, 1989. Just over two weeks later he netted a double against the Black Cats in a comfortable 5-0 win over Sunderland.
On Wednesday November 29 he marked his final appearance for the Hammers’ first team when he came on as sub and scored in the 5-2 Zenith Data Cup victory over Plymouth Argyle.
Nine months and 12 league appearances with the midlands club was followed by a move to the west country when he joined Exeter City in September 1991. This proved to be the start of a 13 year spell with The Grecians.
It started well as he played 26 game before he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. His battle for first team football was on hold as he literally was fighting for his life. After successful chemotherapy treatment he was sufficiently recovered to get back into training to resume his playing career.
But despite playing in his own September 1994 testimonial game, understandably he was unable to continue playing professionally. He continued to serve the St.James Park club in several roles: football in the community officer, youth coach, caretaker manager and finally as full-time manager.
There was a 7,500 attendance for the match on Monday evening. It was partially marred by fog, which alternately appeared and disappeared.
However, the game went on, and a second-half goal by Stuart Slater gave us a one-nil victory. There was a fair sprinkling of Irishmen in the West Ham side!
The Hammers' team:
Alan Devonshire (Dicks)
Mark Ward (Allen)
Eamonn Dolan (Slater)
Johnny Carroll and Eamonn Dolan
Transfer to Birmingham City
In his six seasons as a West Ham professional Eamonn had started in 14 first team league and cup matches and appeared in another seven as substitute. Injuries and competition had a serious impact on his first team opportunities.
So it was no surprise when he initially joined on loan to Birmingham City (Third Division) in July 1990. But the misfortune of dislocating a shoulder in training meant a swift return to east London. On December 28 he finally transferred to Birmingham City for £30,000.
Before his December transfer Eamonn played his last few games in a claret and blue shirt when he appeared in four reserve team outings contributing three goals.
13 Year Exeter City Association
In September 2004 he left the Devon club to join Reading FC as their academy manager. A move which reaped instant rewards and coincided with the Berkshire club's golden era, which saw 32 Academy players come through the ranks to make their first team debuts with the Elm Park club.
Dolan also had a big hand in first team affairs, assisting Steve Coppell, Brendan Rodgers, Brian McDermott, Nigel Adkins and Steve Clarke as well as standing in the opposite dugout to Sir Alex Ferguson when in caretaker charge of the club at Old Trafford in 2013.
Reading's Golden Era
Chicken Run Banter with the Fans
Eamonn Dolan, watched by future Hammer Kenny Brown, heads Hammers’ late equaliser
Eammon Dolan Testimonial
Tony McDonald and Richard Austin
Newspaper coverage courtesy of Richard Miller - Press photos: Dave Alexander collection