Welcome to the West Ham United Memorabilia Collection featuring everything Claret and Blue
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Today, if a top tier club is short of a player or needs a replacement it turns to the transfer market, opens the club’s cheque book and splashes out a few £m or seeks a loan transfer.
But back in the 1960s that wasn’t the way it was done. In 1966-67 West Ham United’s long serving centre half, Ken Brown, was in his last season before transferring to Torquay United.
Manager Ron Greenwood needed a replacement and first thoughts were to turn to the current playing staff to find a new number five. One of the defenders considered was a young Scotsman who had joined the club as a youth, progressed to the “A” and reserve teams before making his first team debut.
This is the story of George Andrew who in February 1967 made two claret and blue First Division appearances.
Born: Glasgow, Scotland November 24, 1945 George Andrew died July 1994 aged 49.
Claret and Blue Debut
1963-64 was the season after the under 18’s FA Youth Cup triumph. In May 1963 the young Hammers had beaten Liverpool in a closely fought two legged final and nine of the winning team were eligible for the following season’s competition. One of the two no longer eligible was centre-half and captain John Charles. Charles’ place was taken by George Andrew.
With nine players still young enough for 1963-64’s youth team cup ventures, there would have been high expectations for the under 18s. In most seasons reaching the final of the Southern Junior Floodlit Cup and the London Youth Cup would have constituted a satisfactory season. But for the class of 1964 to have lost both finals would have been a major disappointment and well short of their high hopes.
After a promising start in the FA Youth Cup with wins in their first two ties, the under 18s were knocked out by Arsenal’s under 18s 2-1 at Highbury. The match summary in a subsequent home programme described the performance as undoubtedly the poorest showing given by our full Colts Team this season. A 3-1 win over Arsenal two months later in the London Youth Cup would have been scant compensation.
Though the youth side, including George, made better progress in the Southern Junior Floodlit Cup to reach the final. Their cup run included an impressive 10-1 Upton Park first round victory over Southampton. Courtesy of hat-tricks from Harry Redknapp and John Sissons. But fortune deserted the team in the two-legged final as Chelsea’s Colts won the first leg 2-0 at Stamford Bridge and the second 3-1 at Upton Park for an aggregate 5-1 win.
It was a similar story in the London Youth Cup. The youth side reached their second final but again luck deserted them. On Tuesday April 28, 1964 just four days before West Ham’s seniors won the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history, the youth side faced Leyton Orient in the final hosted at Upton Park.
Earlier in the season the youth side had beaten Leyton Orient in both the FA Youth and Southern Junior Floodlit Cups away at Brisbane Road on their way to the finals. With those early victories under their belt the Hammers’ youth side would have been clear favourites to win the London Youth Cup final. Unfortunately, for the Hammers it was third time lucky for Leyton Orient as they won 3-2.
The line-up for many of the season’s cup ties, including nine from 1963’s FA Youth Cup win was:
Colin Mackleworth, Terry Needham, Bill Kitchener, Trevor Dawkins, George Andrew, Bobby Howe, Harry Redknapp, Peter Bennett, Martin Britt, John Sissons, John Dryden.
George Andrew joined the Hammers at the start of the club’s FA Cup winning season. In August 1963, aged seventeen he signed for the club from Glasgow junior side Possilpark YMCA.
Records indicate his first game in claret and blue was on August 24, 1963 in the season’s first South East Counties League game, a 1-1 draw with Arsenal Colts at London Colney. A match summary in one of Jack Helliar’s A5 size programmes stated that Centre-half George Andrew from Scotland fitted well into our defensive pattern and had a good game. The young Scot must have impressed as he was signed as a professional the following month.
Two Youth Team Cup Finals
Southern Junior Floodlight Cup Final
London Youth Cup Final
Reserve Team Debut
Towards the end of George’s first season he made his reserve team debut in the Football Combination fixture at home to Colchester United Reserves on Monday March 30.
Strangely this week-day fixture had an afternoon kick-off, which meant the attendance would have been significantly lower than it would have been for the usual evening start.
George stepped in to replace an injured Dave Bickles and made a favourable impression noted in despatches.
A match report in the following West Ham programme stated “the young centre-half showed useful touches, and he helped keep a clean sheet for our defence”.
Goals from Martin Britt and Dennis Burnet secured a 2-0 win.
The team that afternoon was:
Colin Mackleworth, Dennis Burnett, Eddie Presland, John Charles, George Andrew, Bobby Howe, Brian Dear, Peter Bennett, Martin Britt, Tony Smith, Tony Scott
1963-64 and 1964-65
‘A’ Team Regular
George Andrew was a regular member of the Hammers' third-team sqaud playing in the Metropolitan League. His Metro debut came on August 28, at Joseph's Road Ground against Guildford City Reserves in a 4-1 victory. George went on to record an impressive 21 games in the centre-half position.
In George’s second season he was just two games short of an ever-present season as he clocjked-up 41 appearances for the ‘A’ team. The defender faced stiff competition for the reserve team’s centre-half position from earlier graduates of West Ham’s junior sides in Dave Bickles and Paul Heffer.
Rare Guildford City programme
More Reserve Team Appearances
In his third claret and blue season George returned to the Football Combination side. In all he made 11 appearances for the reserves in 1965-66, recording nine in the league and two London Challenge Cup games.
September was notable for George as he scored the first of his two goals in a Hammers shirt. The first was netted in a Metropolitan League fixture at Chadwell Heath in a 4-1 win against St. Neots Town.
The ‘A’ side that autumn morning included three from the 1964 FA Cup winning XI in Bond, Bryne and Brabrook. West Ham team: Alan Dickie, John Bond, Billy Kitchener, Peter Deadman, George Andrew, David James, Paul Clements, Tim Clements, Johnny Byrne, Jim Barrett, Peter Brabrook.
Clubs today raise concerns over their teams playing too many matches. No such complaints back in April 1966 when George ended up playing three games in four days! The three match run started with a Metropolitan League game away to Chelmsford City Reserves at New Writtle Street on Friday April 8. Incidentally, George scored his second goal for the club in the 3-0 win.
Twenty four hours later he was in the reserve side which lost 3-1 to Nottingham Forest Reserves at Upton Park. Then after a two day rest it was back for another 90 minutes this time in another Metropolitan League fixture at The Hive to face Brentwood Town and another 3-1 reverse.
First Team Break Through
After regularly appearing in the reserve team’s line-up, George made the step-up to the first team. An injured Ken Brown gave manager Ron Greenwood the opportunity to test members of his shadow squad. George was the first reserve to be called-up when he was given his Football League debut in the Division One match at home to Sunderland on Saturday February 11, 1967.
A match also notable as Johnny Byrne’s last for the Hammers and for Geoff Hurst missing a penalty. Byrne made up for Hurst’s miss by scoring the equaliser in a 2-2 draw.
The West Ham side that afternoon was:
An early exit from the FA Cup meant Hammers did not have a competitive fixture the following weekend. Instead on Friday February 17, 1967 Scottish side Kilmarnock visited Upton Park for a friendly. Ron Greenwood fielded an XI with several junior professionals including George Andrew.
The visitors included West Ham’s future goalkeeper, Bobby Ferguson, who according to match reports put in a good performance to keep the scoreline down to a 2-0 win for the Hammers. The Times match report also stated “At centre half Andrew grew in confidence as the game progressed”.
Back to Division One football and a week later George retained his first team place for the visit to Goodison Park to face Everton. In front of a 52,504 attendance the Hammers suffered a 4-0 defeat. This proved to be George’s second and last competitive appearance for the first team.
Peter Brabrook and John Sissons came back into the side for the Everton visit which meant George played in the first team with nine Hammers who had appeared in one or both of the 1964 and 1965 FA and European Cup Winners Cup final triumphs. Plus he played alongside two of West Ham’s 1966 World Cup trio. Only Bobby Moore was missing. Mooro missed just two league games that season and they turned out to be the two George played.
Had England’s captain been in the side, he may have given more guidance to ensure better results for West Ham which in turn could have helped lengthen George’s first team career.
After trying out George, Ron Greenwood turned to another junior centre half, Paul Heffer.
Heffer made his league debut in the following Division One match and his promising performances helped him keep his first team place for a run of seven Division One matches.
Metropolitan League Pro Cup Final Triumph
In George’s last few weeks with the Hammers he was drafted back into the ‘A’ team for the Metropolitan League Pro Cup semi-final and two legged final.
Transfer to Crystal Palace in July 1967
With first team opportunities limited at West Ham United, George Andrew signed for Division Two club, Crystal Palace on a one year contract. At Selhurst Park he joined up with fellow Ex-Hammers, Eddie Presland and Johnny Byrne.
Date of Birth:
Joined Hammers (Apprentice professional):
November 24, 1945
Possilpark YMCA, Jnrs
Special thanks to Thomas Andrew and also Crystal Palace historians Ian King & Pete Hurn for Crystal Palace details and imagery.
On Tuesday May 2, and Thursday May 11, he played in the first and second legs respectively of the final against Bedford Town Reserves.
The young claret and blue side lost the first leg 1-0 but comfortably won the home second leg 3-0 to win the cup 3-1 on aggregate.
The second leg of the cup final proved to be George’s last game in a claret and blue shirt.
His team mates at Upton Park that evening were:
Peter Grotier, Barry Simmons, Bill Kitchener, Bob Glozier, David James, Trevor Hartley, Keith Miller, Roger Cross, Dennis Walker and Dave Skinner.
In his single season south of the Thames he made 36 appearances for The Eagle's Football Combination side plus another in the London Challenge Cup.
Greater playing flexibility saw George play across the defence though mostly at centre-half or right-back but also right wing and left back.
The closest George came to playing for the Palace first team was as an unused substitute on September 30, 1967 for the home Division Two match against Queens Park Rangers.
A memorable afternoon for the Glaziers as in front of a then club record attendance (38,006) a 1-0 victory swept them to the top of Division Two for the first time in the club’s history. Competition for the centre-half spot at the Glaziers was tough as he was up against future Hammer Alan Stephenson.
After just one season with Crystal Palace George was released on June 30, 1968. He then moved for a short spell with the Southern League club, Romford.
George Andrew circled standing next to Palace manager Bert Head. Also in the back row is Eddie Presland 5th player left, and George Petchey far right. Front row seated is Johnny Byrne 3rd left & future Hammer Alan Stephenson holding ball.
Second League Appearance
Back row: T. Needham, T. Dawkins, G. Andrew, C. Mackleworth, B. Kitchener, B. Howe, D. James
Front row: H. Redknapp, P. Bennett, M. Britt, A. Herbage, J. Sissons
West Ham United
GEORGE ANDREW'S SCRAPBOOK
Most of today’s top tier footballers have sufficient income from their playing days to take care of their retirement provision. In the 1970s this wasn’t the case. After hanging-up their boots players typically had to find alternative employment which in many cases would have been in completely different walks of life. This was certainly true for George Andrew.
In 1970, a year after leaving Crystal Palace he embarked on teacher training ready to take him into a career as a Physical Education (PE) instructor. To help pay his way through the training programme he became a bus driver for a short period.
Soon after qualifying as a teacher he took up a post in Cornwall. In 1975 after a few years in the west country he moved back to London to continue his new profession.
Ten years later and it was another career change for George. In 1985 he was accepted to the London School of Osteopathy. Three years of further study led to him qualifying as an osteopath. Newly qualified, he and his family then moved back to the Scottish borders, to start his new vocation.
Teaching and Osteopathy
Possilpark YMCA Youth award
CRYSTAL PALACE 1967-68
A Second Crystal Palace Squad 1967-68
George Andrew 1st left, in Romford FC’s colours