theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

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It all began at the start of the 1968-69 season, the acquisition of my first matchday programme 17th August 1968 West Ham United v. Nottingham Forest. A game which saw Geoff Hurst scoring the only goal of the match, even a 1-4 home reverse against Everton two days later didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for my new found passion West Ham United and memorabilia associated with the Claret and Blue. By then It was too late, I was hooked.


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West Ham United Memorabilia

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Last Updated : 5 April 2020

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The hardest decision a collector of football memorabilia is likely to have to make is what to collect. For me, it was a case of trying to draw a line under what not to collect. Thankfully for me I didn’t succumb to that decision.

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Frank Lampard Malcolm Pyke Syd Bishop Dockland Settlements Washington - Miners Safety Lamp 01 Washington - Miners Safety Lamp 02

Washington International Youth Football Festival

One of the more unusual mementoes to arrive in the Upton Park trophy cabinet is this miners safety lamp. On closer inspection the inscription reads “Youth International Tournament 1972 Sunderland AFC”.


On further investigation it was given to the Club for participating in The Washington International Youth Soccer Festival organised by the Washington Development Corporation, the festival final taking place at Roker Park former home of the Weirside club.

Long before the revision of Local Authority boundaries, no-one had contemplated that this new area would include both Sunderland and Washington. Sunderland Football Club with commendable prescience had to built its gymnasium and  established the clubs practice pitches in the New Town which soon became a centre for football in the North of England.


The young Hammers kick-off the tournament on 12 May 1972 with a 0-0 draw against The Black Cats, followed by 5-0 back-to-back victories over Rotterdam AVS (Holland) and Dunkirk (France). Despite not losing a group match the Hammers faced Offenbach Kickers (West Germany) for a 3rd / 4th Play-off place, with the score locked at 0-0 after 90 minutes, West Ham brought the Miners Lamp back to Upton Park winning 5-4 on penalties.

Historically part of County Durham, Washington New Town was made up of ancient mining villages scattered over the north-east of England (hence the miners lamp) the area was designated a New Town in 1964, by 1974 the Town would be incorporated into a new County with the creation of Tyne and Wear.