theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

Welcome to the Private memorabilia collection of 'theyflysohigh'

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Banner Hammers Logo theyflysohigh CROSS David to Steve HOUGHTON Ray to Steve NEIGHBOUR Jimmy to Steve LA RONDE Everald BLUE STEWART Ray BLUE CURBISHLEY Alan Blue COWIE George Blue ALLEN Paul Blue GODDARD Paul to Steve SMITH Mark to Steve MARTIN Alvin to Steve MARTIN Alvin BLUE SMITH Mark Blue PIKE Geoff to Steve TAYLOR Alan to Steve ROBSON Keith to Steve BRUSH Paul BRUSH Paul BLUE DEVONSHIRE Alan Blue PIKE Geoff TAYLOR Alan ROBSON Keith JENNINGS Billy to Steve

John Lyall 1974 - 1989 ...

Player Pen Pictures and Autographs

519. Billy JENNINGS ... (1974 - 1979)

519 JENNINGS Billy

Quick-silver striker whose £110,000 arrival from Watford coincided with a distinct revival of fortunes for the Hammers, culminating in the 1975 F.A. Cup Final win over Fulham at Wembley. Made a scoring debut against Sheffield United at Upton Park 7th September 1974 but finished on the losing side 1-2. A former England Youth international, Billy played just short of a hundred League games and scored many vital goals before taking the well-worn trail between Upton Park and Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road in 1979.

Born: Hackney, London 20/02/1952


Date: September 1974

Fee: £110,000


Upton Park 7th September 1974

Transferred: LEYTON ORIENT August 1979

Appearances: 89/10 (gls 34) Cup: 24/1 (gls 5)

520. Keith ROBSON ... (1974 - 1976)

Keith Robson was born in Hetton-le-Hole, County Durham 15 November 1953. Played his youth soccer with Newcastle United before progressing to their first XI in 1971. West Ham signed this no-nonsense utility player from St James’ Park in September 1974 for the princely sum £55,555 plus a further £20,00 after making 20 first team appearances, for the Hammers this was money well spent as the likeable but temperamental Geordie got his Boleyn Ground career off to a flying start, scoring 5 goals in his first five appearances in a claret and blue shirt. A member of the club’s successful cup squad of the mid-seventies, but missed out in the 1975 FA Cup final against Fulham due to injury. He partly made up for that disappointment when won a Runners-up medal in 1976 finding the net in the 4-2 defeat to RSC Anderlecht in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final and in doing so became one of only three West ham players who have had the honour of scoring in a major European final. Alan Sealey at Wembley in 1965 and Pat Holland along with Robson in the Stade du Heysel, Brussels final. Robson moved to Cardiff City in August 1977, having scored 19 goals in 89 appearances for the Hammers. His Bluebird career yielded 5 goals from 21 games before teaming up with Ex-Hammers Alan Taylor, Graham Paddon, Martin Peters and John McDowell at Norwich City in February 1978. The £25,000 signing scored 13 goals in 65 games for the Carrow Road club. Later played for Leicester City and Carlisle United followed by a brief spell in Hong Kong with South China Athletic Association. Assistant manager with Wroxham before retiring from the game, Robson now works for Norwich International Airport.


Born: Hetton-le-Hole, Tyne and Wear 15/11/1953


Date: September 1974


Upton Park 18th September 1974

Transferred: CARDIFF CITY - August 1977

Appearances: 65/3 (gls 13) Cup: 20/1 (gls 6)

520 ROBSON Keith 521 TAYLOR Alan 522 CURBISHLEY Alan 523 ORHAN Yilmaz 524 PIKE Geoff Boys of 86 525 GREEN Bill 526 DEVONSHIRE Alan Boys of 86 527 OTULAKOWSKI Anton 528 RADFORD John 529 BRUSH Paul 530 HALES Derek 532 MARTIN Alvin Boys of 86

521. Alan TAYLOR ... (1974 - 1979)

522. Alan CURBISHLEY ... (1975 - 1978)

523. Yilmaz ORHAN ... (1976 - 1977)

524. Geoff PIKE ... (1976 - 1987)

525. Bill GREEN ... (1976 - 1978)

Bryan ROBSON ... (1976 - 1979) Second Debut

526. Alan DEVONSHIRE ... (1976 - 1989)

527. Anton OTULAKOWSKI ... (1976 - 1978)

528. John RADFORD ... (1976 - 1978)

529. Paul BRUSH ... (1977 - 1984)

530. Derek HALES ... (1977 - 1978)

This speedy whippet-like striker made the transition from Fourth Division Rochdale in true "Roy of the Rovers" fashion... appearing in the 1975 F.A. Cup Final within six months of his transfer. Made his initial debut as a substitute  against Leeds United at Upton Park in a 2-1 victory 7th December 1974. Once rejected by Preston North End, it was Alan's deadly finishing that got Hammers to Wembley. He scored twice in the Sixth Round victory over Arsenal, poached another brace in the Semi-Final Replay v. Ipswich Town, and did the same again in the Final against fighting Fulham. He had drifted into non-League soccer with Lancaster and Morcambe before Rochdale gave him his chance. Although he played in Irons' 1976 European Cup Winners' Final appearance v. Anderlecht in Belgium, his style of play made him very susceptible to injuries, which restricted his First XI outings. Transferred to Norwich City in 1979 for £90,000 he later played for Vancouver Whitecaps, Cambridge United, Hull City, Burnley and Norwich City again.

Born: Lancaster 14/11/1953    


Date: November 1974              

Fee: £40,000


Upton Park 7th December 1974

Transfered: NORWICH CITY

Dte: August 1979

Appearances: 88/10 (25 gls) Cup: 24/2 (gls 11)

Born: Forest Gate, London 08/11/1954

Signed: Apprentice

Date: July 1975


Upton Park 29th March 1975


Date: July 1979

Appearances: 78/7 ( 5 gls) Cup: 9/2 (0 gls)

Schoolboy prodigy who was reluctantly allowed to join Birmingham City 11th July 1979 for a huge fee after a dispute over his role in the side. Made his Hammers debut against Chelsea at Upton Park on the 10th March 1975 finishing on the losing side 0-1. In addition to starring at schoolboy level he also won six caps for England Youth and was a member of Hammers' side which reached the F.A. Youth Cup Final in 1975. Joined Brighton and Hove Albion after spells with Aston Villa and Charlton Athletic, which he later became manager in July 1991 steering them to Premiership status. Alan left the Addicts in May 2006 and after a short spell away from the game, which was augmented by work as a television pundit, Curbishley returned to management in December 2006 when he was appointed as manager of West Ham United.

Born in Nicosia, Cyprus, and of Turkish parentage, Yilmaz came to England and attended Clissold Park Comprehensive School, Hackney. “Spotted” by ex-Hammers’ player Terry Matthews playing for local side Aveley F.C., and in addition to First Team appearances for the Athenian League club he represented Essex County Youth. He subsequently played in the Hammers’ youth teams, and was signed as a professional on 16th February 1973. Made his First Division debut against Queens Park Rangers on the 24th January 1976 in a 1-0 victory at Upton Park. Yilmaz failed to get on the scoring-list in his nine senior outings. Left the Hammers for Hawaii of the North American Soccer League in April 1977.

Born: Nicosia, Cyprus 13/03/1955

Signed: AVELEY

Date: February 1973


Upton Park 24th January 1976

Transferred: HAWAII (North American Soccer League)

Appearances: 6/2 (gls 0) Cup: 1 (gls 0)

This whole-hearted endeavour and perpetual motion of this key midfield man did much to cushion the blow of losing Patsy Holland through injury. A similar type of player to Pat and his predecessor Ronnie Boyce, Geoff made a major contribution to the club's promotion back to the top flight in 1981. Making his League debut at Upton Park as a substitute for Yilmaz Orhan in a 1-2 defeat by Birmingham City on the 6th March 1976, he played much of his early soccer in Thurrock District and later with Gidea Park Rangers. A member of Hammers' Youth side which reached the F.A. Youth Cup Final in 1975, against Ipswich Town, Geoff had to wait a further five years for his first senior honour an F.A. Cup Winners medal in 1980 v. Arsenal at Wembley. He followed it up with a League Cup Runners-up medal and Second Division Championship memento's the next year. Transferred to Notts County in the summer of 1987 for £50,000 also given the responsibility of club captain. Later he joined near London neighbours Leyton Orient.

Born: Clapton, London 28/09/1956

Signed: Apprentice    

Date: July 1972


Upton Park 6th March 1976

Transferred: NOTTS COUNTY

Date: July 1987  

Fee: £50,000

Apprearances: 275/16 (gls 32) Cup: 74/3 (gls 9)

Born: Newcastle-upon-Tyne 22/12/1950


Date: June 1976

Fee:  £100,000


Villa Park 21st August 1976


Date: July 1978

Fee: £90,000

Appearances: 35 (gls 1) Cup: 5 (gls 0)

A £100,000 signing from Carlisle United who had a promising First Division career badly disrupted by injuries. A giant centre-half, he joined the Brunton Park club from unfashionable Hartlepool and played a major role in the Cumbrians' promotion to Division One in 1974. Made his Hammers debut against Aston Villa at Villa Park on the 21st August 1976. The unlucky Geordie was sold to Peterborough United for £90,000 in 1978 and later played for Chesterfield. Bill enjoyed a spell at Scunthorpe United as Manager until his shock sacking in January 1993.

Born: Sunderland 11/11/1945


Date: October 1976


Upton Park 16th October 1976

Transferred: SUNDERLAND

Date: June 1979

Appearances: 107 (gls 47) Cup: 8 (gls 4)

18 months after his first spell with the hammers this popular Wearsider was back at Upton Park, resigning for £80,000 in October 1976. Once again he led the goalscorers' list with 24 Second Division tallies in 1978-79, winning an Adidas Golden Boot award in the process. Although offered a new contract, his amazing career again retraced its steps when he returned to Roker Park for the second time in the summer of 1979. Moved on to Carlisle United in 1980 and was back in London again for 1982-83, still scoring goals for Chelsea. He then returned to his Beloved North-East as player-coach to Sunderland and enjoyed a fairytale return to Upton Park by helping the Wearsiders to a shock 1-0 win. Pop was appointed manager of Carlisle United, but later relinquished the post and then played part-time for Gateshead in the Northern Premier League.

"Devastating Dev." Maybe the biggest transfer bargain of all time. Plucked from obscurity of Isthmian League Southall for a paltry £5,000 he made his senior debut v. Queens Park Rangers in the League Cup on the 27th October 1976. Immediately proceeded to set the First Division alight with his silky midfield skills and ability to take on and beat opponents. Although he couldn't halt Hammers slide into the Second Division in 1978, he was influential in their return to the top flight in 1980-81, and also the dazzling Cup successes of the same period. An automatic choice at Upton Park until side-lined by injury in 1984-85, but came back to have a great 1985-86 season. Capped 8 times for England, the first of which was against Northern Ireland at Wembley in May 1980. Dev joined Watford on a free transfer in the summer of 1990. Later became Manager of Maidenhead United.

Born: Park Royal, London 13/04/1956


Date: October 1976  Fee: £5,000


Upton Park 27th October 1976

Transferred: WATFORD

Date: July 1990  Free Transfer

Appearances: 344/13 (gls 29) Cup: 86/4 (gls 3)

Signed from Barnsley on the strength of his performance against Hammers in a Football League Cup-tie in September 1976, made his Hammers debut two months later in a 2-0 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford on the 27th November 1976. The promising midfielder of Polish extraction didn't quite live up to expectations and was subsequently transferred to Southend United in April 1979. Then moved to Millwall where he made a considerable impression which led to his transfer to Crystal Palace in May 1986. Later became a teacher at Eton House School in Southend.

Born: Dewsbury, Yorkshire 29/01/1956


Date: October 1976


Old Trafford 27th November 1976


Date: March 1979

Appearances: 10/7 (gls 0)

A famous name from Arsenal's "1971 double season." Made his Hammers debut in the 2-0 victory over Liverpool at Upton Park 18th December 1976. His two years in the claret-and-blue were dogged by almost unbelievable bad luck. In 30 senior outings he did everything but score; at times it seemed gremlins were at work to prevent him doing so. As if by magic, his move to Blackburn Rovers in February 1978 saw him regain his scoring touch . His 30 games for Hammers without scoring a goal must remain something of a record for a recognised striker.

Born: Pontefract, Yorkshire 22/02/1947


Date: December 1976


Upton Park 18th December 1976


Date: February 1978

Appearances: 28 (gls 0) Cup: 2 (gls 0)

Signed apprenticeship forms in July 1974. Paul made his League debut against Norwich City in August 1977 and became a defender of some standing in Football League circles. He was twelfth man for the 1980 F.A. Cup Final against Arsenal at Wembley. A fine servant and highly-valued member of Hammers' senior squad who proved invaluable during the 1984-85 injury crisis. Coming up for his tenth year with the club before transferring to Crystal Palace, and later to non-League Enfield. Paul later became manager of our East London neighbours Leyton Orient in 2002.

Born: Plaistow, London 22/02/1958

Signed: Apprentice

Date: February 1976


Upton Park 20th August 1977


Date: September 1985

Appearances: 144/7 (gls 1) Cup: 29/4 (gls 0)

Striker with an insatiable appetite for scoring goals, he was snapped up by Charlton Athletic from Luton Town for a bargain fee and later   transferred to Derby County for £300,000, the highest ever paid for a Second Division player at the time. Hammers got him for a third of that price. Made his Hammers debut against Middlesbrough at Upton Park in October 1977 in a 0-2 defeat, but the player found it hard to settle at the Boleyn and he returned to The Valley the following year. Later moved to Gillingham.

Born: Lower Halston 15/12/1955


Date: September 1977


Upton Park 3rd October 1977


Date: July 1978

Appearances: 23/1 (gls 10) Cup: 3 (gls 0)

ROBSON Bryan Second Debut

(Bryan first played for the Hammers February 1971)


531. David CROSS ... (1977 - 1982)

532. Alvin MARTIN ... (1978 - 1996)

533. Phil PARKES ... (1979 - 1990)

534. Nicky MORGAN ... (1979 - 1983)

535. Billy LANSDOWNE Jnr. ... (1979 - 1981)

531 CROSS David 533 PARKES Phil Boys of 86 534 MORGAN Nicky 535 LANSDOWNE Billy

Signed from West Bromwich Albion for the then record fee of £180,000 on 9th December 1977; he made his League debut for Hammers a week later - against his old club in a 0-1 defeat at The Hawthorns on the 17th December. Nicknamed "Psycho" by the fans. Formerly with Rochdale, Norwich City and Coventry City before going to the Hawthorns, he proved to be one of West Ham's best-ever buys, scoring regularly in the First and Second Divisions. After leaving West Ham, Dave had spells with Manchester City and Oldham Athletic and was back with West Bromwich Albion in 1985-86 season. He went on to play for Manchester City, Oldham Athletic and spent the summers of 1983 and 1984 with Vancouver Whitecaps (46 appearances 29 goals) before rejoining West Brom for the 1984–85 season. He signed for Bolton Wanderers in 1985–86, but a fractured skull helped to end his playing career in England apart from a brief unsuccessful loan spell at Bury at the end of the campaign. He then had a brief spell with Aris Limassol of Cyprus before retiring.

Born: Heywood, Lancashire 08/12/1950


Date: December 1977


The Hawthorns 17th December 1977


Date: August 1982

Appearances: 178/1 (gls 77) Cup: 44 (gls 20)

PARKES Phil Blue

The best centre-half seen at the club since the days of Ken Brown. Tall and dominating, he likes nothing better than to join in attacks for set-pieces. League debut against Aston Villa on the 18th March 1978 in 1-4 reverse. Since embarking on his senior career the honours have come thick and fast, at club and international level. Won a Cup-Winners' medal in 1980 and Second Division Championship and League Cup Runners-up medals the following year. A full England international, he gained 17 England caps, and he was in the World Cup squad for Mexico 1986. On 21st April 1986 he scored a hat-trick against  three different goalkeepers when the Hammers beat Newcastle United 8-1 in a League match at Upton Park. "Stretch" was awarded a Testimonial against Tottenham Hotspur at the start of the 1988-89 campaign.

Born: Bootle, Lancashire 29/07/1958


Villa Park 18th March 1978

Transferred: LEYTON ORIENT

Date: May 1996

Appearances: 462/7 (gls 26) Cup: 126 (gls 11)

Born: Sedgeley, Staffordshire 08/08/1950


Date: February 1979 £565,000

Debut: OLDHAM ATHLETIC - Upton Park 24th February 1979

Transferred: IPSWICH TOWN - 1989

Appearances: 344 Cup: 96

Born: Eltham, London 30/10/1959

Signed: Apprentice

Date: July 1976


Upton Park 9th April 1979

Transferred: PORTSMOUTH

Date: March 1993

Fee £50,000

Appearances: 14/7 (gls 4) Cup: 2/2 (gls 0)

Born: Epping, Essex 28/04/1959

Signed: Apprentice

Date: June 1978

Debut: Wrexham

Upton Park 28th April 1979


Date: July 1981

Appearances: 5/4 (gls 1) Cup: 4/1 (gls 3)

Born: Stratford, London 02/10/1960

Signed: Apprentice

Date: September 1978


Ninian Park 11th May 1979

Transferred: BOURNEMOUTH

Date: August 1981

Appearances: 0/1 (gls 0)

Part 1 :  519. Billy Jennings to 550. Ray Houghton


Great in deeds and stature. His £565,000 transfer from Queens Park Rangers in February 1979 broke the existing record between English clubs for a goalkeeper. Had already made over 400 League appearances before his arrival at Upton Park, 52 of them with his first club, Walsall. Made his Hammers debut v. Oldham Athletic in a Second Division 3-0 victory at Upton Park on the 24th February 1979. His fine displays in the promotion season of 1980-81 were a big factor in West Ham's return to the top flight. A full international, Phil had 20 "shut-outs " in 42 League and 10 Cup games in the team that gained third place in the First Division in 1985-86. An elbow infection, which took a long time to heal, cost "Eric" his No. 1 jersey and was unable to reclaim it with Tom McAlister in such fine form. Tom also in turn lost his place with the signing of Allen McKnight for the 1988-89 season, but Phil returned to the First team against Charlton Athletic, much to the delight of the Upton Park faithful, in a Fifth Round F.A. Cup tie at Selhurst Park, after McKnight had some "McNightmare" games. Finally called it a day with the signing of the Czechoslovakian World Cup goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko in February 1990. Transferred to Ipswich Town in the Summer of 1990 to team up with ex-Hammers manager John Lyall. Later joined as goal-keeping coach with Alan Devonshire's Maidenhead United.

Useful striker, who was unable to win a regular place in the First Team. Signed apprentice professional in July 1976, full pro in October 1977; made his League bow against Luton Town in a Second Division 1-0 victory on the 9th April 1979. Gained invaluable experience on the Continent when he was loaned out to Hammers' 1976 European Cup Winners' Cup opponents - Den Haag during the 1981-82 season, scoring 7 goals in 16 appearances for the Dutch club. With the signing of Dave Swindlehurst from Derby County, Morgan jumped at the chance to lead the front-line for Bobby Campbell's Third Division side Portsmouth, joining the Fratton Park side in March 1983 for £50,000. Later played for Stoke City and Bristol City.

A live-wire young striker who was well-schooled by his father who also played for the Hammers! Billy made his League debut when he came on as a substitute against Wrexham in a Second Division clash at Upton Park 28th April 1979 with a 1-1 score line. Scored a celebrated "hat-trick" to end the League Cup marathon with Southend United in 1979 and  Transferred to Charlton Athletic in July 1981, Bill later had a spell in Sweden but returned home to feature in Dagenham's great F.A. Cup run in the 1984-85 season.

536. Phil BRIGNULL ... (1979)

Born: Chingford, Essex 15/11/1950


Date: September 1970


Upton Park 15th September 1979


Date: January 1983

Appearances: 66/7 (gls 8) Cup: 21/2 (gls 1)

Born: Aveley, Essex 28/08/1962

Signed: Apprentice

Date: August 1979


Upton Park 29th September 1979


Date: June 1985

Fee: £400,000 + Sell-on fee

Appearances: 149/3 (gls 6) Cup: 36/8 (gls 5)

Born: West Ham 10/10/1961

Signed: Apprentice

Date: August 1979


Upton Park 8th October 1979

Transferred: Retired injury 1980

Appearances: 1 (gls 0) Cup: 1 (gls 0)

Born: Harlington, Middlesex 12/10/1959


Date: 11 August 1980

Fee: £8000,000


Upton Park 16th August 1980


Date: November 1986 Fee:  £425,000

Appearances: 159/11 (gls 54) Cup: 42/1 (gls 17)

Born: Kingston 17/12/1962

Signed: Apprentice

Date: September 1980


Santiago Bernabeu Stadium 17th September 1980

Transferred: ALDERSHOT

Date: March 1986  Fee: £15,000

Appearances: 31/12 (gls 5) Cup: 7/2 (gls 1)

A useful defender whose First XI opportunities were extremely limited. His sole appearance in the senior side was made as substitute against Cardiff City in a Second Division match at Ninian Park 11th May 1979 which finished 0-0. Transferred to A.F.C. Bournemouth in 1981, where his cousin, former Chelsea star David Webb, was then assistant manager. After 129 appearnaces for the Dean Court club he joined Wrexham on loan, before plying his trade with Cardiff City and Newport County. Slipped into non-League football with Weymouth in 1998.

537. Stuart PEARSON ... (1979 - 1982)

A goal-scoring striker of proven ability whose time at the club was dogged by injuries. Had already won 15 full international caps for England when he arrived at Upton Park from Manchester United for a big fee in August 1979. First impressed Hammers when he played against them in an F.A. Cup-tie for Hull City at Boothferry Park in January 1973; but the player spent the intervening years at Old Trafford, appearing in two Wembley Cup Finals for United - a feat he emulated with Hammers. "Pancho" made his Hammers debut in the 0-1 reverse against Wrexham at the Racecourse ground in a Second Division clash on the 18th August 1979. Stuart had a brief spell in South Africa before opening a shop at Whitefield near Manchester which sold European tile imports, brought back into the game by Brian Talbot to assist him at West Bromwich Albion.

Born: Hull, Yorkshire 21/06/1949


Date: August 1979



The Racecourse Ground 18th August 1979

Transferred: SOUTH AFRICA 1982

Appearances: 28/6 (gls 6) Cup: 11/5 (gls 4)

Born: Kensington, London 15/05/1961

Signed: Apprentice

Date: May 1979


Upton Park 20th August 1979

Transferred: ALDERSHOT

Date: August 1982

Appearances: 2/3 (gls 0) Cup: 1 (gls 0)

Born: Stanley, Perthshire, Scotland 07/09/1959


Date: September 1979

Fee: £430,000


Oakwell 4th September 1979

Transferred: ST. JOHNSTONE

Date: July 1991

Appearances: 343/1 (gls 62) Cup: 86/2 (gls 23)

438. Dale BANTON ... (1979 - 1980)

Dale made his Hammers' debut as substitute for Stuart Pearson in the Second Division fixture with Chelsea at Upton Park in a 0-1 defeat on the 20th August 1979. Highly-promising midfielder, who was reluctantly allowed to leave the Boleyn owing to intense competition for places. The former Middlesex Schools star grabbed the headlines when scoring five goals in one match at the end of the 1982-83 season for Aldershot, the club he joined on leaving Hammers. He then teamed up with F.A. Cup giant-killers York City in the 1984-85 season, but later rejoined the "Shots" and was named as sub when they visited West Ham in an F.A. Cup 3rd round match in 1990-91.

539. Ray STEWART ... (1979 - 1991)

Raised in the quite village of Stanley, Perthshire. He signed schoolboy forms for Scottish Premier League club Dundee United at the age of 16 and made such an impact as a young defender with obvious leadership qualities, that he went on to captain Scotland at schoolboy, youth and under-21 level. After just 44 league games for Dundee United, he became Britain's most expensive teenager in September 1979, when West Ham manager John Lyall paid £430,000 to bring him to the East London club. Ray made his initial Hammers debut in the Football League Cup against Barnsley at Oakwell on the 4th September 1979 in a 2-1 victory. Eight months later, Ray had established himself as a firm favourite at Upton Park and was a key member of Hammers' F.A. Cup winning side - his dramatic late penalty in the quarter -final against Aston Villa having helped the Hammers' march towards Wembley. The Hammers were back there again the following March, when Ray - who had been awarded the first of his 10 full Scottish caps by then - scored an even more dramatic spot kick to put West Ham level with Liverpool in injury-time. Hammers were beaten in the League Cup Final replay but the season ended in style for Ray and his team mates as they annexed the Second Division championship with a record points haul. "Tonka" - the nickname by which Ray became known for because of his ability to strike the ball with such venom and accuracy, especially from the penalty spot - has experienced all the Hammers highs and lows...from the glory of their best-ever third place in Division One, to the heartbreak of relegation just three seasons later. Ray spent the last 18 months of his Upton Park career battling hard to overcome a serious knee injury that threatened to end his playing days. Yet throughout his ordeal he remained one of West Ham United's most popular characters. Ray later managed Scottish club Livingston then St Johnston.

540. Jimmy NEIGHBOUR ... (1979 - 1983)

Jimmy was a winger not always given the credit he deserved. An experienced professional, he had seen service with Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City before joining the Hammers from the Carrow Road club in 1979. Jimmy made his Second Division League debut against Sunderland in a 2-0 victory at Upton Park on the 15th September 1979.Scorer of the goal that clinched a League Cup Final appearance for the club in 1981, Later took a coaching position with Enfield Football Club and then Yeovil. Rejoined the Hammers as Youth Development Officer in October 1990.

541. Paul ALLEN ... (1979 - 1985)

The subject of a shock transfer to Tottenham Hotspur for a fee set at £400,000 by the Football League Tribunal during the summer of 1985, this young midfield dynamo was already the proud holder of two national football records. In May 1980 he became (at 17 years and 256 days) the youngest player ever to appear in an English F.A. Cup Final, collecting a winners' medal to boot. He also smashed Bobby Moore's long standing record of 18 England Youth International caps the following year. Before joining his cousin Clive Allen at White Hart Lane, Paul signed apprentice in July 1978 and full professional forms for the Hammers in August 1979. Paul made his Second Division League debut a month later in the 2-1 victory against Burnley at Upton Park on the 29th September 1979. A one-time Essex and Thurrock Boys starlet, he returned to West Ham's First Division side in 1984 after a long lay-off through injury and made a major contribution towards the club's successful fight against relegation, displaying the kind of form which saw him blossom into one of the finest midfield players in the country and led Spurs and Liverpool battling for his signature. The eventual winners from North London paid Hammers 50% of the profit on his £550,000 move to Southampton in September 1993, because of a clause in his contract.

542. Mark SMITH ... (1979)

Born: Clydebank, Scotland 10/12/1952


Date: May 1981  Fee: Free


St Andrews 3rd October 1981


Date: June 1989

Appearances: 85 Cup: 15

Born: Opwyk, Belgium. 01/12/1954


Date: December 1981 Fee: £400,000


Goldstone Ground 16th January 1982

Transferred: LOKEREN (Belgium)

Date: June 1983

Fee: £220,000

Appearances: 61/1 (gls 14) Cup: 7/1 (gls 3)

A lad who looked destined to follow in the tradition of a long line of Upton Park full-backs, he instead had a career of latent promise cruelly cut short by injury. A West Hammer by birth, he had won rave notices with Newham, Essex and London Boys and was an England trialist before signing for his local club in October 1979. After skippering the Youth team he made his initial senior appearance against Southend United in a 5-1 victory in the League Cup on the 8th October 1979 and his Second Division League bow came against Swansea before the tragic termination of his career.

Born: Glasgow, Scotland. 09/01/1962

Signed: Juniors

Date: July 1979


Highbury 1st May 1982

Transferred: FULHAM

Date: July 1982

Appearances: 0/1 (gls 0)

Born: Greenock, Scotland 13/05/1959

Signed: MORTON (SCotland)

Date: January 1982  Fee: £400,000


Old Trafford 27th January 1982

Transferred: HIBERNIAN (Scotland)

Date: August 1987  Fee: £123,000

Appearances: 133/13 (gls 4) Cup: 24/5 (gls 1)

Born: Buckie, Scotland 06/05/1951

Signed: BUCKIE THISTLE (Scotland)

Date: August 1978


Portman Road 13th April 1982

Transferred: HEARTS (Scotland)

Date: August 1983

Appearances: 6/2 (gls 0) Cup: 1 (gls 0)

Born: Forest Gate, London 24/01/1963

Signed: Apprentice

Date: January 1981


Highfield Road 17th April 1982

Transferred: BOURNEMOUTH

Date: September 1983

Appearances: 6/1  (gls 0)

543. Paul GODDARD ... (1980 - 1986)

This exciting striker created a club record fee of £800,000 when signed from Queens Park Rangers in September 1980. His subsequent displays at club and Under-21 international level proved him to be worth every penny of that vast outlay. Made his Hammers debut at the start of the 1980-81 Second Division campaign against Luton Town in a 1-2 defeat at the Boleyn on the 16th August. Nicknamed "Sarge" by his colleagues, after his Boy's Brigade days, the clean-cut Goddard seemed destined for the highest honours in the game until injuries hampered his progress in the 1983-84 season, but he returned to top form in the following season. He won a Second Division Championship and Football League Cup Runners-up medal in 1981. Transferred to Newcastle United in November 1986 for a fee of £425,000 after he could no longer break back into the First Team due to the fine form of both Cottee and McAvennie. Later transferred to Derby County after his family couldn't settle in the North-East. Millwall acquired his services in the 1989-90 season, and former manager John Lyall plucked him from The Den on a free transfer to enjoy a successful period Ipswich Town, helping them towards a place in the newly formed Premier Division. “Sarge” rejoined the Hammers at the start of the 2001-02 campaign as coach to the first team under the leadership of  Glenn Roeder.  Parted company with the Hammers when new manager Alan Pardew took control soon after the start of the 2003-04 campaign.

544. Bobby BARNES ... (1980 - 1985)

Fast, skilful flank-man with the ability to take on and beat opponents, he scored on his League debut v. Watford in September 1980. Won an extended run in the First XI during Hammers' injury crisis of 1983-84, and staked a regular claim in 1984-85. A member of the Youth Cup winning team of 1981, he also had England Youth honours. Had a spell on  loan to Scunthorpe United in 1985-86 season before being transferred to Aldershot for £15,000 in March 1986, he later joined Swindon Town and then Peterborough United.

545. Tom McALISTER ... (1981 - 1989)

A once under-rated 'keeper who was on the verge of breaking into the Scottish squad to go to Munich for the 1974 World Cup Finals, when he had to cry off with a broken leg. Disaster struck once more when he tried to come back too soon and broke the leg again. All this happened with Sheffield United, in their First Division days; he then moved to Rotherham in January 1976, and Blackpool in July 1979. Signed for Hammers on a free transfer in May 1981 from Bristol Rovers, where he was on loan from Swindon Town, the experienced Scot did well when deputising for the injured Phil Parkes for four games in season 1981-82, making his debut in the 2-2 draw against Birmingham City at St. Andrews on the 3rd October 1981. Tom established himself as West Ham's No. 1 and kept out Phil on merit. Indeed, but for a stomach virus which ruled him out of the home game with Arsenal in April 1988 (ironically, almost a year to the day when injury to Phil presented him with his chance), "Milk Tray Man" would have played in all 45 first team games...more than he had done in his six previous seasons at the club! Lost the green jersey to Allen McKnight after the first two games of the 1988-89 season through injury, had a load period to Colchester United in February 1989. The Scot was allowed to depart in the summer of 1989 to Harrow Borough as player/Manager.

546. Francois VAN DER ELST ... (1982 - 1983)

Most remembered for his stunning performance against the Hammers in the European Cup Winners' Cup Final for Anderlecht at the ill-fated Heysel Stadium in 1976. West Ham signed their tormentor-in-chief and architect of their defeat six years earlier for £400,000 from New York Cosmos 24 December 1981. His appearance for the Belgians that night versus his club-mates-to-be (although he could hardly have realised it at the time) was the first of a unique hat-trick of appearances in successive seasons in the Final of that competition, being on the losing side against Hamburg in 1977 and a winner again the following year against WAC Austria. Also in the Anderlecht team which won the U.E.F.A. Super Cup against Liverpool in 1978. Francois was an automatic choice for his country until his move to the States. Made his Hammers debut as a 79th minute substitute against Brighton & Hove Albion at the Goldstone ground on the 16 January 1982 in a 0-1 defeat. His form at Upton Park saw him resurrect his international career, however, culminating in his appearance in the 1982 World Cup in Spain. Considered by many to have been one move ahead of many of his colleagues at the Boleyn, it's doubtful if the brilliant Belgian would have returned to his own country with Lokeren so soon if his family had been able to settle here.

547. Neil ORR ... (1982 - 1987)

Son of the Scottish international and Greenock Morton player, Tommy Orr, Neil followed his father to Cappielow Park, from where Hammers signed him in January 1982. Recommended to the club by fellow team-mate Ray Stewart. Neil made his Hammers debut in the 0-1 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford on the 27th January 1982. A battling back-four player and a capable midfielder was capped seven times for Scotland Under-23's. After playing in the first game of the 1987-88 season he was the subject of a surprisingly out of the blue transfer, Hibernian paying £123,000 in August for his signature.

548. George COWIE ... (1982 - 1983)

When George was appointed captain of the Scottish Youth XI in 1978, Hammers had the unique distinction of having the skippers of Scotland and England among their apprentice ranks - Paul Allen winning the equivalent honour for England. After gaining honours in schools football with North of Scotland the young defender joined his local side Buckie Rovers from where he signed for West Ham United in July 1977. Made a full pro just over a year later, he had his First Division debut on 13th April 1982, coming on as substitute for Jimmy Neighbour against Ipswich Town at Portman Road in a 2-3 defeat. Despite proving himself a valuable squad member, George was allowed to transfer to Hearts in 1983, where he was later joined by another former Hammer in striker Sandy Clark; and the pair became involved in the quest to bring the first Premier League Championship to Edinburgh but ended as runners-up.

549. Everald LA RONDE ... (1982 - 1983)

A promising young defender who appeared to have a bright future at Upton Park. Captained the 1981 Youth Cup Winning side and showed up well when drafted into the senior XI, making his League debut as a substitute for Alvin Martin against Coventry City on the 17th April 1982 in a 0-1 reverse at Highfield Road. Then joined up with former Hammer Harry Redknapp at Bournemouth, but after a spell he returned to junior local soccer, and then played for Wealdstone.

550. Ray  HOUGHTON ... (1982)

Houghton was born in Scotland but began his football career south of the border with the Hammers where he came through the ranks and signed professional forms as a 17 year-old 5th July 1979. Ray's endeavour failed to make any impact at Upton Park and after 3 years, in which he made just 1 appearance as substitute in the last half-hour against Arsenal a 0-2 defeat 1st May 1982 at Highbury. Hammers had to allow this talented young Scot to go to Craven Cottage 7th July 1982 due to excellent form by Trevor Brooking and Alan Devonshire. That sole appearance puts him some way behind Billy Bonds in the record books. It was at the West London club that his name grew as a young, hardworking ballplayer but he made the First Division grade with Oxford United following a transfer from Craven Cottage at a big figure, and moved further north to join League Champions Liverpool for an even bigger fee in 1987. Although born in Glasgow, he was capped for the Republic of Ireland in 1986 through family qualifications, culminating in the World Cup Finals in 1990 which were held in Italy. Ray joined Aston Villa in 1992 and later played for Crystal Palace, Reading and wound down his career at Stevenage Borough.

ALLEN Paul BARNES Bobby 537 PEARSON Stuart 539 STEWART Ray 542 SMITH Mark 543 GODDARD Paul 538 BANTON Dale 544 BARNES Bobby 545 McALISTER Tom 546 VAN der ELST Francois 547 ORR Neil 548 COWIE George 549 LA RONDE Everald 550 HOUGHTON Ray 540 NEIGHBOUR Jimmy 541 ALLEN Paul 536 BRIGNULL Phil BRIGNULL Phil BLUE PARKES Phil to Steve Van der Elst signature