theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

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

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email:  theyflysohigh@btinternet.com

Banner Hammers Logo theyflysohigh 6-1 match report 03 48_03_26 Cardiff City v. WHU

The most opposed team to face the Hammers in Friday games is Ipswich Town. West Ham have a woeful record against the Tractor Boys. Of the 8 encounters the record reads: 2 wins, 1 draw and 5 losses.

 

West Ham's best record against any team on a Friday is against Tottenham Hotspur. The bragging rights remain in east London. Of the four derby clashes, three were won with one lost, 9 goals scored and only two conceded.

 

Brian Dear with the help of his five strikes against West Bromwich Albion in 1965, unsurprisingly is top goalscorer with a total of 8 goals. He is followed closely behind by Geoff Hurst and Bryan 'Pop' Robson who both have seven.

 

The only Christmas Day fixture to fall on a Friday was back in 1953. A John Dick solitary goal was enough to see off Luton Town at Upton Park.

 

Carrow Road was the venue for the only-ever New Year's Day fixture. Norwich City first-footed into 1988 with a 4-1 win. The Hammers' consolation goal was scored by Tony Cottee.

 

Matchday Friday ...

47_04_04 Bury v. WHU

On November 24, 2017 West Ham United face Leicester City in their second Friday fixture of the 2017-18 Premier League season.

 

After the debacle of their previous Friday evening’s home entertainment, the 3-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion, the Hammer's will be hoping for a marked improvement in what will be David Moyes’ first home game as Slaven Bilic’s replacement.

 

These Friday fixtures has prompted 'theyflysohigh' to delve into the record books to review the Hammers’ fortunes in the end of the week affairs and to reminisce over some excellent claret and blue performances and some… not so excellent.

Reviewing all Friday affairs since the end of the Second World War, the results have been fairly good with the Hammers' winning 42.4% of the games out of a total 73 league and cup matches. These also include bank holiday fixtures played over Christmas, New Year's Day and Good Friday.  

 

The breakdown of those 73 post war games is: Won 31 Drawn 19 and Lost 23, scoring 137 goals and conceding 120.

Non-Bank Holiday Fridays

With October 20, 2017's 3-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion still fresh in the mind, the stats reveal the Hammers have a dismal record when playing on a weekday non-bank holiday Friday.

 

The full weekday record reads:

 

Played 29, Won 7, Drawn 11, Lost 11, goals for 44, goals against 53.

November 24

Bury v. West Ham United

Friday April 4, 1947

West Ham's initial Friday fixture after the Second World War was in a Second Division fixture against Bury at Gigg Lane on Good Friday April 4, 1947.  

 

The Shakers ran out easy winners by 4-0, although the subsequent home programme gave a different slant on proceedings: "The homesters had all the luck that was going". How many times have we heard that one over the past 70-years?

 

The following season, Sheffield Wednesday "went nap" at Hillsborough on Boxing Day 1947, winning 5-3 in the Hammers' second Friday outing. The Owls registering the second highest score against us in that 1947-48 season, Chesterfield having slaughtered us 6-0 at Saltergate.

 

With eight goals being scored, the match against Wednesday was obviously an end-to-end game! However, more bad luck befell the Hammers the following day in the return fixture, this time we sustained a 4-1 reverse at the Boleyn Ground.

First Friday Fixture

However, Stephens was not so fortunate the following season. He suffered what must be the fastest-ever injury in a competitive match when he broke his left leg five seconds after the kick-off of an Eastern Counties League match at Bury St. Edmunds on the April 22, 1949 - his second leg-break in successive seasons.

 

Stephens had only one more senior claret and blue outing before transferring to the Bluebirds of Cardiff City in December 1950. Though he never managed to make the Ninian Park club’s league side.

379 STEPHENS Bill

Cardiff City Hat-trick

Crossed Hammer outline Crossed Hammer outline

West Ham United had to wait for their 3rd Friday outing to record their first end of week win. The victory on March 26, 1948 was a personal triumph for centre-forward Bill Stephens. The Northumberland born player scored a hat-trick in front of 41,700 in the Good Friday 3-0 win over Cardiff City at Ninian Park.

For the Hammers it was a fixture of no great consequence, but for the visiting Birmingham City side they were deeply involved in relegation problems.

 

Nevertheless, we were anxious to regain a winning formula, as the F.A. Cup Final against Preston North End was only a fortnight away and we had sustained three successive defeats (0-3 at Stoke City, 2-3 at home to Bolton Wanderers and 0-2 at Fulham).

 

The Hammers could hardly have given a better response, and visiting manager Gil Merrick had the bitter experience of seeing his team concede five goals with hardly the semblance of a reply.

 

Our goals came from Peter Brabrook (4 and 53 minutes), Geoff Hurst (35 mins.), John Sissons (58 mins.) and Johnny Byrne (63 mins.). For the concluding 30 minutes the Blues' goalkeeper, John Schofield, was their hero as he kept the score down to just the five counters.

64_04_17 WHU v. Birmingham City BRABROOK Peter

West Ham United recorded their biggest home victory on a weekday Friday with a thumping 5-0 win over Birmingham City in the concluding home match of the 1963-64 campaign.

West Ham's heaviest home defeat on a weekday Friday came this calendar year when the Hammers suffered an early exit from the FA Cup at the third round stage as Manchester City recorded an emphatic 5-0 victory at London Stadium on January 6, 2017.

 

Slaven Bilic's Hammers were hoping to reach the latter stages of the competition for the second successive season, but they came up against an impressive City team who progressed to the semi-finals before losing to eventual winners Arsenal.

 

Another heavy defeat came against Chelmsford City in the Essex Professional Cup Final on May 2, 1958. The Hammers were well beaten 5-1.

 

 

 

 

 

Another notable defeat was suffered in a Football League Division One fixture to Tranmere Rovers on December 4, 1992. Rovers and the Hammers were sitting second and third in the table respectively when the two sides met at Prenton Park. And that's how the positions remained after the Hammers were sent home, tails between their legs after a 5-2 massacre.

 

West Ham manager Billy Bonds hit the roof after seeing his side torn apart by a John Aldridge hat-trick. The Hammers boss raged afterwards: "You could have driven a double-decker bus through the defence tonight"

 

However, at the end of the 1992-93 campaign West Ham had the last laugh. The Hammers finished in second place, behind Newcastle United, and gain promotion to the new FA Carling Premiership for 1993-94. Tranmere Rovers had to settle for a fourth spot finish and another season in League Division One.

17_01_06 WHU v. Manchester City FAC3 92_12_04 Tranmere Rovers v. WHU

Heaviest Weekday Friday Defeat

Crossed Hammer outline Crossed Hammer outline 1992-93 table

Massacre at Prenton Park

Good Friday's are better than Friday's

Looking back over the statistics that cover previous Easter bank holiday periods, the Hammers’ Good Friday results and performances are more impressive:

 

Played 32, Won 20, Drawn 8 and lost only 4 times. 73 goals were scored and just 34 conceded. This represents a 62.5% win record!

Biggest Good Friday Win

West Ham’s biggest-ever Good Friday victory was the 6-1 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion on April 16, 1965. This resounding home win against The Throstles will forever be remembered for the exploits of a certain Brian Dear.

 

The 21-year-old Plaistow-born forward went down in West Ham folklore as he rattled in five goals in a 20-minute spell either side of half time. His first goal in the 44th minute was a simple tap-in following a Martin Peters centre. Dear then went on to score four more goals in the first 18 minutes of the second half. Martin Peters also added his name to the scoresheet.

 

Brian Dear ended the 1964-65 season scoring 14 goals from just 15 appearances. His individual scoring tally of 5 goals against the Baggies was the best by a claret and blue player since West Ham goalscoring legend Vic Watson put six past Leeds United in the 8-2 win back in 1929.

65_04_16 WHU v. WBA

Brian Dear converts Martin Peters' centre for his first goal

6-1 match report 02 DEAR Brian

Demise of the Easter Schedule

Long-gone are the days when the Easter period signaled the start of three-games in a four day schedule: Good Friday, Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday. A nervy time of year, especially for those teams that were floundering at the bottom half of their division's league table. Traditionally Easter was a time when many club's fate was decided, whether it be promotion or relegation.

The last time the Hammers competed in a Good Friday fixture was back in 2012. The npower Championship fixture against Barnsley at Oakwell on April 6 coincided with the Hammers' biggest-ever away victory.  

 

West Ham captain Kevin Nolan, Nicky Maynard, Mark Noble and Ricardo Vaz Te were all on target in the 4-0 win at Oakwell. The three points gained cemented their place in an automatic play-off position.

 

The Hammers' season ended on a high with a 2-1 Championship Play-Off Final victory over Blackpool at Wembley. A 35th minute strike from Carlton Cole and another from Ricardo Vaz Te three-minutes from time ensured promotion back to the Premier League.

Festive Fridays

Cap1

In marked contrast to their Good Friday stats, West Ham's record over the Christmas and New Year period is very disappointing:

 

Played 12, Won 4, Drawn 0 and lost 8 times. Only 17 goals were scored with 29 conceded. This represents a 33.3% win record!

Of the twelve festive Friday games played the Hammers have only achieved maximum points in four games.

 

The fixture planners weren’t too kind to the Hammers either, as eight of the twelve games were scheduled to be played away from the Boleyn Ground.

 

Only two 1-0 and two 4-1 victories were recorded on this date. The most satisfying to the older claret and blue contingent would most certainly be the 1958 Boxing Day clash with Tottenham Hotspur.

 

The Hammers travelled to White Hart Lane for the second of their back-to-back London derbies with the Lilywhites. West Ham having won 2-1 at the Boleyn Ground on Christmas Day.

 

24 hours later the Hammers inflicted further pain on their north London neighbours. Manager Ron Greenwood introduced Andy Smillie to the starting line-up for his first team league debut. A Ron Henry own goal supplemented strikes from John Bond, Vic Keeble and John Dick as the Hammers ran out easy 4-1 winners in front of 43,817.

 

West Ham's second festive 4-1 victory came against Portsmouth at Fratton Park in 2008.

 

Crossed Hammer outline

Friday : For The Record

The omens are looking good for West Ham, as their next Friday opponents are Leicester City. This latest clash will take place at the London Stadium on November 24, 2017.

 

The Hammers have played the Foxes on 3 previous occasions, all at home. The claret and blue side winning twice: a 4-1 victory in 1949, and in 1961 by 1-0, the third game ended in a 2-2 draw in March 2005.

In a turbulent campaign of unrest and managerial changes let's all unite and get behind the team for another good Friday under the lights.

 

COYI

Crossed Hammer outline 12_04_06 Barnsley v. WHU 12_05_19 WHU v. Blackpool Final 58_12_26 Tottenham Hotspur v. WHU

Newspaper coverage courtesy of Richard Miller

Articles Penalty Shoot-outs Bobby Moore Sportswear Shop 66_04_08 Tottenham Hotspur v. WHU SMILLIE Andy

Boyce, Byrne, Hurst and Redknapp were all on target in the 4-1 win on April 8, 1966

4-1 win in 1958

A Friday Testimonial Affair

Of the 35 testimonial and benefit games awarded to West Ham United’s players and staff, only one has ever been held on a Friday.  This was the club’s 19th testimonial, and held in honour of mid-fielder Pat Holland.  The Hammers ran out comfortable 4-1 winners over Tottenham Hotspur in the evening of May 18, 1984. Today testimonial games are rare, let alone one held on a Friday.  

Footnote:

West Ham Unite 1-1 Leicester City

Cheikhou Kouyate’s 45th minute header earned David Moyes his first point as West Ham United manager. His side fought back after going down to an eighth minute opener to draw one-a-piece with Leicester City on Friday night.

 

Moyes described the point as "a start" and said of the Hammers fans: "They got right behind the players and the players gave them something back."