Welcome to the West Ham United Memorabilia Collection featuring everything Claret and Blue
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Hovering on the right wing is Hammers’ Peter Brabrook. The crowd crane forward as Hurst slips the ball to Brabrook who moves inside.
And this is it. The few crucial moments of nerve and skill when the destiny of this blood-stirring and glorious Cup Final will be decided, are upon us.
Brabrook flights a floating, cunning cross from right to left. The ball soars over the entire Preston defence – and there, galloping in unmarked with the goal roar rising up from the stands and terraces, is the Hammers’ hard-working inside–right Ron Boyce.
Hurling himself at the ball, Boyce heads into the Preston net and all Wembley is ablaze with claret and blue scarves and favours.
West Ham have won for the first time in the club’s history in only their second FA Cup appearance at Wembley.
Ronnie Boyce will always be remembered as the scorer of West Ham United’s winning goal in the 1964 FA Cup final. And the right winger who supplied the goal assist should also be remembered with the same reverence.
American Soccer League Championship Play-off winners medal (1963) v. Górnik Zabrze (Poland)
League Cup semi-final (1964) v. Leicester City
FA Cup winners medal (1964) v. Preston North End
Charity Shield (1964) v. Liverpool
League Cup runners-up tankard (1966) v. West Bromwich Albion
European Cup Winners Cup semi-final (1966) v. Borussia Dortmund
League Cup semi-final (1967) v. West Bromwich Albion
Brabrook transferred from Chelsea to West Ham United in October 1962 and enjoyed six seasons at the Boleyn Ground. In July 1968 he moved to London neighbours Leyton Orient. His 215 claret and blue league and cup appearances and contribution of 43 goals included the following roll of honour:
Born: Greenwich, London November 8, 1937 Peter Brabrook died December 10, 2016 aged 79.
After leaving Orient, he enjoyed a final playing stint with Southern League side Romford, before embarking on his coaching career with Cambridge United.
(Sunday Express May 3, 1964)
Record Transfer for Winger
After a distinguished career with Chelsea, Peter signed for West Ham on October 19, 1962. The £35,000 fee was a record for a winger. In his seven years at Stamford Bridge he made 251 league appearances and scored 47 goals. This included three appearances in Chelsea’s Division One championship winning season, 1954-55.
A talented winger, his many representative honours included England Youth caps, nine England Under 23 caps, three full England caps and a Football League cap. He was a member of England’s 1958 World Cup squad, where he gained his second cap in the group play-off match against the Soviet Union.
When Tommy Docherty took over as manager of Chelsea in January 1962, Peter fell out of favour and after protracted negotiations eventually became Ron Greenwood’s fifth signing.
Brabrook had to wait for his sixth match on Saturday November 24 away to Sheffield Wednesday for his first win. The occasion marked with the first of his 33 claret and blue league goals. Settling into the side with ease Peter played in all of the season’s remaining 29 league games netting seven goals.
In his first season Brabrook took over the number seven shirt replacing Tony Scott in the right-wing birth with Scott switching to the left-wing. This positional switch was made permanent when Malcolm Musgrove transferred to Leyton Orient.
Eleven days before Brabrook scored his first league goal at Hillsbrough, he made the scorers’ sheet with a net in West Ham’s friendly against Finchley on Tuesday November 13, 1962.
The Summers Lane fixture was originally scheduled for October 10, to open their new floodlights, but the game was abandoned after 25 minutes due to fog with West Ham leading 4-0.
Back in the 1960s West Ham typically fielded strong sides for mid-week friendlies. For this rearranged floodlight game the Hammers ran out 4-2 winners with goals from Ron Boyce, Bobby Moore, Peter Brabrook and John Bond (penalty).
American International League Winners Summer 1963
At the end of the 1962-63 campaign with the Hammers finishing in 12th place, the club embarked on a tour of USA. The club had been invited to participate in the American International Soccer League.
West Ham’s performance in this summer tournament has been comprehensively recorded in another feature.
1963-64 FA Cup Triumph
A season remembered for West Ham United lifting the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history and Peter was an influential member of that successful cup side. An ever present in the seven game campaign he scored a couple of goals. These were delivered in the Hammers’ first two ties: in the 3rd round 3-0 home win over Charlton Athletic and the equaliser in the 4th round’s 1-1 draw away to Leyton Orient. Though Peter’s most important performance in the cup run was probably in the 5th round away to Swindon Town. His two goal assists in West Ham’s 3-1 win earned him the man of the match honour.
League Cup Semi-final
1964’s FA Cup win overshadows another significant achievement by the club. In 1963-64 the Hammers also reached the semi-final of the Football League Cup. To date this is the only time in the club’s history the Hammers have reached the semi-finals of both domestic cup competitions in the same season. The seven game League Cup run culminated in a semi-final 6-3 aggregate defeat over two legs to Leicester City. Brabrook played in six of these seven cup matches scoring two goals.
West Ham played 55 league and cup games in 1963-64 and netted an impressive 108 goals to average almost two goals a game. Peter played in 51 of these and hit the net on 12 occasions.
Despite the busy playing schedule from their FA Cup campaign and reaching the League Cup semi-final, Peter Brabrook, Bobby Moore and Joe Kirkup found time to guest for a London XI against a Birmingham XI on November 11, 1963. The match was Aston Villa’s Vic Crowe’s testimonial and again the Hammers trio came out on top as the Londoners won 4-2.
Charity Shield Draw at Anfield
Brabrook’s season started well with a 2-2 draw at Anfield on August 15, 1964 to share the Charity Shield with the previous season’s league champions, Liverpool. The Hammers fielded their FA Cup winning XI. But injuries restricted his season’s appearances to 25 and four goals.
Back row: Ken Brown, John Bond, Jim Standen, Jack Burkett, Eddie Bovington, Bobby Moore
Front row: Peter Brabrook, Ron Boyce, Johnny Byrne, Geoff Hurst, John Sissons
Misses Out on Wembley’s ECWC Final
After the high of appearing in all of the previous season’s FA Cup campaign games, Brabrook suffered the low of missing a second Wembley appearance in the 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup (ECWC) final.
A series of niggling injuries restricted his European campaign to a single appearance in the first round 2nd-leg tie against the Belgian side La Gantoise which ended 1-1 at Upton Park. Peter’s replacement, Alan Sealey, grabbed his chance to make an impression and the rest is well documented in the club’s history books.
Defeat to WBA in 3rd Cup Final
The Hammers again notched up over a century of league and cup (116) goals in their 62 game season. And it proved to be a more satisfying season for Peter as he made 50 appearances and reached double figures in goals (12). This included a significant contribution to the season’s League Cup and ECWC campaigns.
By reaching the final of the League Cup the club came tantalisingly close to a third cup win in successive seasons. A further disappointment was elimination at the semi-final stage of the ECWC to German side Borussia Dortmind.
Peter played his part in the League Cup run as the Hammers lost out to West Bromwich Albion in March’s two legged final. This was the last League Cup final to be played over home and away legs, before the final moved to Wembley Stadium.
After missing the first two ties, the draw and replay against Bristol Rovers, Peter was ever present for the rest of this cup campaign. In his eight League Cup appearances he knocked in a couple of goals including one in the first leg of the semi-final 5-2 home win over Cardiff City.
Despite West Ham winning the final’s first leg (2-1) the bubble burst as WBA recovered to win at the Hawthorns (4-1) and 5-3 on aggregate.
Borussia Dortmund Win ECWC Semi-final
A second chance to clinch European competition in 1966-67 slipped through the Hammers’ grasp in April 1966 as Borussia Dortmund knocked the holders out of the ECWC at the semi-final stage 5-2 on aggregate. As holders of the trophy West Ham had opened their ECWC defence by comfortably beating Olympiakos 4-0 at Upton Park. Peter scored one of the goals and was ever present in the six game run.
Hammer of the Year – Third Place
His season’s contribution was rewarded with third place in the annual Hammer of the Year competition. The first two places were filled by two of West Ham’s trio who a couple of months later would star in England’s World Cup triumph. Geoff Hurst’s 40 goals in 59 league and cup appearances justifiably gave him top spot with Martin Peters runner-up.
League Cup Semi-final
The 1966-67 season was a mixed one for Peter. After appearing in the season’s first 18 Division One matches niggling injuries meant missing 10 league games. The team’s poor start to the league season meant a wait for the sixth game to record their first league win. Though for Peter it was the third time he came close to scoring a hat-trick in notching braces. In the 5-4 defeat away to Leicester on Saturday August 27, 1966 Brabrook and Hurst shared the goals.
Close to “Hat-trick” in Friendly Cup Win
With no European competition and an early exit in the FA Cup, the Hammers had time to schedule in several friendlies. Two of these were prestigious affairs against the Egyptian champions, Zamalek (November 3, 1966) and Real Madrid (April 19, 1967). Peter played in both, though the results were disappointing defeats of 5-1 and 3-2 respectively.
A friendly which had a happier ending was on Friday March 3, 1967 away to Coventry City for the Sir Winston Churchill Trophy. The trophy was put up by a Coventry City director as competition between the then Division Two side against invited opposition.
The March 1967 friendly was notable as it was the first time in the club’s history the Hammers participated in a penalty shoot-out. After 90 minutes the score stood at 3-3 with the claret and blue goals by Peter Brabrook who scored a goal either side of half-time and Geoff Hurst. To settle the result, each player took a penalty. In this historic first shoot-out the Hammers netted nine to the Sky Blue’s seven. Out of West Ham’s 10 penalties only one player failed to score and yes, it was Peter! Had he scored he could have claimed a “hat-trick” and the match ball!
The winners of the Sir Winston Churchill Trophy was:
Alan Dickie, Jack Burkett, Bill Kitchener, Trevor Dawkins, Paul Heffer, Bobby Moore, Peter Brabrook, Ron Boyce, Peter Bennett, Geoff Hurst, John Sissons.
Last Claret & Blue Season
For three of West Ham United’s 1964 FA Cup winning side, the 1967-68 season proved to be their last with the Hammers. Eddie Bovington, Jim Standen and Peter Brabrook all signed off with six, three and 14 league appearances respectively.
The season started promisingly for Peter as he appeared in early pre-season friendlies in Finland (HJK Helsinki, June 6), Switzerland (Grasshoppers, June 8) and Germany (Borussia Dortmund, July 29).
But he suffered a leg injury in the game against the Germans which gave Harry Redknapp a chance to claim a regular first team spot. By the time Peter had recovered, Redknapp and Sissons had established their first team wing places.
Peter’s 14 Division One appearances included three as replacement for Redknapp or Sissons and the rest as a forward in a reshuffled team. Plus three League Cup games, bought his final season’s total competitive first team appearances to 17 with three scores.
Last First Team Goal
With the clock running down on his West Ham career, Peter’s last first team goal was in his second to last first team appearance under the Upton Park floodlights on Monday December 11, 1967. The opposition was West Bromwich Albion and once again the Throstles came out on top. In a 3-2 defeat Brabrook and a penalty by Hurst replied for the Irons.
Final First Team Game
The last of his 215 first team appearances was on Saturday January 6, 1968 away at Old Trafford. Back in the side as a replacement for John Sissons, the team which lost 3-1 that afternoon was: Bobby Ferguson, Billy Bonds, Frank Lampard, Martin Peters, John Cushley, Bobby Moore, Brian Dear, Ron Boyce, Trevor Brooking, Geoff Hurst, Peter Brabrook.
Last Time in Claret & Blue
In his final season Peter also made 15 appearances (4 goals) for the reserves in the Football Combination. Fittingly in his last ever game in a claret and blue shirt he signed off with a goal in the 4-2 win over Plymouth Argyle Reserves at Upton Park on Monday May 6, 1967.
A Plymouth Argyle side which included Andy Nelson a former Hammer from the 1957-58 promotion winning side.
Peter Grotier, Jeff Shaw, John Charles, Keith Miller, Paul Heffer, Bob Glozier, Peter Brabrook, Keith Pointer, Dave Llewelyn, Jimmy Lindsay, Stephen Lay.
July Transfer to Orient
With first team opportunities restricted, Brabrook joined Division Three neighbours Orient for a £10,000 transfer fee. The highlight of his three seasons at Brisbane Road arrived in 1969-70 as manager and ex-Hammer Jimmy Bloomfield led Orient to the Third Division championship.
With the O's he recorded 70 league appearances and scored six goals. In his Football League career with three London clubs he totalled 488 appearances and netted 86 goals. But his countless crosses and passes would have resulted in far more goals for his team mates.
The three times capped England player was also a fully trained butcher and staying local enabled him to be a proprietor of his own butcher's shop.
Final Move to Romford FC
In 1995 manager Harry Redknapp invited Peter back to Upton Park to help coach the Under 16 and Under 17 teams. During his coaching reign West Ham won the FA Academy League and FA Youth Cup in 1999. Under his guidance players who graduated to the first team and went on to enjoy successful careers included Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Glen Johnson and Frank Lampard Jnr.
Return to West Ham United
Peter Brabrook signs watched over by Ron Greenwood and Secretary Eddie Chapman
"Did You Know"
The former East Ham schoolboy player, was a fanatical West Ham supporter and could have signed for next to nothing nine years earlier after a star performance in the annual Director’s Cup game between East and West Ham Boys at Upton Park in 1953.
Watched by chief scout Wally St. Pier he saw Brabrook's potential, but was only authorised to ask him to sign on amateur forms. The despondent youngster went back home just a few minutes’ walk from the Boleyn Ground to think it over.
St. Pier persisted in his efforts to get the West Ham hierarchy to change their mind to sign him on to the Hammers' ground-staff, which they agreed. The next day he was dispatched to the Brabrook home to sign Peter on those terms.
He was met by Brabrook senior and the words, “Sorry you are too late, Peter signed for Chelsea this morning”
Claret and Blue Debut
Brabrook in Chelsea colours
Three days after putting pen to paper Brabrook was drafted straight into the first team for his claret and blue debut in the Division One game at home to Burnley on Monday October 22, 1962. Upton Park’s biggest crowd of the season 34,612 saw the Hammers take the lead after just 50 seconds in the draw 1-1.
West Ham line-up
Lawrie Leslie, John Bond, Jack Burkett, Martin Peters, Ken Brown, Bobby Moore, Peter Brabrook, Phil Woosnam, Johnny Byrne, Geoff Hurst, Malcolm Musgrove
Peter Brabrook takes centre stage wearing his Cup Final tie while watching the cinema release of the 1964 final against Preston North End at Wembley Stadium
1964 Players Cup Final tie
"Did You Know"
West Ham United v. Blackburn Rovers November 7, 1964
Brabrook suffered a hamstring injury in this fixture which kept him out of the side for a month
The highlight of the season was probably reaching the League Cup semi-final for the third time in four seasons. Peter was in the side for both semi-final legs against West Bromwich Albion. Unfortunately, in consecutive seasons the Hammers fell to the Throstles, this time 6-2 on aggregate.
Brabrook's last goal for the Hammers
(v. WBA) as captured on the Leciester City home programme cover
West Ham United v. Swindon Town
FA Cup Third Round January 28, 1967 3-3
Brabrook was a key member of the squad and an ever present in the 10 league and American Challenge Cup matches. His single goal was West Ham’s first of the tournament when he netted in the league’s opening fixture the 3-3 draw with Kilmarnock.
A despondent Brabrook and Bloomfield trudge off the Rote Erde pitch after losing their grip on the European Cup Winners Cup
theyflysohigh would like to pass on our condolences to Peter's friends and family at this sad time.
Date of Birth:
November 8, 1937
17 FA Cup
23 League Cup
7 European Cup Winners Cup
1 Charity Shield
3 FA Cup
6 League Cup
1 European Cup Winners Cup
Newspaper coverage courtesy of Richard Miller - Press photos: Dave Alexander collection
Peter Brabrook and Tony Carr
FA Youth Cup Winners 1999
South East Counties League Champions (1997-1998) and FA Premier Academy League Champions (1999-2000)
A&BC bubble gum cards
Academy photos courtesy of Dave Clements