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Phil Parkes is justifiably rewarded with a testimonial match after serving West Ham during arguably the club’s most successful decade!
In February 1979 manager John Lyall made an inspired purchase when he signed Queens Park Ranger’s England international goalkeeper Phil Parkes. At the time the £565,000 transfer fee was a world record for a goalkeeper and over the next eleven years it proved to be a wise investment.
In his 12 seasons with the Hammers Phil Parkes’ roll of honour is highly impressive: a FA Cup winners medal, a League Cup final runners-up medal, a Charity Shield appearance, a Division Two champions medal, an ever present member of the West Ham side which attained the club’s highest position in the top tier and 440 first team appearances, he also holds the club record for clean sheets, 22 in 1980-81.
So it was no surprise when the West Ham directors granted their former shot-stopper a testimonial match.
Phil Parkes was the third West Ham United goalkeeper to be granted a testimonial match, after Ernie Gregory’s in 1960 and Bobby Ferguson’s in 1981.
His testimonial game on Sunday August 19, 1990 bought his distinguished claret and blue career to a close.
The opponents for this 1990-91 pre-season friendly perhaps inevitably was Ipswich Town. Strictly speaking Parkes was an Ipswich Town player when he returned to Upton Park for his special match as shortly before he had accepted an offer to join the Suffolk club as goalkeeper cover. The move was no co-incidence as it was John Lyall, by now Ipswich’s manager, who signed Parkes for a second time.
Friendly in Promotion Winning Season
To put the August 1990 testimonial in a time frame – 1990-91 was the season West Ham clinched promotion to the top tier as Division Two runners-up. Had the Hammers won their final league game at home to Notts County or if Oldham Athletic had lost on the season’s last day, they would have finished as Division Two champions. In this league campaign Ipswich Town were also a Second Division side but were not promotion contenders.
West Ham United 1 - 1 Ipswich Town (HT 1-0)
Sunday August 19, 1990
West Ham United:
Jimmy Quinn (10 mins)
Jason Dozzell (85 mins)
The testimonial game was not as serious as some previous benefit games but nevertheless it was a pre-season test witnessed by 8,733. As Parkes was now on the Tractor Boys’ pay role it was appropriate he guarded the West Ham goal in the first half and Ipswich’s in the second. Unusually, Ipswich Town dispensed with their usual blue shirts to don an unusual all orange strip.
In a competitive first half West Ham dominated proceedings and soon took the lead.
14 mins: West Ham 1 – 0 Ipswich Town
A short pass from Frank McAvennie to Jimmy Quinn, whose shot was deflected over the stranded Ipswich goalkeeper Craig Forrest. Phil Parkes was not unduly troubled by the Ipswich forwards.
Second Half Substitutions
A raft of second half replacements meant five of Parkes colleagues from West Ham’s winning 1980 FA Cup side joined the play. West Ham’s manager, Billy Bonds, and Trevor Brooking came on for the Hammers while Frank Lampard, Alan Devonshire and Geoff Pike joined the Tractor Boys. With these five substitutes, plus Parkes and Ray Stewart there were seven of the 1980 FA Cup team making an appearance. Another ex-Hammer, Bobby Barnes, also came on to support the Ipswich Town trio.
84 mins: West Ham 1 – 1 Ipswich Town
Just as the first half was West Ham’s, the second belonged to Ipswich. And six minutes from the end an Ipswich Town sub, Jason Dozzell, scored past Ludo Miklosko.
West Ham United:
Phil Parkes (Ludo Miklosko 46), Steve Potts (Billy Bonds 55), Julian Dicks (George Parris 46), Ray Stewart, Colin Foster, Kevin Keen (Simon Clarke 46), Ian Bishop (Paul Hilton 55), Frank McAvennie, Jimmy Quinn, Simon Livett (Trevor Brooking 55), Trevor Morley (Stuart Slater 46)
Parkes’ Ipswich Town League Appearances – Oldest Tractor Boy player?
In May 1990 Parkes agreed a new deal with Billy Bonds to stay on at the Boleyn Ground on a part-time basis as goalkeeping coach and “emergency goalkeeper”.
However, shortly afterwards Ipswich Town came up with a deal which Phil “couldn’t refuse” and so the big shot-stopper re-joined former West Ham manager John Lyall at Ipswich as cover for regular Town keeper and future Hammer Craig Forrest.
At 40 years and 8 months Phil Parkes was the third oldest player to represent the Tractor Boys as he was called into action for the last three Division Two games in the spring of 1991. The two older players were Mick Burns 43 years of age in 1952 and Tommy Lang at 41 in 1947.
Those three appearances for his fourth football league club took his career total league appearances to 743. By co-incidence he clocked exactly the same number of 344 league appearances for each of the two clubs, Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United, he served the longest.
Two Days Earlier - Ray Clemence Testimonial
Phil Parkes’ special game was the second testimonial the Hammers played in the space of three days. Two days earlier on Friday August 17, 1990 another former England goalkeeper, Ray Clemence, was the beneficiary when West Ham visited White Hart Lane as Tottenham Hotspur’s opponents. Spurs triumphed 4-1 in front of a bumper 17,000 crowd.
For Ray Stewart it was an important game as it marked his return to first team action after an injury enforced absence of 19 months. Though after six first team appearances the 1990-91 season proved to be his last.
Newspaper coverage courtesy of Richard Miller
Phil and Ernie Gregory
the biggest influence on his career
Testimonial brochure and Crystal Football given to members of his testimonial committee
Geoff Pike, Billy Bonds and Alan Devonshire
and Colin Foster
Ray Stewart Returns after 19 Months