theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

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Banner Hammers Logo theyflysohigh REDKNAPP Harry Red Card

Red Card ...

A penalty card is used in many sports as a means of warning, reprimanding or penalising a player, coach or team official. Penalty cards are most commonly used by referees or umpires to indicate that a player has committed an offense. The referee will hold the card above his or her head while looking or pointing towards the player that has committed the offense. The colour and/or shape of the card used by the official indicates the type or seriousness of the offence and the level of punishment that is to be applied.

The idea of using language-neutral coloured cards to communicate a referee's intentions originated with British football referee Ken Aston. Aston had been appointed to the FIFA Referees' Committee and was responsible for all referees at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. In the quarter finals, England met Argentina at Wembley Stadium. After the match, newspaper reports stated that referee Rudolf Kreitlein had cautioned both Bobby and Jack Charlton, as well as sending off Argentinian Antonio Rattin. The referee had not made his decision clear during the game, and England manager Alf Ramsey approached FIFA for post-match clarification. This incident started Aston thinking about ways to make a referee's decisions clearer to both players and spectators. Aston realised that a colour-coding scheme based on the same principle as used on traffic lights (yellow - caution, red - stop) would traverse language barriers and clarify whether a player had been cautioned or expelled. As a result, yellow cards to indicate a caution and red cards to indicate an expulsion were used for the first time in the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. The use of penalty cards has since been adopted and expanded by several sporting codes, with each sport adapting the idea to its specific set of rules or laws.

History and origin

Red card

A red card is used in several different sporting codes. Its meaning differs among sports, but it most commonly indicates a serious offence and often results in a player being permanently suspended from the game (commonly known as an ejection, dismissal, expulsion, removal, or sending-off, often with personal embarrassment).

A red card is shown by a referee to signify that a player has been sent off. A player who has been sent off is required to leave the field of play immediately and must take no further part in the game. The player who has been sent off cannot be replaced during the game; his or her team must continue the game with one less player. Only players, substitutes and substituted players may receive a red card. If a goalkeeper receives a red card, one of his teammates must be substituted out for another goalkeeper. If the team has already used up all its allotted substitutions, an outfield player has to take over in goal. Law 12 of the Laws of the Game lists the categories of misconduct for which a player may be sent off:

Serious foul play (a violent foul)

Violent conduct (any other act of violence)

Spitting at anyone or another player

A deliberate handling offense to deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by any player other than a goalkeeper in his own penalty area

Committing an offense that denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (informally known as a professional foul)

Using offensive, insulting or abusive language or gestures

Receiving a second caution (yellow card) in the same game










Lastest Dismissal ...




31 October 2015

Vicarage Road

Terry Woodgate

Rotherham United : Millmoor : 6th October 1951 : Second Division Football League 1 - 2

The very first player to be sent off after World War II was winger Terry Woodgate in a lively Second Division fixture at Rotherham United in October 1951, which the home side won by two goals to one. Terry and Rotherham’s Jack Edwards came into contact after a tackle and both players appear to give the other a ‘bit of a slap’, and were dismissed together by the referee Mr W.R. Barnes. This was in the 85th minute of the game, and the lone Hammers supporters’ club coach that left the ground after the match was pelted with rubbish on its way out. Hooliganism was some way off in the future, and it was all pretty harmless stuff as crisp bags, orange peel, cardboard cartons and even apple cores were thrown, but hardly enough to make an apple crumble.

Noel Cantwell

Cantwell was sent off in the 15th minute of the second half of a Division Two match at Bristol Rovers in December 1955 for retalistion after being deliberately kicked by an opponent. The Rovers’ offender stayed on the pitch and the referee Mr W.J. Gaiger awarded a free kick to West Ham. This often occurs under these circumstances, but can it bejustice when the original offender kicks out with no attempt to get the ball, and then stays on the pitch?

Dismissal extracts from "Seeing Red for the Claret and Blue"

by kind permission of JOHN POWLES

Matthew Kingsley

Brighton & Hove Albion

Southern League

Goldstone Ground  1 - 3

25 March 1905

Frank Piercy

Swindon Town

Southern League

Upton Park  1 - 2

2 September 1907

Frank Piercy


Southern League

Upton Park  0 - 2

22 February 1908

George Kay


Second Division : Football League

Gigg Lane  0 - 1

11 February 1920

William Cope

Bristol City

Second Division : Football League

Ashton Gate  0 - 1

26 February 1921

SLUG Memorabilia

Ken Tucker

Ken Tucker was the third West Ham player to be sent off over this 14 season period. His offence was for an altercation with Jimmy Hill, in the 60th minute of the game. It was a bit of a 'handbags' job, and only worthy of a booking, For the record, Hill was not dismissed by referee Mr E.W. Abbott, but Tucker was. Players from both sides were surprised at the decision, and the game was spoiled for the Hammers who were 1-2 down at thetime in what had been an end-to-end match. Fulham went on to add a third in the 77th minute and close the game out.

Bristol Rovers : Eastville : 10th December 1955 : Second Division Football League 1 - 1

Fulham : Craven Cottage : 21st January 1956 : Second Division Football League 1 - 3

Bobby Moore

The first player to be sent off under the stewardship of Ron Greenwood was none other than Bobby Moore. This was the only dismissal that Bobby, who was 20 years old at the time, was to experience over a long and distinguished career with West Ham United, and it came about in the very last moment of the match against Manchester City at Maine Road in November 1961. The referee Mr K. Tuck considered that the kick that Bobby had made on David Wagstaffe warranted a dismissal. In journalist Jeff Powell's biography of Moore, Bobby himself admits to the offence, as he had been roughed up a bit by his opponent several times earlier, causing him finally to lose his temper. When Wagstaffe lost the ball to Joe Kirkup, who in turn passed the ball to Bobby, Wagstaffe came up behind Moore and kicked him across the back of his legs. The referee did not see the assault, but he saw Moore's retaliation. The official blew up for both the offence and for full-time together, and nobody realised in an age before the rather dramatic flourishing of red or yellow cards, that a dismissal had been made until after the match was over.



Manchester City : Maine Road : 4th November 1961 : First Division Football League 5 - 3

Harry Redknapp

Harry Redknapp had become a regular first team player on the right flank by 1968-69, but he became the second West Ham player to be dismissed in the Greenwood era, and it happened against Leeds United at Elland Road. The Yorkshire club had something of a reputation for rough, aggressive play, edged with a capability to deceive or circumvent the rules. Harry was not naturally a player with a particularly aggressive streak, so it came as something of a surprise to hear that he had been sent off in that game at Leeds. What was not so surprising was that Billy Bremner had been involved. Whilst standing in the area waiting for a corner kick to be delivered Harry was kicked at on 3 occasions by Bremner. Retaliation came with Redknapp hacking his opponent down, and being dismissed, with Bremner lucky to be staying on the field. The incident occurred in the 30th minute with the Hammers already one down. The final score was 2-0, but in the same match West Ham's Alan Stephenson tripped Johnny Giles, the Leeds United player, who lashed out towards him with his right fist, which was followed by a left hook into Stephenson's back. Amazingly, no action was taken by the referee Mr T. Pallister.

Leeds United : Elland Road : 12th October 1968 : First Division Football League 0 - 2

Billy Bonds

After no less than eight matches West Ham had not won a league match, and Billy Bonds showed his frustration at the state of affairs when he was sent off by referee Mr N. Burtenshaw for the first time in his career with three minutes remaining of a bruising Football League Cup match against Hull City at Upton Park in September 1970. The referee appeared to be too over-lenient to the visitors, and Billy Bonds temper got the better of him after one incident, and he uncharacteristically spat at Hull's Chris Simpkin in frustration. West Ham won 1-0 but were defeated in the next round.

Hull City : Boothferry Park : 9th September 1970 : Football League Cup 1 - 0

Ted MacDougall

After finishing in a creditable 6th position in 1972-73 things were not going well for the team come the following campaign, and by October 1973 no victory had been recorded in the league after nine games West Ham then met Burnley at Upton Park, but before the match goalkeeper Bobby Ferguson had called the side 'gutless and spiritless'. Ferguson's comments before that Burnley game in October 1973 were reflected on the field where Ted MacDougall was most probably just as frustrated, as his several efforts on goal went un-rewarded, made worse by the manner in which Doug Collins had celebrated Burnley's winning goal. In the 71st minute both players went up for the ball and Mac head-butted Collins, and was dismissed by referee Mr R. Crabb, but the manner in which Collins overreacted was unsavoury.




Burnley : Upton Park : 6th October 1973 : First Division Football League 0 - 1

Keith Robson

Keith Robson had already been booked in an aggressive and over-physical game against Ipswich Town just after Christmas 1975.  His booking was for a vicious sliding tackle on Clive Woods. When he was fouled from behind by George Burley he lashed out at his opponent and was dismissed. The referee had already awarded him a freekick so it was unnecessary. Journalist Patrick Collins wanted West Ham to transfer him, supposedly to save the club's reputation, but despite his boisterous attitude, he was given a stamp of approval by the fans who had seen their team in the past lack the necessary 'bite' that needed to be added to the club's undoubted attractive football. In a television interview he was jokingly asked by Brian Moore of ITV if it was true that his team-mates had commented that he was training on raw meat! Robson did say that he when he first arrived at the club he thought the players were timid and lacked aggression.

Ipswich Town : Upton Park : 27th December 1975 : First Division Football League 1 - 2

David Cross

1978-79 saw a return to the old Second Division for the Hammers. Striker David Cross had been signed from West Bromwich Albion the previous season, and over his whole period with the Hammers he not only scored some spectacular goals, his skill on the ball improved immensely, adding to his gutsy determination in front of goal. 'Psycho', as he became known to his fans, was nevertheless a modest guy, who also did his fair share of work in defence highlighted in the League Cup semi-final second leg against Coventry City in 1981. When City's Gary Thompson headed what looked like a certain goal Cross cleared the ball off the line with a spectacular overhead kick. Despite this 'never-say-die' attitude he was dismissed just the once in his West Ham career. This came in the home fixture against Bristol Rovers in September 1978. David was particularly good in the air, having some very keen battles with defenders and on the occasion of his dismissal he caught Rovers' defender Graham Day with his elbow and received a booking. Cross always maintained that strikers have to use their elbows to obtain leverage whilst jumping for the ball, and it is always likely that an unintentional jab to an opponent's head can happen. In the 52nd minute of this particular match Cross's downfall came after he made a tackle from behind on the same opponent, and received a second booking from referee Mr R. Toseland. On this occasion, despite having 10 men for almost 40 minutes, the Hammers won 2-0.

Bristol Rovers : Upton Park : 16th September 1978 : Second Division Football League 2 - 0

Derek Hales

In this dreadful 1977-78 season West Ham recruited striker Derek Hales from Derby Coun: in an effort to add some extra fire-power to their attack. He finished the campaign with a reasonable return of 10 goals in 24 appearances but he never really settled at Upton Park, and he rejoined one of his former clubs, Charlton Athletic in the close season. Derek was a bit of a fiery character, thick-set in build and with his curly, black hair and droopy moustache looked for all the world like a Mexican bandit. On occasions he acted like one, and in the home match against Wolves,  after Derek Parkin  had pulled Hales back by his shirt, the West Ham forward turned and struck his opponent firmly in the kisser in retaliation. Referee Mr A. Turvey sent both players packing.



Wolverhampton Wanderers : Upton Park : 11th March 1978 : First Division Football League 1 - 2

Billy Bonds

Although now in the F.A. Cup Final the Hammers still had promotion hopes and with 6 league games left Birmingham City came to Upton Park. The visitors also had a very good chance of elevation to the top flight, and feelings ran high. Billy Bonds got into a tussle with Colin Todd, and Billy appeared to throw the first punch. It became so intense that both players were exchanging kicks whilst on the ground. When both players were sent off by referee Mr A. Gunn they still appeared to want to carry on in the tunnel. Billy was fortunate that he did not miss the F.A. Cup Final as he had further suspension points, but he was allowed to play, and all Hammers' fans gave a sigh of relief.




Birmingham City : Upton Park : 22nd April 1980 : Second Division Football League 1 - 2

Paul Allen

The second replay of a 2nd Round match in the Football League Cup at the Boleyn Ground in December 1981, saw Paul Allen throwing a punch in retaliation at West Bromwich Albion's Ally Brown for his bad challenge, and Brown gave him one back. Both players were sent packing by referee Mr B. Martin. John Lyall, disappointed at the 0-1 defeat, was not best pleased with Allen, who had also been sent off the previous season in an F.A. Youth Cup tie.

West Bromwich Albion : Upton Park : 1st December 1981 : League Cup 0 - 1

Frank Lampard

The Irons lost Frank Lampard when was sent off by referee Mr L. Burden at Brighton in October after bringing down Mike Robinson for what was considered a professional foul, as he was the last defender and his opponent was going through on goal. This came after only 24 minutes of a 1-3 defeat. Considering that Frank at that time had completed over 500 league matches as a very competitive full back without a dismissal, he was said to be very upset at the decision. But it had been coming for a while Frank - honestly.

Brighton & Hove Albion : Goldstone Ground : 23rd October 1982 : First Division 1 - 3

Alvin Martin

In November 1982 Everton came to the Boleyn Ground with the Hammers having slipped to 4lh place, but they recovered momentum and were 2 goals up with just 2 minutes remaining, when the visitors' Alan Irvine brought down West Ham's Belgian forward Francois Van Der Elst. Irvine then attempted to get the ball by kicking it from under the Belgian's body as he lay prostrate on the ground. This enraged Alvin Martin, who dived in, and fisticuffs ensued as Martin and Irvine swapped blows. Both players got their 'marching orders' from referee Vic Callow.





Everton : Upton Park : 27th November 1982 : First Division Football League 2 - 0

Ray Stewart

By early December the Irons could have lifted themselves in the table but it was their opponents Aston Villa who crept up to third spot after a tight game at Villa Park, where the home side took the points after a debatable penalty was awarded against Alvin Martin for a disputed offence against Peter Withe. This came with just 7 minutes remaining, and was converted. Ray Stewart then complained bitterly to the referee Mr E. Read, (another of those referees whose names repeatedly crop up), and Phil Parkes was livid over the decision. 'I feel like punching somebody' he complained completely out of character. After another 3 minutes with Stewart still railing at the referee, the Scottish full back was cautioned. In the 88th minute Stewart obstructed Mark Walters and was sent off Although one of Ray's bookings were for disputing a penalty he was the most successful penalty taker in West Ham's history, scoring 76 from a total of 86 awarded, with two of the ten missed being hit home by him on the rebound.

Aston Villa : Villa Park : 4th December 1982 : First Division Football League 0 - 1



West Ham maintained their early season form, when Arsenal visited on October 27th the club were in second place. A 3-1 victory was attained against the 'Gunners' although there was a nasty incident during the game when, with the score even at 1-1, both sides were reduced to 10 men. Arsenal's John Kay delivered an atrocious tackle on Dave Swindlehurst that was very close to taking the Hammers' forward's leg off. It resulted in Swindlehurst attempting to strangle Kay from behind before other players intervened to save him from a murder charge. Both players were dismissed by Mr E. Read. The West Ham striker had a good scoring average up to this point with 10 goals from 17 games.

Arsenal : Upton Park : 27th October 1984 : First Division Football League 3 - 1

Ray Stewart

The Irons had climbed to 5th in the table when they visited Liverpool on 18lh January 1986. With the score level at 0-0, a penalty was given against Alvin Martin for a slight stumble into Paul Walsh when both players were going away from goal with the ball on its way out of touch. Contact was minimal, and Walsh himself was surprised to see the ref award a spot-kick. The West Ham players protested to referee George Tyson before Molby converted the penalty. Then Ray Stewart got his marching orders for a remark made to a linesman, and the game as a contest was ruined on 58 minutes, with the Scousers finally winning 3-1. After all, West Ham can't beat Liverpool at Anfield with 11 men, let alone ten.

Liverpool : Anfield : 18th January 1986 : First Division Football League 1 - 3

Alvin Martin

West Ham had been on top for most of the game against Arsenal at Highbury in March '86 but after 75 minutes Arsenal scored through Woodcock after he had handled the ball. This was a bone of contention for the West Ham team. There were a number of bad fouls and a lot of bad feeling in the game. Alvin Martin moved up front in an attempt to bolster the attack, but he fouled David Rocastle and was booked. The West Ham centre back then got involved with Steve Williams, and David O'Leary appeared to punch Martin, and West Ham were awarded a free kick. When it was cleared and the ball went upfield, Martin ran past O'Leary and elbowed him in the face. O'Leary went down, then got up and ran up to Martin, and punched him twice in the back of the head, and Alvin replied with a punch in the face. This was in the last minute of the game, and Martin was dismissed by referee M.I. Borrett, but for some unknown reason, O'Leary was not sent packing with him. Both players apologised after the game for their behaviour. West Ham lost the game through that single contentious goal.


Arsenal : Highbury : 15th March 1986 : First Division Football League 0 - 1

Alvin Martin

In the 81st minute of the 2-0 victory over Luton Town in September 1986, Alvin Martin was sent off for swapping punches with Brian Stein. Martin had knocked the ball away as Stein came in behind him, but the West Ham centre back reacted quickly by bringing his hand up to Stein's face, dislodging a cap from the Luton player's tooth, with the resultant scuffle being broken up by players and the referee John Deakin, who dismissed both Martin and Stein. Because of an F.A. clampdown headed by chairman Bert Millichip that expected the England manager Bobby Robson to exclude any player who was serving a domestic ban, Alvin feared that he would not be selected in the squad for the upcoming international against Northern Ireland, and his fears were justified.



Luton Town : Upton Park : 20th September 1986 : First Division Football League 2 - 0

Frank McAvennie

Striker Frank McAvennie had enjoyed a golden campaign in 1985-86 scoring 26 goals in 41 league outings, but he was now struggling to repeat that form as opponents were paying him extra attention, due to his undoubted ability to find the net. In the league fixture against Sheffield Wednesday at home, Frank was running across the edge of the Wednesday area when he was brought down by a vicious lunge from central defender Mark Smith. 'Macca' got up and fought with his opponent, and the referee Mr J. Ashworth sent both players to the dressing room.

Sheffield Wednesday : Upton Park : 25th February 1987 : FA Cup 5th Round Replay 0 - 2

Mark Ward

Mark Ward, a gutsy and speedy little winger, had been signed by John Lyall in the summer of 1985 and had made a significant contribution to the team in that third place finish in 1985-86. Because of his tenacity and desire to be first to the ball he had received a number of bookings in his first two seasons, but had not been sent off until the Hammers met Wimbledon at Plough Lane in September 1987. After 30 minutes of the game 'Don's Dennis Wise and Ward both went for the ball together. Wise, no shrinking violet, and often treading a dangerous line, got up from the ground with Ward, and both players, on the spur of the moment, put their heads together like two wild beasts locking horns, but Wise fell to the ground again as if he'd been headbutted. As usual in these cases, all hell let loose. 'Wardy' went mad in disbelief, and a number of Wimbledon players got involved, but without hesitation referee Alf Buksh brandished the red card at the West Ham player.

Wimbledon : Plough Lane : 12th September 1987 : First Division Football League 1 - 1

Mark Ward

One of Mark Ward's attributes was his 'never say die' attitude, and with his direct and pacey wing play, he was one of those players that, when he was unable to turn out for any reason, he was be missed by the fans at Upton Park. Unfortunately his first dismissal was followed by another in December '87 when Southampton were the visitors. His first yellow came for dissent, but his second yellow was more galling as it came in injury time with the Hammers 2-1 up. Not retreating the required 10 yards at a free kick saw him with an unnecessary one match suspension. It is the most annoying dismissal for a manager to contend with.


Southampton : Upton Park : 5th December 1987 : First Division Football League 2 - 1

Leroy Rosenior

Leroy Rosenior, who was a late addition to John Lyall's squad, was signed from Fulham in March 1988 for £275,000 to bolster the attack in an attempt to avoid relegation. Excellent in the air, his five goals in nine starts proved to be vital, especially the two that he scored against relegation rivals Chelsea in a 4-1 victory in the final home game of the campaign. Early on in this very tense and fiercely competitive affair, Julian Dicks kicked out at Chelsea's Steve Clarke, who was booked for a not particularly strong retaliation. In the second half with Leroy Rosenior at speed and crossing the halfway line, he was tapped on the ankles by Steve Clarke (who years later would become the Hammers' chief coach). The foul caused Rosenior to stumble and fall. The West Ham striker completely 'lost it', and ran after Clarke punching him about the head and neck as he retreated. Referee Mr D. Scott sent Leroy on his way to an early bath. Chelsea were on their way to relegation, and the Hammers survived the drop.



Chelsea : Upton Park : 2nd May 1988 : First Division Football League 4 - 1

Mark Ward

The only player to be sent off for the Hammers during 1988-89 was Mark Ward in an F.A. Cup 5lh Round match against Charlton at their temporary home at Selhurst Park. Ward had been targeted from the start and the West Ham flyer had suffered six heavy tackles before Charlton's Mark Reid was booked. When Colin Pates got in on the act he brought down Ward, and realising it could be a bookable offence, put his arm round him in apology, but by now, Mark had had enough and shrugged him off with an outstretched arm, but then came an overreaction by a linesman (Mr D Scoble) who was flagging wildly, and after a discussion with referee Mr J. Ashworth, Mark Ward was sent off. Liam Brady was so disgusted he kicked the ball away and was booked.



Charlton Athletic : Selhurst Park : 18th February 1989 : FA Cup 5th Round 1 - 0

David Kelly

It was in the away fixture with Hull City in September 1989, that David Kelly, who now had responsibility as the main striker, was sent off for fighting with Stephen Doyle, who was also dismissed. With just 4 minutes left on the clock and the game all-square at 1-1, a free kick was awarded to the Hammers outside the Hull box. There were a number of elbows flying around as the kick was taken and then Martin Allen made a challenge on the Hull 'keeper as the ball came over. Hull's Doyle immediately punched Allen to the ground and kicked him. David Kelly, not normally known for getting involved, rushed in and pulled Doyle away from Allen, and then both had a bit of a scrap. As a consequence both players had an early bath.




Hull City : Boothferry Park : 2nd September 1989 : Second Division Football League 1 - 1

Julian Dicks

Probably the most consistently violent game ever at Upton Park took place in November 1989 during the short-lived Lou Macari reign. It happened when Wimbledon came to the East End for a 4th Round Football League cup clash. And clash it certainly was. The nicest way to describe the attitude and style of the visiting team was 'rigorous, uncompromising and bloody-minded'. Now mix that with three explosive Hammers in Julian Dicks, Mark Ward and Martin Allen who could all be expected to 'get stuck in' fairly at best, or exact revenge to add a few sparks, at worst. There was bound to be fireworks, and it was a bit like lighting the blue touch-paper and not moving away. Fouls were too numerous to mention and intimidation was the name of the game, causing a major brawl involving no less than 17 players just before half time, and it was expected that the break would calm things down. Only it didn't. When Martin Allen lifted his boot, studs up into the nether regions of Eric Young, there was another scuffle between players, and Allen was booked. Dicks protested unnecessarily and was also given a yellow card. Then he turned that into a red by tackling Dennis Wise with a scything tackle that saw the 'Dons' player's legs go in different directions.

Wimbledon : Upton Park : 22nd November 1989 : League Cup 4th Round 1 - 0

Martin Allen

The Quarter Final of the Football League Cup at Upton Park against Derby County also turned out to be quite a competitive and frenzied affair. Early on County lost Stephen Cross when George Parris tackled recklessly and at speed into him, and he was stretchered off. George was lucky just to receive a 'talking to' by the referee Mr Callow. Then Hammers' Steve Potts brought down Dean Saunders in the area. It certainly looked a penalty, but the official waved play on. In the second half Martin Allen was quite rightly dismissed for a highly dangerous two-footed lunge at Derby's Mark Patterson. Allen looked for all the world as if he was taking part in the Olympic long jump as he sped across the pitch and then 'took off with both feet at the opposing player. Before the end of the game Derby's Mel Sage, who had 'put himself about a bit1, flew at David Kelly with a cross-buttock attack that took the striker up in the air. Although the offence was not as dangerous as the Martin Allen foul, it was worthy of a red card, but Sage stayed on. The result of the game was a 1-1 draw and it took 2 replays for West Ham to go through to the Semi-Final, although it may have been better had they not, remembering the 1st leg at Oldham and the 0-6 fiasco that is forever known as the 'Valentine's Day Massacre.'


Derby County : Upton Park : 17th January 1990 : League Cup 5th Round 1 - 1

REDKNAPP Sent off ROBSON K Sent off

Frank McAvennie

Frank McAvennie was not the same player after he broke his leg at the start of the previous season, but he was still a great favourite with all Hammers' fans and whatever his form he was fully committed to the team at all times. When Bristol City came to the East End, City's full back Andy Llewellyn had already put Stuart Slater out of the game with a high tackle. (Another battering for poor Stuart). It was most likely out of a sense of revenge for his team-mate that McAvennie tussled with Llewellyn and struck him with an elbow. There was a subsequent set-to between them, and referee Paul Alcock had no hesitation in dismissing them both in the 60th minute, and as the pair went off the pitch and into the tunnel they had to be separated by other players. West Ham won the match by a single goal scored by a Tony Gale free-kick, but McAvennie's suspension, which was not immediate, like suspensions are now, meant that he would miss the team's F.A. Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.


Bristol City : Upton Park : 20th March 1991 : Second Division Football League 1 - 0

Tony Gale

When Tony Gale was dismissed against Nottingham Forest in F.A. Cup Semi-Final at Villa Park in April, it was probably one of the worst refereeing decisions in the history of the F.A. Cup. A hopeful punt from inside the Forest half saw the ball drifting in an almost diagonal line towards the left hand side of the pitch and high over Tony Gale's head. Whilst the ball was in the air Gary Crosby, who was originally behind Gale, caught the West Ham defender on the turn and squeezed past to get to the ball that by now was moving in front and to the left of the penalty area.

Gale was directly behind Crosby and trying to get to the ball, but the Forest forward appeared to be slightly backing into Gale at the same time in an effort to keep it. With the momentum of the two players together and both contesting possession, Crosby stumbled and fell forward. With referee Keith Hackett to the rear the book came out immediately. Bearing in mind the incident appeared accidental to everyone, most of all Gale, it was a shock to see Hackett produce not a yellow, but a red card, and Gale left the field in a distressed condition.

To spectators and all the media present this was an overzealous decision. Firstly, if it could in any way judged to be a foul at all, it was not deliberate. Secondly, if the referee considered that Crosby had been denied a direct goalscoring opportunity, because Gale was the 'last man', that was incorrect, because the incident occurred when both players were running away from the goal itself in a diagonal direction, more towards the left hand side of the area, and outside it. The timing of the dismissal was crucial as it happened in the 26th minute of the first half and the Hammers were handicapped for such a long period. After a goalless first half Forest capitalized on their numerical superiority and hit 4 goals in the second half. The game however, is remembered mostly at West Ham for the continual chanting of the Hammers' fans rendering of 'Billy Bonds claret and blue army' for the last 25 minutes of the game, when the team were already two goals down.

As for Tony Gale, it was the first and only time that he had been sent off in his career which overall ran into over 600 league and cup games.


Nottingham Forest : Vila Park : 14th April 1991 : FA Cup Semi-Final 0 - 4

Frank McAvennie

Before the new campaign of 1991-92 began in earnest the club arranged a friendly with Brazilian side Botafogo. Only 6,131 fans turned up for a game that was entertaining, with the visitors showing their usual Brazilian skills. At half time the game was level at 1-1 with no signs of ill-temper. That situation changed in the 56lh minute. Frank McAvennie had complained to the referee Graham Poll that he had received a violent tackle from Botafogo's centre back Francisco, and having already had his leg broken he didn't want that repeated. Poll told Mac to 'get on with the game'. A minute later Francisco whacked Frank in the face with his elbow, and the West Ham striker lost his temper and retaliated. In the following fracas the Brazilian Roberto kicked McAvennie and both players were sent off. Frank was suspended for 3 matches but also lost his place in the side to new signing Mike Small.

Botafogo : Upton Park : 11th August 1991 : Pre-Season Friendly 1 - 2

Tim Breacker

It fell to full back Tim Breaker to have the dubious distinction of being the only West Ham player in the league campaign to have blotted his copybook with a dismissal due to fouls, after two bookings at Goodison Park in December 1991 where Everton ran riot. The home side were already three up when Breaker hacked down Paul Hinchcliffe just before half time. Peter Beagrie, who was in direct opposition to Breaker, had been the instigator of many of Everton's attacks, and Tim obviously frustrated, got his marching orders after bringing down his tormentor with 20 minutes remaining. The Irons were already 0-4 down at the time, and were fortunate that ten men did not concede again in a disastrous performance. Breaker's full back partner Mitchell Thomas also receiving a booking.



Everton : Goodison Park : 7th December 1991 : First Division Football League 0 - 4

Mike Small

With the renaming of the top-flight league in English football from the First Division to the Premier League the Hammers had found themselves at the beginning of the 1992-93 campaign, despite relegation, back in the First Division, but by name only, as it was the second flight in reality. Now, since 2004-05, it is known as the Championship.

Striker Mike Small who had been caught offside more times than West Ham had scored goals during the previous disastrous season, was caught out yet again on the first day of the new campaign at Barnsley. His frustration got the better of him and his continual 'mouthing off to the assistant referee resulted in a dismissal from referee Mr R. Nixon in the 83rd minute in a game that the Hammers won more comfortably than the 1-0 score suggests.



Barnsley : Oakwell : 16th August 1992 : First Division Football League 1 - 0

Julian Dicks

In a campaign that was to result in a quick return to the top flight, now under the new title of the Premier League, Julian Dicks was a vital piece in the jigsaw. On occasions that piece, unfortunately, went astray. In the meeting with Newcastle United at St James Park, Dicks, who had already been booked, was sent off after 75 minutes. On the touchline, Newcastle's Franz Carr, was hustling Dicks from behind in an attempt to get the ball. Trying to shake him off Dicks brought round his right elbow and struck his opponent firmly in the face, and Julian was on his way to the dressing room courtesy of referee Mr W. Burns.




Newcastle United : St James' Park : 29th August 1992 : First Division Football League 0 - 2

Julian Dicks

The Hammers were seventh and Wolves were third when the two teams met at Molineux in October 1992., and in a niggling encounter a goalless draw resulted. There had been a few run-ins between Julian Dicks and Steve Bull as the game progressed, and in the second half Dicks had the ball deep on the left when Paul Birch, on Wolves right flank, flew into him with his foot very high. This was immediately followed up by a heavy and violent charge on Dicks by Bull. Julian half threw Birch over at the same time, and Bull writhed around on the ground as if he had been the victim. The referee Mr D. Allison issued yellow cards to both Dicks and Bull. Late in the half, Bull burst through with the ball and was just a shade past Dicks when the West Ham man stretched his leg chest high to reach the ball which was at that level, but did not make any contact with it, or the Wolves player. Bull directly stumbled to the ground rolling about and holding his shin. This was a disgraceful attempt to get Dicks dismissed, and it worked as Julian was shown the red card. As for Bull, he clearly got away with his acting. What he should have got was a red card and an Oscar to go with it.





Wolverhampton Wanderers : Molineux : 4th October 1992 : First Division Football League 0 - 0

George Parris

Now in third place, West Ham met Swindon Town in the latter part of October at the Boleyn Ground. The visitors were even higher in runners-up spot. With Swindon's Martin Ling through on goal with only Ludek Miklosko to beat, he was tripped by George Parris from behind and George was rightly red-carded by the referee Mr I. Borrett. Colin Calderwood was enraged at the official for not awarding a penalty and persistently confronted him, but he was lucky not to have been throttled by both Alvin Martin and Tim Breaker who were pushing him away. The referee was correct in awarding a free-kick as Ling was fouled just outside the box, but fell inside. Sadly for the Hammers it resulted in a goal for Swindon anyway, who went on to win the game by that single goal.


Swindon Town : Upton Park : 24th October 1992 : First Division Football League 0 - 1

Trevor Morley

Considering that promotion was the chief aim of the club, they competed by invitation, in the Anglo-Italian Cup, with 5 other clubs from their league, along with 6 Italian clubs from Serie B. This would mean more fixtures and the possibility of injuries, but it was considered of extra benefit to the club's finances. West Ham United successfully got through the preliminary rounds eliminating Southend United and Bristol Rovers, before competing with Italian sides Cremonese, AC Reggiana, Cozenza and Pisa in Group B. Unfortunately, through poor attendances and travelling expenses, it was hardly worth the botiier, and the Hammers had two men dismissed into the bargain. The first came in the encounter with Reggiana at Upton Park. It had been an aggravating affair from the start, and it was as early as the 18th minute when striker Trevor Morley, who had suffered some rough treatment from defender Gianluca Francesoni, took a swipe at the Italian. Morley said that he expected an assault from his opponent and 'got in first', and there was also talk of a head-butt, but whether it was one or both Trevor got his marching orders from referee Graziano Cesari, after consultation with a linesman. So the Hammers played 72 minutes with ten men but won the game with two Clive Allen goals in the second half.



AC Reggiana : Upton Park : 24th November 1992 : Anglo-Italian Cup 2 - 0

Matthew Rush

Considering that promotion was the chief aim of the club, they competed by invitation, in the Anglo-Italian Cup, with 5 other clubs from their league, along with 6 Italian clubs from Serie B. This would mean more fixtures and the possibility of injuries, but it was considered of extra benefit to the club's finances. West Ham United successfully got through the preliminary rounds eliminating Southend United and Bristol Rovers, before competing with Italian sides Cremonese, AC Reggiana, Cozenza and Pisa in Group B. Unfortunately, through poor attendances and travelling expenses, it was hardly worth the botiier, and the Hammers had two men dismissed into the bargain. The first came in the encounter with Reggiana at Upton Park. It had been an aggravating affair from the start, and it was as early as the 18th minute when striker Trevor Morley, who had suffered some rough treatment from defender Gianluca Francesoni, took a swipe at the Italian. Morley said that he expected an assault from his opponent and 'got in first', and there was also talk of a head-butt, but whether it was one or both Trevor got his marching orders from referee Graziano Cesari, after consultation with a linesman. So the Hammers played 72 minutes with ten men but won the game with two Clive Allen goals in the second half.



Pisa : Upton Park : 16th December 1992 : Anglo-Italian Cup 0 - 0

Julian Dicks

Although attendances were down, due to relegation and die hard-bitten attitude of the club's board during the previous season, die team itself were enjoying a good campaign. The Hammers had maintained their third spot in the table when they met Derby County at die Baseball Ground in January 1993. On a mud-heap of a pitch, Julian Dicks made it a hat trick, not of goals, but dismissals in one season. He was certainly living up to the nickname of Terminator' that the fans had given him, but his appearances were being terminated at the same time. West Ham were already 2-0 up after 15 minutes, and with Derby back on the attack, Dicks lunged at Ted McMinn from behind and flattened him, and was rightly booked. In the 30th minute McMinn received the ball on the touchline, but before he had time to progress down the flank Dicksy, varying his challenge from behind in the first incident, decided on a frontal onslaught on this occasion, and the surprise and speed of his approach combined with a powerful sliding tackle lifted his opponent high into the air just like the line from the old song 'the daring young man on the flying trapeze'. McMinn fell to earth face first in the mud. Referee Alan Wilkie, had no option but to present Julian with a second yellow card. Some thought this should have warranted a straight red, but Mr Wilkie must have recognised that the tackle, because of its speed and power looked much worse than it was, because at no time did Dicks 'go in' high or with studs showing. Dicks himself went into a raging fit, and had to be restrained by Bonds and Redknapp. It was fortunate that the incident took place very close to the tunnel — a convenient escape route.


Derby County : Baseball Ground : 10th January 1993 : First Division Football League 2 - 0

Red Mist Dicks Wimbledon

The redeeming moment of the game came when Martin Allen, using his right boot for a more positive purpose, scored with an absolute screamer to put the Hammers into the Quarter Finals. The referee was Alf Buksh who had been the official in charge two years previously when Ward was dismissed for fouling Wise. There was so much furore in the media over the manner in which the match was played that the F A, on video evidence, fined both clubs £20.000.

Henry Hird


London League

Away  3 - 1

30 October 1897

Thomas Brandon

Swindon Town

Southern League

County Ground  1 - 4

27 December 1913

31 GALE Tony

For the Record:

Frank Piercy was suspended for a month by the F.A. in September 1907, for punching an opposition player in the match against Swindon Town. Piercy had only been cautioned in the match and was not been sent off as previously reported in some publications.

Moore off

Frederick Shreeve

Bristol Rovers

Southern League

Upton Park  2 - 2

1 April 1911