Welcome to the West Ham United Memorabilia Collection featuring everything Claret and Blue
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Many supporters will not be aware of our biggest victories as some were not recorded in the Football League. Our biggest win took place at Upton Park on the 6th April 1918. This was during the First World War and the Hammers played in the London Combination. On that day Crystal Palace were beaten 11-0 with centre forward Syd Puddefoot scoring 7 goals.
The Hammers have scored 10 goals in a match on three occasions: Chelsea away 10-3 in a League South match in March 1940, Clapton Orient at home again 10-3 in the League South in January 1943 and finally Bury at home 10-0 in a League Cup tie in October 1983.
In the Football League both Rotherham United (1957-58) and Sunderland (1968-69) have been beaten 8-0.
He was not only born in Blackburn but he went on to play for Blackburn. Fred was an artistic ball playing winger and first appeared for the Lancashire club way back in 1897. He then went on to make a total of 240 appearances scoring 30 goals. Whilst with the Rovers he was capped 3 times for England playing against Scotland twice and Ireland. He came South in May 1905 to join West Ham.
A switch to wing half saw Fred play in a total of 237 games where he scored 28 goals. In 1911 he gained a well deserved benefit match against Coventry City where the proceeds of the league game were shared jointly with goalkeeper George Kitchen.
He retired from playing in 1913 and joined the Navy. Fred later returned to the game as coach at Barking. He died in March 1951 in Ilford aged 72.
As all West Ham supporters know our anthem is I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles. The song was written in 1919 in America and became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. How Bubbles came to be associated with West Ham has been the subject of many debates over the years. The popular theory is the singing of this song came about with a soap advert and a young footballer.
In 1886 Sir John Millais painted a portrait of his Grandson watching a soap bubble. Many years later the Pears Soap Works used the painting as an advertisement, and displayed posters throughout the East End of London. As the soap works was situated in Canning Town the West Ham supporters would have been aware of them.
The West Ham Boys team often used to play their games at Upton Park in front of huge crowds in those days. One of their team Will Murray resembled the boy in the advert. He soon gained the nickname ‘Bubbles ‘Murray and whenever he played the crowd would sing I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles being the popular song of the day.
Although the song became popular all around the ground, there was particular affinity with the fans who stood in what was known as the ‘Chicken Run‘.
It was an encouraging sight to the team as the supporters swayed from side to side singing Bubbles. Another theory about the origins of Bubbles concerned the connection with Swansea City. Between 1920 and 1926 the Welsh fans used to sing Bubbles at their home games. In 1922 West Ham played Swansea three times in the FA Cup. It could be that the Hammers supporters adopted the song after this.
It has been said that the words are too sentimental for a football song, but tradition dies hard and the Hammers supporters would not be the same without their beloved anthem .Not only is it heard at football grounds but whenever Hammers supporters get together at family gatherings and parties, they request that the tune is played.
A soap advert, a curly haired footballer, a popular song, and the Swansea connection. The evidence behind the legend lies in the mists of time.
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"I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"
West Ham chalked up their record victory when Bury were beaten 10-0 in a League Cup tie at Upton Park on 25th October 1983.
The Hammers were leading 2-1 from the first leg but few in the crowd of 10,896 expected a massacre. Teenager Tony Cottee scored four, with midfield stars Alan Devonshire and Trevor Brooking getting two apiece. Alvin Martin scored from a header and Ray Stewart got on the score sheet from the penalty spot.
Luckless Bury missed a penalty when Bramhall’s shot rebounded off a post.
The Hammers team:
Phil Parkes, Ray Stewart, Steve Walford, Billy Bonds, Alvin Martin, Alan Devonshire, Paul Allen, Tony Cottee, Dave Swindlehurst, Trevor Brooking, Geoff Pike.
Rio and Anton Ferdinand are the most recent pair. Rio played for 5 years before joining Leeds United for £18m in 2000. He played in a total of 160 games and later became an established England international with Manchester United.
Younger brother Anton a defender like Rio played 159 times for the Hammers before leaving for Sunderland in 2008. He is now at Queens Park Rangers and has been on loan at the Turkish side Bursapor.
Playing in the 1964 FA Cup Final side were seven players whose surname began with the letter "B" They were: Ken Brown, John Bond, Jack Burkett, Eddie Bovington, Peter Brabrook, Ronnie Boyce and Johnny Byrne.
In fact around that era there were also Peter Bennett, Dave Bickles, Jimmy Bloomfield, Martin Britt and Dennis Burnett.
There have been seven sets of brothers who have played first team football for West Ham.
George Hilsdon was a goalscorer who had two spells with the club scoring 35 goals in 92 appearances between 1904 and 1914. In between he scored 107 goals in 194 appearances for Chelsea. Jack Hilsdon was the older brother who came to West Ham from Clapton Orient. With the Hammers he only managed a solitary appearance against Luton in 1903.
Albert Denyer was a forward who between 1912 and 1914 scored 16 goals in his 46 appearances. He later joined Swindon Town where he had a good career playing in 324 league games and scoring 49 goals. His brother Frank Denyer was a defender who played in two league games for the Hammers in 1913-14.
Wing half David Corbett played 4 games for West Ham in 1936-37 before joining Southport. His younger brother Norman played from 1937 until 1949, making 173 appearances. A third brother Willie guested for West Ham during the war.
Benny Fenton played 22 games for the Hammers, scoring nine goals between 1937 and 1939. He later went on to play for Millwall, Colchester United and Charlton Athletic, and later managed each of them. Ted Fenton, his older brother, was the West Ham manager when the club won the Second Division Championship in 1958. Ted was a player with the Hammers from 1937 until 1946, turning out 146 times. Benny and Ted played together in the same team on 4 occasions and were the only brothers to do so at first team level.
Bill Nelson made two appearances in 1954 before joining Queens Park Rangers. Younger brother Andy Nelson was part of the Championship squad in 1958. He played in 17 games in the late 1950s before leaving for Ipswich Town.
The sixth set of brothers to play for the club were John and Clive Charles. John was the captain of the FA Youth Cup winning side in 1963. A tenacious full back he made 142 appearances for West Ham. Clive Charles the younger of the pair was also a full back. He played 15 times for the Hammers before joining Cardiff City in 1973.
It was a family affair when brothers John and Clive both appeared in the same West Ham side. The pair lined up in the semi-final of the Combination Cup away to Ipswich Town reserves in April 1970.
Another set of brothers were Alan and Paul Curbishley who played between 1974 and 1978. Whereas Alan played in a total of 195 games Paul never got to play for the first team. Alan became the West Ham manager in 2006 before resigning in 2008.