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In August 1986 the Hammers travelled to the Netherlands to compete in the Groningen tournament. The first game was against the East German side Dinamo Dresden. West Ham took the lead after 14 minutes when Tony Cottee scored from 8 yards. The lead lasted until 18 minutes from time when the Germans equalised. Seven minutes later Frank McAvennie was on hand to score the winner.

 

 

 

by John Northcutt

HAMMER OF THE YEAR

It was back in 1958 that Hammer of the Year was born when the Supporters Club wanted to recognise the outstanding player with an official award. The first recipient was defender Andy Malcolm whose form helped West Ham win promotion to the First Division.  Over the years there have been 36 players who have won this prestigious award.

The first goalkeeper to be named as Hammer of the Year was Lawrie Leslie in 1962. Other keepers to win have been Phil Parkes, Ludek Miklosko, Shaka Hislop and Robert Green.  

Winning it the most times was midfielder Trevor Brooking who won on 5 occasions. Scooping the award 4 times were club legends, Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds and Julian Dicks. Midfielder Scott Parker became a fans favourite when winning it in three consecutive seasons. Veterans Teddy Sheringham and Stuart Pearce both won it at the age of 39.  For many seasons the trophy was awarded to the winner on the pitch before a match, but in recent years the ceremony has taken place at the end of season Gala Dinner in London.

HANDBOOKS

The first handbook was published in season 1900-01 and cost the princely sum of one penny. Being around 60 pages it had pictures of all the players and officials. Looking at the 1908 handbook we see that season tickets were 15 shillings (75p). Back in the 1920 players were not described as they would be today.

ARNOLD HILLS

Arnold Hills was the owner of Thames Ironworks. In his day he was a keen sportsman and had been English mile champion. He was also a good footballer, having played for Oxford against Cambridge in the annual varsity match, and represented England against Scotland in 1879 while playing for Old Harrovians.

 

He was keen to look after his workers, and when it was suggested to him that a football team be formed he would have been delighted and keen for it to succeed. In those early days it was Hills money that was made available to buy players.

 

He also spent a considerable amount when he helped fund the building of the Memorial Grounds in 1897.

In 1912 the Ironworks were in serious financial difficulties and finally closed in December of that year.

 

In later years Hills became paralysed and it was a sad end for a man without whom West Ham United would probably not exist today. Arnold Hills died at his home in Penshurst in March 1927.

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Another player to score 6 goals in a league game was Geoff Hurst when playing against Sunderland in 1968. He also scored 4 goals in the league against Fulham in 1966 and another 4 in 1967 against Bolton Wanderers in the League Cup. Of course Geoff is the only man in history to score a hat trick in the World Cup Final as us Hammers fans know.

 

There have been 5 West Ham United players who have scored hat-tricks on their debuts. Leading the way was Billy Grassam who scored 4 against Gravesend United in the Southern League in 1900.

 

Next up was Arthur Winterhalder who claimed his hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspur in 1907.  Tudor Martin scored three against Newcastle United in 1936 but finished up on the losing side as the Hammers lost 5-3.

 

Plymouth Argyle were beaten 7-0 in 1946 when Don Travis claimed 4 goals. The last debutant to score a hat trick was Ken Tucker against Chesterfield in 1947.  

 

Chesterfield were the opponents in 1914 in the FA Cup when Syd Puddefoot scored the club’s fastest ever hat trick in the space of 7 minutes as the Derbyshire team were beaten 8-1.  

 

There have been two instances of two West Ham players scoring hat tricks in the same match. The first was in 1911 when William Kennedy and Danny Shea scored three goals apiece in a 7-4 victory against Brentford. In the game in 1946 when Travis scored 4 goals, Terry Woodgate was on hand to claim his hat trick.

 

There was a unique hat trick in 1986 when Alvin Martin scored three in the 8-1 victory against Newcastle United . All 3 goals were against 3 different goalkeepers, Beardsley, Hedworth and Thomas.

GEORGE HILSDON

George played as an amateur with Clapton Orient and Luton Town before coming to West Ham in 1904.

In two seasons he scored 7 goals in 16 Southern League appearances and was not able to command a regular place in the side.  

 

In 1906 he was allowed to leave on a free transfer to Chelsea, a decision that the club would later regret. He made a sensational start scoring 5 goals as Chelsea beat Glossop 9-2. He finished as the Blues' top goalscorer that season with 27 goals which helped Chelsea win promotion to the First Division.

He was also the top goalscorer for The Pensioners' the following season where he scored 4 against Bristol City in the league and six goals against Worksop Town in the FA Cup as the Stamford Bridge outfit won by 9-1.

 

It was this form that led him to win 8 international caps for England. In six seasons he scored 107 goals in 164 league and cup appearances.

 

George returned to Upton Park in 1912 where he spent three seasons before World War One broke out.

He did better in his second spell at the Boleyn Ground scoring 28 goals in his 74 appearances.  

 

When the war ended he had spells with Gillingham and Chatham. He died in 1941 in Leicester aged 46

HOLLAND

MALCOLM Andy Hammer of the Year trophy LESLIE Lawrie

In 1962 the first goalkeeper to be named Hammer of the Year was Lawrie Leslie

Here are some extracts from the handbooks of the time:

 

1920-21 Frank Burton, Has a long reach of leg which finds some extraordinary positions. Alf Lee. He is better on wet grounds than hard.

 

1921-22. Vic Watson, Rather despondent but he will get over it.

 

1924-25. Albert Cadwell. Was heard to speak at least three words on the journey to Leeds. Albert Fletcher. Not as fast as we could wish.

1901-02 Handbook 1920-21

Many of the overseas tours were reported upon in the handbooks and it is fascinating to read of the travel arrangements and the events of that time.

The handbooks were published up until the 1938-39 season before the war broke out. Following the hostilities the first hand book came out in season 1954-55 priced at one shilling (5p) An advert inside was for a Ford Popular motor for £275. During the 60s the handbook was always produced by the supporters club.

 

Afterwards that grand gentleman and programme editor Jack Helliar was responsible for them for many years. The last handbook to be produced was for the 2006-07 season. Although in recent seasons the Club have produced "Yearbooks"

Arnold Hills 29_02_09 WHU v. Leeds United Victor Watson

Goalscorer supreme was Vic Watson as in his 15 seasons with the club he scored 17 hat-tricks in League and Cup. These include six goals against Leeds United in 1929 and 4 goals against both Crystal Palace in 1923 and against Leeds in the FA Cup in 1930.

MARTIN Alvin

Alvin Martin scores hat-trick against 3 different goalkeepers

HILSDON George 86_08_08 Groningen Tournament COTTEE & McAVENNIE with Trophy

In the final against KV Mechelen the Hammers found themselves a goal down after 20 minutes. In the 38th minute Tony Cottee equalised from 10 yards.

Three minutes later Phil Parkes made a hefty clearance and the defender Meeuws diverted the ball into his own net.

Two minutes from the end Tony Cottee wrapped the game up when scoring with a 30 yard drive Captain Ray Stewart collected the trophy which stood at 2ft 6ins high.

John Northcutt's A to Z The Letter "I" The Letter "G"