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1940 - 1949
Trophy Cabinet


1940 Football League War Cup Final

The Football League War Cup was an association football tournament held between 1939 and 1945. It aimed to fill the gaping hole left in English Football by the cancellation of the FA Cup during the Second World War.

West Ham United won their first Wembley final when they edged out Blackburn Rovers 1-0 to lift the inaugural Football League War Cup. Sam Small was the hero of the day, following up after George Foreman's shot which had been parried by Blackburn goalkeeper James Barron to score the only goal of the game on 34 minutes.

A crowd of 42,300 braved the war-time bombing of London to attend the final at Wembley Stadium, but they were not rewarded with a classic match. West Ham began the game as favourites and they held the upper hand for much of what was described by The Times as a 'grim' game. When West Ham did get things right, they troubled Rovers, with Foreman, Len Goulden, Stan Foxall and Archibald Macaulay all heavily involved.

War Cup 1940
Glass Shelftop

Eddie Chapman Club Secretary with the War Cup

Football League War Cup

Eddie Chapman with War Cup
Players with War Cup


(WHU Director)

1940 Football League War Cup Final

9ct. Gold & enamel Football League War Cup winner's medal

Enamelled with an English rose and the initials FL, inscribed


Medal Front
Medal Back
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A.C. Davis (WHU Director)

Albert C. Davis ("Bert")

Director of West Ham United.

An engineer by profession, he had a

long association with the Hammers.

AC Davis West Ham United


The Football that went to War

Richard Walker frame
Football that went to war trophy cabinet
Glass Shelftop

Richard Walker

This football belonged to Richard 'Dick' Walker, who in his time made 419 senior appearances for West Ham United and but for the intervention of Second World War would undoubtedly have been capped by England.


During the war Walker enlisted in the army as a Paratrooper. In 1944 when the Allies parachuted into Arnhem, Walker carried a football with him during the drop and all through the battle.


Like 'Dick', the ball survived and this amazing item of soccer history was handed on to Noel Cantwell.

Richard 'Dick' Walker


Dame Vera Lynn (1917 - 2020)

A West Ham United connection


The young Dame Vera began performing in public at the age of seven at a working men’s club opposite Newham Town Hall, just a few hundred yards from West Ham United’s Boleyn Ground.


The schoolgirl entertainer attended Brampton Primary School in Brampton Road, less than a mile from the home of the football team she would later come to support.

Dame Vera

In 1939, with the country on the cusp of the Second World War, she released the song which would become the most popular of her amazing career, We’ll Meet Again.


The Forces’ Sweetheart, made the first of her documented visits to the Boleyn Ground in September 1947, when she presented medals to participants in a 'Battle of Britain' commemorative football match played between the Royal Air Force and an Amateur XI of internationals.


The proceeds of the match was for the benefit of the West Ham Branch of the R.A.F Association together with the R.A.F Benevolent Fund for dependents of Battle of Britain and other airmen in the West Ham area. The Amateur XI will consist largely of the English Amateur International side, while the R.A.F contained several well-known professionals of the time.


The match programme was priced at 2d (Two old pennies) and is on many collectors wants list.

Three years later, she was back at the Boleyn Ground as a guest at the Testimonial match awarded to Charlie Paynter, the long-serving trainer and manager who had led West Ham to the Football League War Cup glory at Wembley in June 1940.

While she moved away from the East End, initially to north London and later to Sussex, Dame Vera’s links with West Ham do not end there.


A chant entitled ‘There'll always be a West Ham‘ was sung on the Upton Park terraces to the tune of her patriotic song ‘There'll Always Be an England’, which became hugely popular upon the outbreak of the Second World War.


Dame Vera also recorded a version of ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ which many Hammers fans consider to be the best rendition of the famous music hall favourite ever made.


Born in East Ham, 20 March 1917, Dame Vera Margaret Lynn died 18 June 2020 (aged 103)

Glass Shelftop
47_09_17 Royal Air Force v. Amateur Internationals

Battle of Britain Week


The Football Combination

League Championship Winners 1948


Championship Play-off match between Section ‘A’ winners West Ham United and Section ‘B’ winners Arsenal. The Gunners had led Section ‘B’ practically since the start of theseason, and were undefeated in their first 23 games. West Ham United started the season somewhat slower but went to the head of the table in mid-September and successfully staved off a duel challenge by Birmingham City and Luton Town to clinch the title by Christmas. The Play-off Final was won by West Ham United 2 - 0

Combination medal reverse front cabinet
Combination medal reverse trophy cabinet
48_05_01 WHU v. Arsenal LC Final programme
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Football Combination League Champions

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