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Benefit & Testimonials

A testimonial match is a practice in some sports, notably football and especially in the United Kingdom, where a club puts on a match in honour of a player for service to the club.

By tradition, clubs typically grant testimonials to players upon reaching 10 years of service with a club, although they sometimes are given to players with less service as they approach retirement. These matches are always non-competitive. Typically, former greats for the club are invited to participate, either in the match itself or the surrounding festivities. For especially prominent players, some all-time greats of the game may be invited, or the opposition can be a national team. Alternatively, if a player is strongly identified with more than one club team, the testimonial may involve the player's current and past clubs. All proceeds from the match go to the player.

The practice started in the days when players, even those at top professional clubs, were paid far less than they are today. Few players were able to live on their club wages, much less save for retirement. The testimonial was a charitable gesture by the club; as testimonials were typically very well-attended matches, the practice of giving the players the proceeds from the match often enabled the honorees either to retire or establish themselves in another line of work once they finished playing.

In recent years, testimonials have been less frequent, especially in the top levels of European professional football and other sports in which the top players are able to make enormous salaries, many times the average wage. Today's top-level player often have far less need for the money from a testimonial than players from the past would have. Also, because of changes in the structure of the professional game, players are far less likely to stay with one club for an extended period of time than in past decades. Finally, many fans are disinclined to come to testimonials for top professionals, since they are often perceived as giving a huge windfall to a player who most likely does not need the money.

Please choose a Player to view

Malcolm Allison
Frank Lampard

A poignant moment in the

1958-59 season for one

of its star players.

670 appearances plus and some crucial goals, Lampard was a worthy recipient of a testimonial

Paul Hilton

Awarded in recognition

of his early retirement

Pat Holland

Pat Holland one of

West Ham's Unsung Hero's

John Bond

John Bond was on stand-by

for England’s 1958

World Cup in Sweden

Paul Heffer

Heffer's playing career may have been curtailed but he continues to serve the Hammers

Ray Stewart

An Upton Park thank you to 'Tonka' who contributed 12-years to the Hammers' cause

Frank Piercy

Posthumously awarded testimonial for a loyal

West Ham servant

Steve Potts

Reliability and calmness made

him an ideal captain

Eddie Chapman
George Parris

Well deserved testimonial after

50 years of loyal service

Smokey's testimonial was held two years after he had left the Hammers

Dick Walker Testimonial

Walker’s West Ham career stretched from 1932 to 1957

Alvin Martin

'Stretch' was the recipient of two richly deserved testimonial games

Phil Parkes

Parkes served West Ham during arguably the club’s most successful decade

Alan Devonshire button

£5,000 signing from Southall, Devonshire played 448 competive first team games over 14 seasons

Julian Dicks

The benefit game turned out to be memorable in more ways than one

Trevor Brooking Test

On and off the field he was a

shining example of loyalty

Wally St Pier

Wally St. Pier was awarded a testimonial after 45 years service

Bobby Ferguson
Ken Brown

Ferguson's testimonial came two

days after the Hammers had

clinched the Second Division title

West Ham supporters pay tribute to Ken Brown “king and jester at

Upton Park for 14 seasons

Ron Boyce

After 12 seasons of first team

action Boyce was a worthy

recipient of a benefit game

Billy Bonds
Geoff Pike
John Lyall Testimonial

Billy Bonds received the extremely

rare honour of being awarded not one, but two testimonial games!

The midfield dynamo's special

day was against top Yugoslavian

side Dinamo Zagreb

After several thwarted comebacks, a persistent knee injury finally forced John Lyall into early retirement

Hallas & Moore

Geoff Hallas’ & Brian Moore’s

Short West Ham Careers

Charlie Paynter

Upton Park’s First

Testimonial Match

Charlie's Night

Ernie Gregory

Recognition of long and

loyal service from one of the

club’s all time greats

Bobby Moore Testimonial

West Ham v. Glasgow Celtic

SLUG Memorabilia

West Ham United Benefit games


West Ham United 2 - 4 Portsmouth

Western League  

14 December 1908

07_12_14 WHU v. Portsmouth ALLISON

West Ham United (Burton, Shea)













Please note:

The benefit ticket was printed with the wrong year date of 1907 instead of 1908


West Ham United v. Queens Park Rangers

14 October 1912

12_10_14 WHU v. QPR Robinson
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