theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

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Banner Hammers Logo theyflysohigh CHARLES Clive - Portland Timbers Charles USA Portland Timbers 02 CHARLES Clive 02 1970-71 Reserves
Wembley 5-A-Side Clive Charles signature

Despite his significant 5-A-Side contribution he had to wait a further 23 months to season 1972-73 for his league debut on Saturday March 21, 1972 at Highfield Road in the 2-1 defeat to Coventry City. He joined the club as a junior in season 1968-69 and spent six years with the club before transferring to Cardiff City, initially in a loan transfer in March 1974. After 4 years with the Bluebirds he flew over the Atlantic to join Portland Timbers of the North American Soccer League. When he retired from playing he stayed in the States and embarked on a distinguished coaching career.


Other highlights during his time with West Ham include:


Clive Charles (1951 - 2003)

by Roger Hillier

Crossed Hammer Crossed Hammer Crossed Hammer

A Southern Junior Floodlit Cup winner’s medal in 1968-69



Five England Youth international caps from 1969-70 & 1970-71



14 league and one FA Cup appearance



128 appearances for the Football Combination side including several playing alongside his older brother, John.

Crossed Hammer

1968-69 - Southern Junior Floodlit Cup Winners

An early success for Charles was in August 1969 when the under 18s played the delayed two legged final of the Southern Junior Floodlit Cup (SJFC). The young Hammers overcame Ipswich Town 2-1 on aggregate to win the SJFC for the 5th time in the club’s history*.  Despite losing the second leg 1-0, West Ham’s 2-0 first leg victory at Upton Park was sufficient to win on aggregate.  


The following team for the Upton Park leg included five who would progress to make their league debut in claret and blue:

Peter Grotier, John McDowell, Clive Charles, Steve Aylott, Peter Keary, Pat Holland, Carl Humphreys, Keith Pointer, Tony Carr, Clyde Best, Stephen Lay.  

The XI for the 2nd leg held at Portman Road on August 26 in front of 3,300 included a change with Terry Scales stepping in and Stephen Lay dropping out.

*The five SJFC wins includes a sharing of the cup in 1966-67 after the final’s 2-2 aggregate draw with Ipswich Town.  

After the 1968-69 SJFC win the Hammers’ under 18s had to wait until 1981-82 for their 6th and last SJFC triumph.

On the day of the SJFC final’s second leg Clive and future first teamer John McDowell signed professional forms.

November 1968 - Reserve Team Debut

On November 16, 1968 Clive made his reserve team debut in the Football Combination 1-1 draw away to AFC Bournemouth reserves.  

1969-70 - England Youth Caps

April 8, 1970

Evening Standard’s London 5-A-Side

Football Championships

His previously mentioned London 5-A-Side Championships man of the tournament performance capped a memorable season.

In addition to his brace of goals in the final and the championship’s winning goal, Clive also scored in the semi-final win over Orient.    

April 13, 1970

Two Brothers in Same West Ham Team

Five days after the 5-A-Side success it was a family affair when brothers Clive and John 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. The Charles brothers were the first brothers to appear in the same West Ham XI since Edward and Benny Fenton in the 1940s.


Introduction to North American Soccer

Still a season away from his football league debut, season 1970-71 was often a family affair for the Charles brothers as they frequently lined up together in defence for the reserves. The final Charles double appearance was on April 10, 1971 in a 1-0 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur reserves.

WHU Youth 69-70

Back row: John McDowell, John Watson, Stephen Aylott, Kevin Lock, Peter Keary,

Terry Scales, Ken Wallace, Stephen Gill

Front row: Joe Durrell, Paul Gregory, Clive Charles, Dave Bedford,

Ray Fulton, Alan Taylor

Youth Section Player 1969-70

Charles & McDowell WHU Youth 69-70 Vn2 Charles portrait

American Soccer Sojourn

At the end of the 1970-71 season Clive Charles was introduced to American soccer where later he would make a noticeable impact as a coach. In the summer of 1971 Clive and his reserve team colleagues Keith Pointer and Ken Wallace played for Montreal Olympics in the North American Soccer League. A new experience as the Montreal team played in eight different cities with Keith Pointer as skipper. The trio also returned to Montreal Olympics the following summer.

London Footballers’ Athletic Championships

Charles proved he was an accomplished track athlete by winning the 400m at the London Footballers’ Athletic Championships held at Crystal Palace in 1971. Considering athletics was not his main sport he clocked an impressive 53.4 seconds. Incidentally, Harry Redknapp won the 400m in the previous season.


Long Awaited League Debut

On March 21, 1972 Clive was given his long awaited football league debut away to Coventry City in place of Frank Lampard, who was omitted because of his England Under-23 outing the following night against East Germany at Bristol City's Ashton Gate.

Bobby Ferguson

John McDowell

Clive Charles

Billy Bonds

Tommy Taylor

Bobby Moore

Pat Holland

Clyde Best

Geoff Hurs,

Trevor Brooking

Pop Robson

April 1, 1972

First Football League Side to Field

Three Black Players

Eleven days later and Clive was recalled to the team for his home league debut in the 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. This was a landmark game as West Ham became the first football league club to field three black players in the same side. The history making trio were Clive, Clyde Best and Ade Coker.

A couple more recalls for the last two games of the season gave him four league appearances with a record of two wins, a draw and a single defeat.

1972’s Evening Standard’s London 5-A-Side Football Championships  Semi-final Exit

Clive was back in the 5-A-Side team two years after the 1970 success. Bobby Ferguson, Billy Bonds, Bryan Robson, Clive Charles and Clyde Best made up the side which reached the semi-final.  

This time the bubble burst as the quintet lost 3-2 to Queens Park Rangers on penalties after 0-0 at full time. Charles and Bonds scored their spot kicks but Best missed.  In the previous round Charles had scored one of the goals in the 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic.  

1972-73 – Most First Team Games

In season 1972-73 Clive made his most first team appearances with nine league games (two as substitute) and a single FA Cup game as 12th man in the 1-0 away win over Port Vale at Vale Park. These appearances were typically as stand in for regulars Lampard, McDowell or Bonds.


Back in the Football Combination side he took on penalty duties and scored a couple of spot kicks in September 1972.  One in the 1-1 draw with his future club, Cardiff City’s reserves at Ninian Park on September 13, 1972.

First Team Friendlies

His first team appearances took in a couple of testimonial games.  The first of these was former Hammer Bob Glozier’s testimonial at Torquay on October 25, 1972 and the second in Charlie Hall’s at The Valley against Charlton Athletic on December 5, 1972.


A close season visit to Zaragoza in May 1973 for their international club trophy "Ciudad De Zaragoza" gave Clive more first team exposure. Clive played in both games against C.S.K.A. (Bulgaria) and Real Zaragoza (Spain). Unfortunately, the Hammers lost both games 3-0 and 2-0 respectively.  

1973-74 – Last Season with West Ham    

A place in the side for the August pre-season friendlies against Mansfield Town (1-0) and Peterborough United (2-1) argued well for the young defender as he started in the opening Division One game of the 1973-74 season. But this fixture at home to Newcastle United (1-2) proved to be Clive’s sole appearance of the season and his last for the first XI.


The team on August 25 was:

Bobby Ferguson, Frank Lampard, Clive Charles, Billy Bonds, Tommy Taylor, Bobby Moore (captain), Clyde Best (Pat Holland 80 mins), Bertie Lutton, Ted MacDougall, Trevor Brooking, Bryan Robson.  

March 9, 1974

Last West Ham Game Same as Bobby Moore’s

His last appearance in a claret and blue shirt was on March 9, 1974 in the Football Combination game against Plymouth Argyle reserves at the Boleyn Ground.

A significant occasion as this reserve team fixture was also a finale for legend Bobby Moore.  

A Pop Robson goal ensured the following strong reserve XI drew 1-1 that Saturday afternoon:

Peter Grotier, Clive Charles, Alan Wooler, Bertie Lutton, Tony White, Bobby Moore, Johnny Ayris, Ron Boyce, Bryan Robson, Geoff Pike, Yilmaz Orhan.


Joins Cardiff City

The fine form of Frank Lampard and John McDowell, and the signing of Keith Coleman from Sunderland meant first team opportunities were limited. So in March 1974 Clive accepted a loan move to Division Two side Cardiff City who were under the management of ex-Hammer Jimmy Andrews. Clive played in The Bluebirds final eight league games of the season. Despite the club suffering a drop to the third tier, Clive made the move permanent.  

Two seasons later with Clive now as captain, Cardiff City won promotion back to Division Two. He eventually left the club in 1978 having made 77 league appearances (scoring five goals) and several cup appearances including a few in the European Cup Winners Cup.


North American Soccer League (NASL) & Coaching

In 1978, Clive joined the NASL Portland Timbers playing outdoor and indoor soccer. He spent three seasons with the Timbers and for a time was joined by ex-Hammer Clyde Best.  He made a significant impact with the North American side as his number three jersey was retired by the Timbers after he passed away in 2003.  

After leaving Portland Timbers he also played indoor soccer for the Major Indoor Soccer League sides Pittsburgh Spirit and later the Los Angeles Lazers before hanging up his boots in 1982.


Following his retirement he started on his impressive coaching career. As a coach he reached greater heights than in his playing days. His coaching successes are well documented but in summary he progressed to become assistant coach to the United States men’s national soccer team in the 1998 World Cup.

In 1989 he took over the coaching of the US women’s national teams. Right up to his death from prostate cancer in 2003 he was coaching the University of Portland teams.  His playing and coaching contribution to the US game was recognised with his induction into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame that same year.

The crowning moment in Clive Charles’ West Ham career was nearly two years prior to his league debut. On April 8, 1970 reserve full back Clive was drafted into West Ham’s 5-A-Side team for the Evening Standard’s London 5-A-Side Football Championships.  It was a dream come true for Clive as he not only joined first team regulars Peter Grotier, Billy Bonds, Bobby Howe and Johnny Sissons in the side, but the team reached the final and he scored West Ham’s two goals to help the Hammers beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 to clinch the trophy!  He was “man of the tournament”.


Born: Barking, London October 3, 1951 Clive died August 26, 2003 aged 51.


Clive Charles





Date of Birth:




Previous Club:




Joined Hammers:




Hammers Appearances:




Barking, London




October 3, 1951








August 1969




14  League

1    FA Cup

69_08_18 WHU v. Ipswich Town SJFC 68-69 Final 1968-69 Youth team CHARLES Clive H&S 2

Back row: Stephen Gill, Terry Scales, Clyde Best, Peter Grotier, John McDowell,

Stephen Aylott, Clive Charles

Front row: Pat Holland, Stephen Lay, Tony Carr, Carl Humphreys, Keith Pointer

Charles portrait

During the season Clive impressed the international selectors to make his international debut against Eire in a European Youth Championship qualifying match on February 4, 1970. Three more caps quickly followed that season, plus another in the next season’s European Youth International tournament bought his total youth international caps to five. Clive’s England team mates included captain and future Hammer Tommy Taylor (then playing for Orient), and Tottenham’s Steve Perryman.  

Youth Section Player 1968-69

CSKA line-up May 1973 Zaragoza tournament



Eyes forward Clive

Clive Charles lines-up against the Bulgarian Army Team C.S.K.A.

CHARLES Clive H&S 3 Crossed Hammer 72_03_21 Coventry City v. WHU Crossed Hammer

The best way to describe Clive’s performance is to say that the Hammers' defence was in no way impaired as the young defender showed Lampard’s flair for intelligent attacking and composure under pressure.

He also had a part in West Ham’s goal and prevented what would have been a second by Coventry with a heroic edge-of-the-box tackle to block out a goal-bound second-half shot.


The team in the 1-1 draw included four players from the SJFC triumph four seasons earlier:

CHARLES Clive 01

Pre-match warm up versus Arsenal at Highbury Stadium

April 22, 1972

72_04_01 WHU v. Tottenham Hotspur

Clive was also in the West Ham side for 1973’s 5-A-Sides but with the first XI away on friendly duty in Israel the Hammers team was not as strong as in previous championships.  This time they suffered a scoreless exit at the first hurdle to Tottenham Hotspur.

5 a side 1973

David Danson, Clive Charles, Gary Oakes, Ron Boyce, David Llewelyn, Joe Durrell, Bill Lansdowne

74_03_09 WHU v. Plymouth Argyle Portland Timbers Cartoon Charles

An unusual team picture with Clive Charles (no.3) and Clyde Best (no.10)

Portland Timbers 03 Portland Timbers 04 Tributes Jimmy Neighbour Roy Walker England report CHARLES Clive Programme CHARLES Clive v. Spurs 02 CHARLES Clive v. Spurs 01

Back row Left to right: Joe Durrell, Clive Charles, John McDowell, Stephen Aylott, Terry Scales, Alan Taylor, Dave Bedford, Ray Fulton.

Front row: Paul Gregory, John Watson, Peter Keary, Kevin Lock, Ken Wallace, Stephen Gill

Back row: John Cushey, Peter, Bennett, Stephen Aylott, Keith Pointer, Stephen Death, Paul Marsh,

Peter Grotier, Paul Heffer, John McDowell, John Charles, David Llewelyn

Front row: Stephen Gill, Terry Scales, Pat Holland, Ken Wallace, Clive Charles, Jimmy Lindsay, Bobby Sutton


West Ham United Reserves

Charles action

Hammers: Billy Bonds, Bobby Ferguson, Ted MacDougall, Bertie Lutton, Dave Llewelyn, Ron Boyce, Frank Lampard,

Clive Charles, Bryan Robson, Trevor Brooking & Clyde Best.

Charles Int Table

Clive Charles'

England Youth International Appearances

A&BC Charles