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West Ham United’s Premiership visit to Queens Park Rangers on April 25, 2015 is a reminder that Ex-Hammer Harry Redknapp was the struggling club’s manager for the early part of the 2014-15 campaign.
But the flying winger and Chicken Run favourite was not the only Ex-Hammer with managerial links with the Loftus Road club. That first honour over 60 years ago went to David Mangnall who picked up the managerial reigns in west London while the Second World War was still raging in Europe. The former West Ham centre-forward went on to manage the Hoops' for eight years from 1944 to 1952.
David Mangnall was a traditional bustling centre-forward who spent a couple of pre-World War II seasons at Upton Park.
Manager Charlie Paynter signed him from Birmingham City in 1935 as cover for West Ham’s record goal scorer, Vic Watson, who was nearing the end of his illustrious career.
Prior to his two years at St Andrews, Mangnall had spent brief but prolific goal scoring spells with Leeds United (1927-29) and Huddersfield Town (1929-34).
With the Terriers of Huddersfield in season 1931-32 he terrorised the opposition with his average of over a goal a game as he helped himself to an impressive 42 nets in 39 league and FA Cup appearances.
As his stints with previous clubs had been extremely short, it was perhaps no surprise that his Hammers' first team career was limited to 14 months.
However, Mangnall’s short claret and blue career was spread over two memorable seasons, 1934-35 and 1935-36, when his goals were a significant factor in the Hammers’ promotion challenges.
In those two seasons West Ham narrowly missed out on promotion to Division One in finishing 3rd and 4th respectively.
At the end of season 1935-36 he left Upton Park for Millwall before ending his playing days with Queens Park Rangers.
In his six football league club career he totalled 221 games notching 144 goals. Twenty eight of those league goals came in just 35 league games with West Ham.
Born: Wigan, Lancashire September 21, 1905 David Mangnall died in Penzance April 10, 1962 aged 56.
Mangnall’s West Ham league bow was on Saturday March 16, 1934 away to Port Vale in a 2-2 draw. Two players made their Hammers debut that afternoon and both scored. Mangnall’s strike was supplemented by one from Dr. James Marshall.
Mangnall and Marshall were both signed in the days leading up to the clash at the Recreation Ground in Hanley and the newly formed strikeforce appeared in the season’s remaining 10 Division Two matches and had an immediate positive influence as the team’s results improved.
In the concluding 10 games West Ham won seven, drew one and suffered just two defeats (21 points) which was a vast improvement on the previous 10 games' form of four wins, one draw and five defeats (9 points).
Despite the improved points tally since the pair had signed the Hammers frustratingly missed out on promotion to Bolton Wanderers on goal difference. Mangnall finished the season with a six goal contribution from his 10 appearances. The six nets included a double in the 2-1 away victory over Sheffield United on March 30.
West Ham’s Top Goal Scorer with 23
This was an exciting season for the Hammers as they again chased promotion to the top tier. Unfortunately, only one win in their last five league games proved to be their downfall. Just another four points on the board would have made all the difference.
Mangnall’s contribution in his second season was crucial due to the number of goals and his strike rate. His 22 league nets fell in only 25 league games! And if you convert his strike rate to a full 42 games campaign it would be 37 goals!
Mangnall's league goals included a couple of hat-tricks and four doubles. The trebles were notched in the 5-2 and 3-2 home wins over Nottingham Forest (September 7, 1935) and Norwich City (December 28, 1935) respectively.
In addition to his league goal haul Mangnall added another in the FA Cup 3rd round draw against Luton Town. Unfortunately no goals in the replay meant an early exit. His 23 goals comfortably took him to the top of West Ham’s scoring chart.
£1,000 Transfer to Millwall
Despite his harvest of goals, at the end of the season Mangnall transferred to Millwall for £1,000. With the Lions Mangnall reached the pinnacle of his playing career when he starred in and captained the Division III side which reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1937.
Millwall lost the Leeds Road semi-final to Sunderland 2-1 though David did score Millwall’s solitary goal.
Despite the defeat it was a notable achievement as Millwall became the first Division Three side to reach the hurdle before Wembley.
1937 FA Cup Semi-final
played at Huddersfield Town
Three years after joining Millwall and 49 goals in 72 appearances he moved across London to Queens Park Rangers in May 1939.
As for so many gifted players of his generation the intervening war years robbed them all of a long career in the game.
During World War II Mangnall guested for Southend United, Fulham and Millwall.
QPR’s Manager 1944-1952
After his playing career ended he managed Queens Park Rangers from 1944 to 1952. During this spell he led QPR into Division Two for the first time in the club’s history in 1947-48 when they won the Division Three (South) championship.
Date of Birth:
September 21, 1905
2 FA Cup
1 FA Cup
Dr. James Marshall
£5,000 signing from Arsenal
£2,000 signing from Birmingham City
Struggling with injuries from the middle of January 1936 meant Dave only made five more league appearances for the Hammers. During this time his replacement Peter Simpson was finding his scoring boots. Mangnall donned the claret and blue for his final league appearance as replacement for Len Goulden, against Port Vale, the same team as in his debut 14 months earlier. On April 25, 1936 and in front of 9,000 West Ham won 3-2 with Mangnall scoring a brace. This gave the bustling centre forward the notable achievement of scoring on his first and last West Ham games, against the same opposition and at the same ground.
Images courtesy of West Ham United Football Club archives, newspaper coverage The Daily Mail, The Courier & Advertiser
Queens Park Rangers F.C. 1948 - 49
Standing: J. Eggleton (trainer), L. Powell, G. Powell, R. Allen, A. Smith, A. Addinall, A. Jefferson, Dave Mangnall (manager)
Seated: W. McEwan, C. Hatton, G. Smith (captain), D. Mills, J. Hartburn
Queens Park Rangers F.C. 1947 - 48
David Mangnall (manager) takes centre stage in this Hoops team group
March 1937 David Mangnall, the Millwall captain, running through the crowd that swarmed on to the pitch after Millwall's victory against Manchester City