Welcome to the Private memorabilia collection of 'theyflysohigh'
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The tall, adventurous full-back made a dream debut by scoring against Liverpool. From an interview published in Ex magazine Eddie recalled the circumstances of his debut and his goal: Ron Greenwood had left out John Bond and Jack Burkett and both Joe Kirkup and I were bought in.
My goal started with Jim Standen feeding the ball to Bobby Moore, who pushed it out to Budgie Byrne, who played it back to John Sissons and eventually on to me. I ran forward with the ball before thumping it home via a slight deflection off Tommy Smith and then I did my silly jump in the air!
The defender’s 48th minute strike cancelled out Roger Hunt’s 22nd minute opener for the Reds with Geoff Hurst grabbing the decisive goal with a 53rd minute lob. The Hammers’ win ended a run of four defeats and consigned Liverpool’s 21-match unbeaten run to the bin.
West Ham’s team:
I looked at the reserve team sheet in the dressing room and thought I had been dropped. Then I looked at the first team list – and got quite a shook. I was in !
Eddie Robert Presland was a gentleman of sport. His six league appearances for West Ham United were illuminated by a goal in his first team debut in February 1965. It places him among a very select band of 98 West Ham scoring debutants, which is a school of excellence not attended by his teammates Moore, Hurst and Peters.
Though Eddie’s sporting career stretched further than wearing a claret and blue shirt. He was from the rare sporting breed who played football in the winter and cricket in the summer. Eddie was a cricket all-rounder who gained an England Boys cap and played professionally for Essex (1962-1970).
His football career started with schoolboy soccer for East Ham, London and Essex before signing as an apprentice junior for West Ham United in 1959.
An understudy at the Boleyn Goround, Presland’s six appearances were made over two seasons before transferring across London to join Crystal Palace in January 1967. He spent three seasons as a first team regular at Selhurst Park chalking up 61 league appearances before moving to Colchester United on loan in 1969 playing a further six games.
After leaving league football he had spells with Chelmsford City and a stint with South African National Football League club Jewish Guild in Johannesburg before returning with non-league Wealdstone whom he later managed.
His managerial roles include Dulwich Hamlet, Hendon, Gravesend and Northfleet and Dagenham F.C. before taking up a scouting role for John Lyall’s Ipswich Town.
Born: March 27, 1943, Loughton, Essex Eddie Presland died August 1, 2021 aged 78.
Eddie Presland’s inital claret and blue appearance was for the Colt side in a South East Counties League fixture against Crystal Palace, the 3-1 victory came at West Ham’s Green Silley Weir training ground on April 4, 1959.
Claret and Blue Debut
Three weeks later Eddie was contesting his first medal as a member of the Junior side that played UGB Pantiles for the Winchester Cup at Upton Park.
The under 16 and a half years of age Junior side also included future first team players Alan Dickie, Roger Hugo and Ron Boyce. Most of the others were former members of London district Schoolboys XI's. Eddie was a pupil at Stepney Green School.
Under the guidance of team manager Tom Russell, a local schoolmaster and a member of the Youth Section administration at Upton Park for the past three years the young Hammers recorded a 6-3 victory over the curiously named south London works side United Glass Bottlers from Charlton.
Eddie progressed through the junior ranks at Upton Park and signed his first professional contract on October 3, 1960.
Date of Birth:
March 27, 1943
October 3, 1960
6 Football League
1 Football League
First Team Debut
Eddie progressed from the youth ranks to make his Metropolitan reserve team debut at the Spotted Dog Ground, Clapton on October 10, 1960 against Arsenal 'A' team in a 2-1 win.
His Football Combination debut came three months later on January 21, 1961 away to Chelsea. The reserve side that afternoon was: Peter Shearing, Eddie Presland, Jack Burkett, Eddie Bovington, Bill Lansdowne, Martin Peters, Mike Grice, Ron Boyce, Geoff Hurst, Andy Smillie and Ron Brett.
Although Eddie was in good company that afternoon, a Hurst penalty and a strike by Brett wasn't enough as the Hammers succumbed to a 6-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
He would go on to record a staggering 196 combined Matropolitan League and Football Combination appearances for the Hammers' second-string.
Reserve Team Debut
With seven defeats in nine League games manager Ron Greenwood rang the change at Upton Park for the fixture with Liverpool on Saturday February 27, 1965. Out went established stars John Bond, Ken Brown and Alan Sealey. There were recalls for right back Joe Kirkup and right winger Peter Brabrook and in came 21-year-old left back Eddie Presland for his West Ham United debut.
Greenwood declaring “There’s nothing drastically wrong with the team. They’ve lost a little faith in themselves. The changes I’ve made should give us more strength and mobility.”
Eddie gets his boots ready for the game of his life
Jim Standen, Joe Kirkup, Eddie Presland, Eddie Bovington, Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, Peter Brabrook, Ron Boyce, Johnny Byrne, Geoff Hurst, John Sissons.
Eddie has been at West Ham for five years ... but he made sure nobody would forget his debut quickly by hammering in the shot which Liverpool goalkeeper Tommy Lawrence dived vainly to reach
Three more League Games
The Liverpool match was the first of a three consecutive First Division match run for Eddie. Thought the next two games were not as memorable as his first. The following Saturday away to Sunderland an unchanged side lost 2-0 to Sheffield Wednesday. And a week later at home to Sunderland, the Black Cats won 3-2.
The only change to the side was the introduction of Brian Dear for Johnny Byrne. Dear scored a brace on his way to an impressive scoring run which ended up with a place in West Ham United’s Wembley winning European Cup Winners’ Cup (ECWC) side.
Eddie just missed out on a ECWC appearance. Three days after the Sunderland game the Hammers faced the Swiss club Lausanne Sports. But as Eddie hadn’t been confirmed to UEFA as a member of the Hammers’ squad, he had to give the cup tie a miss. Versatile Martin Peters deputised at right back.
Sandwiched between the away and home ECWC wins over Lausanne the Hammers faced Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. The 4-0 defeat to Blackburn was Eddie’s last first team outing of the season. Thereafter Jack Burkett returned to the starting eleven.
The following season Eddie was again drafted into the first team for his final two league appearances as cover for an injured Jack Burkett. The first match on Wednesday September 1, 1965 to face Sunderland at Roker Park and three days later at Brammal Lane against Sheffield United. Two defeats gave Eddie the unenviable record in his six league appearances of one win and five defeats.
West Ham United
As understudy to Jack Burkett and the promising John Charles, Eddie decided to leave West Ham United. On January 13, 1967 he transferred across London to join Crystal Palace. At Selhurst Park he joined former Irons teammates Dave Bickles and Johnny Byrne, and future Hammer to be Alan Stephenson.
Transfer to Crystal Palace
Did you know?
Eddie played one more first team match after his last First Division game. This was in the 2-0 defeat away to Fourth Division club Brentford in a testimonal for long serving Bee's full-back Ken Coote on September 28, 1965.
Two weeks later he made his Palace debut away to Leeds United in the F.A. Cup January 28 (lost 0-3). He settled into the left-back position with the Eagles and spent the next three seasons as a first team regular and only missed one game until his final first team appearance on August 24, 1968 away at Bury (lost 1-2).
Watching Jim Standen tip this shot around the post are (left to right): Eddie Bovington, Ian St John, Martin Peters, Eddie Presland, Bobby Moore and Alf Arrowsmith
In total he clocked up 61 appearances before moving to Colchester United on loan in 1969 playing 6 games in all competitions. He was released at the end of his contract in the summer of 1970.
Crystal Palace 1968-69
Eddie later had spells with Southern League side Chelmsford City and a stint with South African National Football League club Jewish Guild in Johannesburg, South Africa. On his return in 1973, Eddie took up a role as player-manager with non-league Wealdstone.
Other managerial roles took in Dulwich Hamlet, Hendon, Gravesend and Northfleet and Dagenham F.C. before taking up a part-time scouting role for John Lyall’s Ipswich Town in 1989 until switching to Tottenham Hotspur, where, at the time, he oversaw a team of 17 scouts worldwide.
One of Eddie’s proudest achievements would have been leading Dagenham to FA Trophy glory at Wembley in 1980.
Non League Football
Eddie’s professional cricket career spanned eight years, although he only played 30 first class matches. He mainly played for the Essex second XI although in 1962 he participated in arguably a very unique match.
Essex “seconds” were playing the Surrey “seconds” at Romford and, as usual one of Eddie’s teammates was Geoff Hurst. What made the game so special was that their Hammers’ teammate, Johnny Byrne, was making one of his occasional second XI appearances as an amateur for his “home” county of Surrey. Quite an achievement for three footballers from the same club to appear in the same high level cricket match.
For the statistically minded, Presland’s first team career statistics with Essex are recorded as 30 appearances in which he amassed 625 runs with a career highest knock of 51. He also bowled 295 overs (61 maidens) taking 13 wickets and conceding 761 runs.
First Class Cricket Career
'theyflysohigh' would like to pass on our condolences to Eddie's widow Celia, his son Neil and grandson Kai at this sad time.
Additional support material courtesy of Richard Miller and Crystal Palace club historians Ian King & Pete Hurn
Eddie at the crease
Essex Schoolboys line up ready to face Kent at the County Ground, Canterbury in the summer of 1957.
Apart from Eddie Presland (back row, fifth from left), there are two very famous faces.
On Eddie’s left is Geoff Hurst and his World Cup team mate Bobby Moore takes centre stage in the front row.
Did you know?
When teammate Geoff Hurst married on October 13, 1964 Eddie was Geoff's best man.
Eddie (far left) and his Essex teammates prior to their game against Sussex at Brentwood in 1964
After leaving The Glaziers he moved back across to east London to join Jimmy Bloomfield’s Orient in July 1970. Despite playing a few first team friendlies and appearing in Orient’s pre-season club photo, he didn’t start a league match for The Os.
In the 1970-71 Orient team image Eddie stands next to Peter Brabrook who was in the Hammers’ line-up on the day of Eddie’s scoring Football League debut five years earlier.
Friendlies with Orient