theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

Welcome to the Private memorabilia collection of 'theyflysohigh'

Insert body text here ...

Insert body text here ...

Banner Hammers Logo theyflysohigh FMC - Plymouth FM - Watford 02 FM - Watford 03 FMC - WBA 02 FMC - WBA 01 FMC - Chelsea Trophy

Full Members' Cup ...

by Roger Hillier

At the other end of this football spectrum are several long forgotten club competitions. 'theyflysohigh' has previously covered several West Ham United has participated in, including the Watney Cup, Texaco Cup and Anglo-Italian tournaments.


The spotlight now falls on The Full Members’ Cup which had a comparatively long shelf life of seven seasons. In short, the competition was introduced after the 1985 Heysel Stadium disaster when English clubs had been banished from European competition.  


The Hammers participated in six of this knockout cup’s seven seasons. While the cup may not have completely enthralled fans, it did have a few claret and blue moments worth recalling.  


These include:

Reaching the semi-final of the Southern Section and one step away from the two-legged Southern Section Final in 1992


A quartet of goals from striker Leroy Rosenior in 1988, and


Full first team baptisms for midfielder Paul Ince in 1986, striker Eamonn Dolan in 1987 and defender Paul Kelly in 1991

Crossed Hammer Crossed Hammer Crossed Hammer

Brief History of The Full Members’ Cup

The recently ended 2018 FIFA World Cup is a reminder of the spectrum of professional football competitions. At the top is the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals which saw France crowned as world champions with their victory over Croatia in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.  


The French triumph bought the curtain down on a month-long tournament which turned out to be the most expensive football event ever.  

The competition was held from 1985 to 1992. It started life as The Full Members’ Cup and with sponsorship subsequently renamed as the Simod Cup (1987 to 1989) named after an Italian sports shoe company and later as the Zenith Data Systems Cup (1989 to 1992) thanks to an IT company based in Slough who sponsored the cup to the tune of £100,000 for each of the three seasons they sponsored the competition.


Introduced after the 1985 Heysel Stadium disaster, it was created to give English clubs from the top two English League divisions additional matches to compensate for the banishment from European competition.


The competition's name refers to the clubs’ classification as Full Members of the Football League who had full voting rights. Clubs from the lower two divisions were Associate Members and were only eligible for the Associate Members Cup (now known as the Football League Trophy).


Despite the European ban of English clubs being partially lifted for 1990–91, and fully lifted for 1991–92, the Full Members' Cup survived through to the end of 1991–92. In the following season the competition was closed when the old Football League First Division was replaced by the Premier League.

The Hammers' Competition Record

Crossed Hammer outline

West Ham United participated in six of the competition’s seven seasons. The first was in the cup’s second season, 1986-87. In total the Hammers played 10 cup ties, winning four and losing six.  


Goals were plentiful as The Irons netted 22 and leaked 21. For spectators that’s an impressive average of 4.3 goals per cup tie. Despite losing more than they won, West Ham scored in each of their 10 cup matches.  


As the competition was a fixture filler it was perhaps not surprising that Full Members’ Cup ties did not quite fill the stadiums.  For West Ham the average crowd for a home tie was just short of 8,500, well below the usual average of over 20,000 for a home league game.  It was a similar story for the other participating clubs.  


The table below displays West Ham United’s record in The Full Members’ Cup.

The rest of this feature summarises the Hammers’ performance in the six seasons before the competition was consigned to history.

1986-87 Season

Knocked-Out in First Match

In the season after West Ham United’s most successful ever in the Football League, the Hammers were deprived of a UEFA Cup place and instead given a place in the Full Members’ Cup.  Exempted until the 3rd round, West Ham faced the cup holders, Chelsea and despite home advantage the Hammers lost 2-1. Chelsea scored their two goals in the 5th and 32nd minutes and held the two goal advantage until Tony Cottee reduced the arrears with eight minutes to go.

3rd Round:

West Ham United 1 – 2 Chelsea (HT 0-2)

86_11_26 WHU v. Chelsea FMC3

1987-88 Season

Home Defeat to Millwall

1st Round:

West Ham United 1 – 2 Millwall (HT 0-0)

A massive police operation turned Upton Park into a no-go area as the Hammers crashed out of the Simod Cup to London rivals Millwall.


There were 400 officers on duty, instead of the usual 130, and 40 arrests made in the hostile atmosphere while two police helicopters circled over-head.


Despite the Hammers taking a 2nd half lead when Alan Dickens slotted home a precision defence splitting through ball from Paul Ince, West Ham suffered a home defeat to the Division Two side.


Seventeen minutes after taking the lead all was lost as The Lions scored twice in the space of three minutes. Strike partners Tony Cascarino scored the first with their winner courtesy of future Hammer, Teddy Sheringham in the 79th minute.

87_11_10 WHU v. Millwall Simod Cup

1988-89 Season

Rosenior Quartet

1st Round:

West Ham United 5 – 2 West Bromwich Albion (HT 1-2)

Leroy Rosenior became the first Hammer to score a quartet of goals since Tony Cottee’s in October 1983 in the 10-0 League Cup thrashing of Bury.  Leroy joined an exclusive club of only eleven Hammers to have score four or more goals in a single competitive first team match. No player has managed this scoring feat in the last 30 years.  


The final scoreline suggests a one sided game, but The Baggies led at half-time with goals from Don Goodman and Gary Robson. Four 2nd half goals ensured the Hammers progressed to the second round to face Watford.


West Ham United:

McKnight, Potts, Dicks, Gale, Hilton, Ward, Ince, Rosenior, Brady (Parris 78 mins), Kelly D., Keen.  Unused sub: Strodder.

88_11_09 WHU v. WBA Simod 1

1988-89 Season

Stung by the Hornets

2nd Round:

Watford 1 – 1 West Ham United (HT 0-1) aet : lost 3-1 on penalties

The evening at Vicarage Road started brightly as Paul Ince gave the Irons the lead after just seven minutes. The Hornets 62nd minute equaliser took the tie to 30 minutes of extra time.


Leroy Rosenior, four-goal hero in the previous round, should have settled it in the last ten minutes of normal time, but he sent a header and a shot wide. Then in extra time he failed to punish a bad back pass. With no further goals the tie went to a penatly shoot-out.


For the Hammers the shoot-out was a disaster. In the space of five minutes, Kevin Keen, Julian Dicks and Mark Ward all managed to miss as many penalties as Ray Steward had in the previous five years. West Ham’s sole success from 12 yards was Tony Gale’s kick.


1989-90 Season

Eight Claret & Blue Goals in Two Ties

2nd Round:

West Ham United 5 – 2 Plymouth Argyle (HT 1-0)

88_11_22 Watford v. WHU Simod Cup 89_11_29 WHU v. Plymouth Argyle Zenith 2

In the 2nd round The Irons met fellow Division Two side Plymouth Argyle, managed by former Hammer Ken Brown, in one of the most exciting ties.


The records show West Ham as comfortable 5-2 winners. But the final result hides how close The Pilgrims came to a surprise win. Ken Brown’s team were winning 2-1 with 90 seconds to go. Thanks to substitute Eamonn Dolan, West Ham grabbed an equaliser to force the tie to extra-time. In an exciting turnaround the Hammers netted three more goals to secure an away tie in the next round.

3rd Round:

Chelsea 4 – 3 West Ham United (HT 1-0)

Another edge of the seat tie, only this time The Hammers’ luck ran out as they lost to a late Chelsea goal. By the 53rd minute The Blues were leading 2-0 but in a remarkable comeback West Ham took the lead, 3-2, with an 81st minute David Kelly goal.


The tide turned against the claret and blue side when Chelsea equalised five minutes later and with a minute remaining on the clock, regained the lead to secure passage to a regional semi-final.


West Ham United team:

Parkes, Potts, Dicks, Strodder, Keen, Gale, Brady (Kelly D. 74 mins), Slater, Foster, Ward, Allen.  

Unused Sub: McQueen.

89_12_22 Chelsea v. WHU Zenith

1990-91 Season

Thrashed by The Hatters

2nd Round:

Luton Town 5 – 1 West Ham United (HT 4-0)

In this promotion winning season which included a club record undefeated run from the start of the season of 21 league matches, the Hammers suffered humiliation at Kenilworth Road. Fortunately for the Hammers only 5,759 witnessed the embarrassment. Six days before Christmas Day, Division One side Luton Town, inflicted a 5-1 drubbing on the Hammers. The heaviest defeat West Ham suffered in this competition.


West Ham’s consolation goal was netted with Luton leading 5-0. In the 87th minute Jimmy Quinn was upended in the penalty area. Trevor Morley’s poor spot-kick was tipped on to a post by Chamberlain, the Luton keeper, but fortunately Kevin Keen followed up to push the ball home.

After a substitute appearance in a league match the previous season, defender Paul Kelly was making his full first team debut. But in this his 2nd and last first team game, it wasn’t as memorable as he would have liked.


West Ham United: 

McKnight, Kelly P., Parris, Gale, Potts, Livett, Allen, Quinn, Slater, Keen, Morley.  

Unused subs: Rush, Clarke.


West Ham had their revenge a month later when the result was reversed as the Hammers beat the Hatters 5-0 in an Upton Park FA Cup 4th round replay.

90_12_19 Luton Town v. WHU

1991-92 Season

One Step Away from Two-Legged Southern Final

2nd Round:

West Ham United 2 - 1 Cambridge United (HT 1-0)

One Step Away from Two-Legged Southern Final. In this last season of the competition, West Ham had their best cup run. They won their first two ties to reach the semi-final of the Southern Section, only to lose to eventual Wembley finalists Southampton.


Despite this promising cup run, the season proved to be a troublesome one for the Hammers, both on and off the pitch. Playing performances deteriorated and resulted in relegation from Division One. And behind the scenes, the introduction of the ill-fated Hammers Bond compounded the club’s misery. The club’s Zenith Data Cup run was intertwined with Hammers Bond related events.

In the weeks leading up to this Zenith Data Cup 2nd round clash with Cambridge United the club’s preparation for the Hammers Bond scheme started with the announcement that the club needed a larger stadium which could be achieved either by a move to a new site or by developing the Boleyn ground. To obtain fans’ views, the club distributed a questionnaire on the choices, and if to stay at Upton Park, how to finance the stadium’s development.


Back on the pitch, the Hammers held off Division Two side Cambridge, thanks to goals made from Mike Small passes.  The first by George Parris and the winner from Frank McAvennie. A 20-yard curler into the top corner from George Parris in the 32nd minute gave West Ham the lead before the visitors' long ball game finally resulted in a scrambled equaliser six minutes after the break. McAvennie got the vital strike on the hour to put the Hammers into the 3rd round although the winning margin should have been greater.


For McAvennie this was his last season in a claret and blue shirt. Full-back Chris Hughton was also making the last of his 41 appearances for the Hammers' first team in this cup tie as a late replacement for flu-victim Mitchell Thomas.


West Ham United:

Miklosko, Breacker, Hughton, Gale, Potts, Parris, Bishop, McAvennie, Small, Keen, Allen M.


Unused subs: Morley, Rush.

91_10_22 WHU v. Cambridge United Zenith Data Cup2

3rd Round:

West Ham United 2 - 0 Brighton & Hove Albion (HT 2-0)

Off the field, West Ham United had received completed questionnaires from 2,000 supporters. The unanimous and not surprising response was that supporters wanted the club to stay at Upton Park. The next step was raising the finance to pay for the stadium’s development.


The club decided the best financing solution was to introduce a bond, and placed advertisements in newspapers encouraging fans to write off for “The Hammers Bond” Prospectus.  


On the field, Billy Bonds had ordered his players not to take this cup tie lightly and Frank McAvennie provided the perfect response. Mike Small once again contributed both passes to set up Frank McAvennie’s double in the 10th and 25th minutes to put them through to a Southern Section semi-final against Southampton.


West Ham United:

Miklosko, Breacker, Thomas, Gale, Potts, Parris, Bishop, McAvennie, Small, Keen, Slater.  


Unused subs: Allen M., Rush.

The semi-final away tie with Southampton was originally scheduled for December 11, 1991 but was postponed due to a heavily frosted pitch at The Dell.  The match was rearranged for a month later on January 7, 1992.

Semi-Final Southern Section:

Southampton 2 - 1 West Ham United (HT 0-1)

91_11_26 WHU v. Brighton Zenith Data Cup3 92_01_07 Southampton v. WHU Zenith Semi Final Winners table

Full Members' Cup Finals

Not an auspicious baptism which was disappointing as in the previous month West Ham had beaten Chelsea 5-3 in a home Division One match. On a positive note, former YTS Paul Ince made his first team debut.


West Ham United:

Parkes, Walford (Bonds 45 mins), Parris, Gale (capt), Hilton, Ince, Ward, McAvennie, Dickens, Cottee, Keen.  


Unused sub: Campbell.

FMC - Millwall

West Ham United:

McAlister, Potts (Keen 85 mins), Parris, Hilton, Martin, Brady, Ward, Dickens, Ince, Dolan, Robson S.   Unused sub: Strodder.

Crossed Hammer outline Crossed Hammer outline

Hat-trick hero! ...

Leroy Rosenior outjumps Chris Whyte to complete his first-ever hat-trick

Ful Members table

After making his first debut as a sub in the previous season’s final league game at home to Manchester City, Eamonn Dolan waited six months to make his full first team debut in this Simod Cup tie.

FM - Watford

West Ham United:

McKnight, Potts, Dicks, Gale, Martin (Hilton 90 mins), Keen, Dickens, Ince, Rosenior, Brady, Ward.  

Unused sub: Parris.

Julian Dicks clips the Hornets crossbar with

this extra time shot

Crossed Hammer outline

Penalty Shoot-out

FMC Shoot-out

West Ham United:

Parkes, Potts, Dicks, Strodder, Martin, Devonshire, Slater, Allen, Ward (Dolan 68 mins), Kelly D. (Foster 80 mins).

Former Hammer Kenny Brown can only watch on as Eamonn Dolan heads home from six yards to earn West Ham an extra time reprieve

David Kelly gives the Hammers a 3-2 lead at Stamford Bridge

Crossed Hammer outline Crossed Hammer outline

On the Saturday after the disappointment of the semi-final defeat to Southampton, the club’s woes continued. At home to Wimbledon in the Premier League the Hammers scraped a last gasp draw. But as soon as the final whistle sounded about 3,000 fans swarmed on to the pitch to protest against the controversial Hammers Bond scheme.


An earlier meeting between fans and the club’s board of directors and representatives had not ended well. The fans’ request for shares in the club in return for supporting the Hammers Bond was turned down. The saga of the Hammers Bond had not finished. A full account of the Hammers Bond will be covered in a future 'theyflysohigh' article.    



Articles Own Goals Boleyn Ground Farewell Match 91_12_11 Southampton v. WHU Zenith Semi-Final Post

Postponed programme

The Hammers had hit a poor run of form with only one win in ten going into the match, the last being the Zenith Data match with Brighton. Just three days after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Upton Park by non-league Farnborough Town, the Hammers now faced more cup misery as Southampton won this Southern Section semi-final.


Despite Ian Bishop scoring his first goal of the season to give West Ham a 35th minute lead, an Alan Shearer header on 67 minutes and a Le Tissier penalty swept The Saints into the Southern Area final against Chelsea. The penalty was awarded after Le Tissier dramatically fell to the turf following Tim Breacker’s challenge.


West Ham United:

Miklosko, Breacker, Dicks, Gale, Foster, Thomas, Bishop, McAvennie, Brown, Keen (Morley 78 mins), Slater .


Unused sub: Small  

Crossed Hammer outline