Welcome to the Private memorabilia collection of 'theyflysohigh'
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After 12 seasons of first team duty West Ham’s midfield dynamo, Geoff Pike, was quite rightly granted a testimonial match. Geoff’s special day was at the end of 1987-88 season on Tuesday May 10, 1988 when the top Yugoslavian side Dinamo Zagreb visited Upton Park.
Since making his debut on March 6, 1976 against Birmingham City to his last appearance on April 11, 1987 Geoff made close to 370 competitive first team appearances scoring 41 goals. Strictly speaking on the evening of his testimonial match, Geoff was no longer a Hammer as not long after his last West Ham game in April 1987 he transferred to Notts County.
Match tickets were £6.50 for a seat and £4 on the terraces. And the 80p souvenir programme provided a comprehensive reminder of Geoff’s claret and blue tenure including his career highlight, the Hammers’ 1980 FA Cup triumph. But his sterling service to the club deserved a higher attendance than 4,444. Perhaps the low support was not a surprise as the testimonial match was played at the end of what had been a poor league season for the Hammers.
A raft of second half substitutions made it a night of nostalgia for the fans. Though at the expense of West Ham losing their continuity. At the start of the second half Phil Parkes, Frank Lampard Snr, and Paul Goddard replaced Tom McAlister, Julian Dicks and Alan Dickens respectively. Plus after 72 minutes David Cross, alias Physco, stepped in to replace Tony Cottee.
Within nine minutes of the restart and West Ham were two goals down. Dinamo’s Arslanovic scored with a shot in off the crossbar and then six minutes later Agic scored a “20 yard cracker”. Soon after the 56th minute introduction of Paul Ince and Kevin Keen, West Ham pulled a goal back. A Paul Hilton header from a Cottee cross was pushed out for Paul Goddard to net. Goddard was guesting from Newcastle United for whom he had played against the Hammers only three days earlier.
Soon after West Ham’s goal, Dinamo increased their lead through Skoro and in the 80th minute Agic scored with “a blistering shot which earned applause from the generous North Bank crowd”.
The Dinamo Zagreb Squad:
Ibrahimovic, Preljevic, Lulic (Besek), Arslanovic, Kasalo,
Lesjak, Pavlicic, Munjajovic (Istvanic), Boban, Skoro, Agic, Vlak, Cupan, Deveric
First Yugoslavian Team to Visit Upton Park since 1936
Dinamo Zagreb was only the second Yugoslavian side to visit Upton Park. The first was another Zagreb side, “Prvi Hrvatski Gradjanski Sportski Klub” This means the “First Croation Civic Sporting Club” and is abbreviated “Gradjanski F.C. Zagreb”, who 52 years earlier lost by a single goal to the Hammers. A goal from Peter Simpson settled the game. But this time the Zagreb team did not disappoint their supporters as they ran out comfortable 4-1 victors.
The Dinamo Zagreb side we see today is seen as the successor of Gradjanski in all but name.
Refer to appendix below for more background to the two clubs.
An Even First Half
WEST HAM UNITED:
Tom McAlister (Phil Parkes 45min)
Julian Dicks (Frank Lampard Snr 45min)
Geoff Pike (Paul Ince 56 min)
Tony Gale (Gary Strodder 75min)
Alan Dickens (Paul Goddard 45min)
Tony Cottee (David Cross 72min)
Stewart Robson (Kevin Keen 56 min)
WEST HAM UNITED 1 - 4 DINAMO ZAGREB
West Ham more than matched Dinamo in the goalless first half, and had the chances to lead after 45 minutes. Match reports describe the game as entertaining with both sides creating goal scoring chances. In the first half Tony Cottee fired narrowly wide, Julian Dicks had a free kick turned away for a corner and Stewart Robson headed a Cottee cross onto the crossbar. Fortunately for the Hammers, Dinamo had a goal disallowed very close to the half time whistle.
For the first 45 minutes John Lyall kept his team unchanged. But for the second half he introduced some well known Ex-Hammers.
Second Half –
Nostalgic Substitutions and Goals Galore
The Gradjanski club was founded in 1911, when continental football might well be termed in its infancy. English coaches Gaskell and Donnelly were appointed and the club soon became one of the most important, not only in the town of Zagreb, but in the entire country.
Gradanski Zagreb and two other Zagreb clubs (HASK and Concordia), were dissolved in 1945 following the end of World War II. Dinamo Zagreb was founded on 9 June 1945 to replace the three Zagreb football clubs. Dinamo has strong historical links with the Gradanski club, as it took over Gradanski’s colours and nickname, and in 1969 adopted a badge resembling Gradanski’s. Which is why Dinamo Zagreb is seen today as the phoenix that rose out of Zagreb Gradanski. Following the disintegration of Yugoslavia, which started in 1991, Zagreb is today the capital city of Croatia.
Dinamo Zagreb Qualify for UEFA Cup
Dinamo Zagreb demonstrated why they were challenging Partisan Belgrade for leadership of the Yugoslav football league. They had recently lost 2-1 away to the Belgrade team and eventually qualified for the following season’s UEFA Cup.
Dinamo were more than suitable opposition in a testimonial match in recognition of one of West Ham’s loyal servants.
Gradjanski F.C. Zagreb
Original Club crest