Welcome to the Private memorabilia collection of 'theyflysohigh'
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527. Billy JENNINGS ... (1974 - 1979)
A former England Youth international that had progressed through the Watford ranks at Vicarage Road. The quick-silver striker whose £110,000 arrival from the Hornets on 5 September 1974 coincided with a distinct revival of fortunes for the Hammers, culminating in the 1975 F.A. Cup Final win over Fulham at Wembley. Made a scoring debut two days after signing against Sheffield United at Upton Park but finished on the losing side 1-2. The following 75-76 season, West Ham got to the Final of the European Cup Winners' Cup, with Jennings scoring two goals in the away leg of club's Quarter-final. The second-leg home game against Dutch side Den Haag saw Hammers score three, to bring the aggregate score to 5–5, and go through on away goals. In the summer of 1977 he had a short loan spell in America with NASL side Chicago Sting, playing 19 games and scoring 6 goals. Returned for the start of 1977-78 season but picked up an Achilles injury which restricted his appearances and he failed to hold on to a regular place in the team. After 125 league and cup appearances and scoring 39 goals he took the well-trodden path between Upton Park and Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road ground on 11 August 1979. Jennings scored 26 goals in 78 appearances for Orient before moving to Luton Town. Although he retired after 2 substitute appearances for the Hatters, he later played for non-league Dagenham, Bishop's Stortford and Heybridge Swifts and now works as a football agent.
Born: 20 February 1952, Hackney, London
Date: September 1974
Debut: SHEFFIELD UNITED
Upton Park 7 September 1974
Transferred: LEYTON ORIENT August 1979
Appearances: 89/10 (gls 34) Cup: 24/1 (gls 5)
528. Keith ROBSON ... (1974 - 1976)
Keith Robson played his youth soccer with Newcastle United before progressing to their first XI in 1971. West Ham signed this no-nonsense utility player from St James’ Park in September 1974 for the princely sum £55,555 plus a further £20,00 after making 20 first team appearances, for the Hammers this was money well spent as the likeable but temperamental Geordie got his Boleyn Ground career off to a flying start, scoring 5 goals in his first five appearances in a claret and blue shirt. A member of the club’s successful cup squad of the mid-seventies, but missed out in the 1975 FA Cup final against Fulham due to injury. He partly made up for that disappointment when won a Runners-up medal in 1976 finding the net in the 4-2 defeat to RSC Anderlecht in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final and in doing so became one of only three West ham players who have had the honour of scoring in a major European final. Alan Sealey at Wembley in 1965 and Pat Holland along with Robson in the Stade du Heysel, Brussels final. Robson moved to Cardiff City in August 1977, having scored 19 goals in 89 appearances for the Hammers. His Bluebird career yielded 5 goals from 21 games before teaming up with Ex-Hammers Alan Taylor, Graham Paddon, Martin Peters and John McDowell at Norwich City in February 1978. The £25,000 signing scored 13 goals in 65 games for the Carrow Road club. Later played for Leicester City and Carlisle United followed by a brief spell in Hong Kong with South China Athletic Association. Assistant manager with Wroxham before retiring from the game, Robson now works for Norwich International Airport.
Born: 15 November 1953, Hetton-le-Hole, Tyne and Wear
Signed: NEWCASTLE UNITED
Date: September 1974
Debut: TRANMERE ROVERS
Upton Park 18 September 1974
Transferred: CARDIFF CITY - 26 August 1977
Appearances: 65/3 (gls 13) Cup: 20/1 (gls 6)
529. Alan TAYLOR ... (1974 - 1979)
530. Alan CURBISHLEY ... (1975 - 1978)
531. Yilmaz ORHAN ... (1976 - 1977)
532. Geoff PIKE ... (1976 - 1987)
533. Bill GREEN ... (1976 - 1978)
Bryan ROBSON ... (1976 - 1979) Second Debut
534. Alan DEVONSHIRE ... (1976 - 1989)
535. Anton OTULAKOWSKI ... (1976 - 1978)
536. John RADFORD ... (1976 - 1978)
537. Paul BRUSH ... (1977 - 1984)
538. Derek HALES ... (1977 - 1978)
This speedy whippet-like striker made the transition from Fourth Division Rochdale in true "Roy of the Rovers" fashion... appearing in the 1975 F.A. Cup Final within six months of his transfer. Made his initial debut as a substitute against Leeds United at Upton Park in a 2-1 victory 7th December 1974. Once rejected by Preston North End, it was Alan's deadly finishing that got Hammers to Wembley. He scored twice in the Sixth Round victory over Arsenal, poached another brace in the Semi-Final Replay v. Ipswich Town, and did the same again in the Final against fighting Fulham. He had drifted into non-League soccer with Lancaster and Morcambe before Rochdale gave him his chance. Although he played in Irons' 1976 European Cup Winners' Final appearance v. Anderlecht in Belgium, his style of play made him very susceptible to injuries, which restricted his First XI outings. Transferred to Norwich City in 1979 for £90,000 he later played for Vancouver Whitecaps, Cambridge United, Hull City, Burnley and Norwich City again.
Born: Lancaster 14/11/1953
Date: November 1974
Debut: LEEDS UNITED
Upton Park 7 December 1974
Transfered: NORWICH CITY
Date: 16 August 1979
Appearances: 88/10 (25 gls) Cup: 24/2 (gls 11)
Born: 8 November 1957, Forest Gate, London
Date: July 1975
Upton Park : 29 March 1975
Transferred: BIRMINGHAM CITY
Date: 11 July 1979
Appearances: 78/7 ( 5 gls) Cup: 9/2 (0 gls)
Schoolboy prodigy who was reluctantly allowed to join Birmingham City 11th July 1979 for a huge fee after a dispute over his role in the side. Made his Hammers debut against Chelsea at Upton Park on the 10th March 1975 finishing on the losing side 0-1. In addition to starring at schoolboy level he also won six caps for England Youth and was a member of Hammers' side which reached the F.A. Youth Cup Final in 1975. Joined Brighton and Hove Albion after spells with Aston Villa and Charlton Athletic, which he later became manager in July 1991 steering them to Premiership status. Alan left the Addicts in May 2006 and after a short spell away from the game, which was augmented by work as a television pundit, Curbishley returned to management in December 2006 when he was appointed as manager of West Ham United.
Born in Nicosia, Cyprus, and of Turkish parentage, Yilmaz came to England and attended Clissold Park Comprehensive School, Hackney. “Spotted” by ex-Hammers’ player Terry Matthews playing for local side Aveley F.C., and in addition to First Team appearances for the Athenian League club he represented Essex County Youth. He subsequently played in the Hammers’ youth teams, and was signed as a professional on 16 February 1973. Made his First Division debut against Queens Park Rangers on the 24 January 1976 in a 1-0 victory at Upton Park. Yilmaz failed to get on the scoring-list in his nine senior outings. Left the Hammers for Hawaii of the North American Soccer League in April 1977.
Born: 13 March 1955, Nicosia, Cyprus
Date: 16 February 1973
Debut: QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Upton Park : 24 January 1976
Transferred: HAWAII (North American Soccer League)
Appearances: 6/2 (gls 0) Cup: 1 (gls 0)
This whole-hearted endeavour and perpetual motion of this key midfield man did much to cushion the blow of losing Patsy Holland through injury. A similar type of player to Pat and his predecessor Ronnie Boyce, Geoff made a major contribution to the club's promotion back to the top flight in 1981. Making his League debut at Upton Park as a substitute for Yilmaz Orhan in a 1-2 defeat by Birmingham City on the 6th March 1976, he played much of his early soccer in Thurrock District and later with Gidea Park Rangers. A member of Hammers' Youth side which reached the F.A. Youth Cup Final in 1975, against Ipswich Town, Geoff had to wait a further five years for his first senior honour an F.A. Cup Winners medal in 1980 v. Arsenal at Wembley. He followed it up with a League Cup Runners-up medal and Second Division Championship memento's the next year. Transferred to Notts County in the summer of 1987 for £50,000 also given the responsibility of club captain. Later he joined near London neighbours Leyton Orient.
Born: Clapton, London 28/09/1956
Date: July 1972
Debut: BIRMINGHAM CITY
Upton Park : 6 March 1976
Transferred: NOTTS COUNTY
Date: 13 July 1987
Apprearances: 275/16 (gls 32) Cup: 74/3 (gls 9)
Born: 22 December 1950, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Signed: CARLISLE UNITED
Date: 7 June 1976
Debut: ASTON VILLA
Villa Park : 21 August 1976
Transferred: PETERBOROUGH UNITED
Date: 19 July 1978
Appearances: 35 (gls 1) Cup: 5 (gls 0)
Died: 21 August 2017, Sheffield (aged 66)
A £100,000 signing from Carlisle United who had a promising First Division career badly disrupted by injuries. A giant centre-half, he joined the Brunton Park club from unfashionable Hartlepool and played a major role in the Cumbrians' promotion to Division One in 1974. Made his Hammers debut against Aston Villa at Villa Park on the 21st August 1976. The unlucky Geordie was sold to Peterborough United for £90,000 in 1978 and later played for Chesterfield. Bill enjoyed a spell at Scunthorpe United as Manager until his shock sacking in January 1993.
Born: 11 November 1945, Sunderland
Date: October 1976
Debut: IPSWICH TOWN
Upton Park : 16 October 1976
Date: 20June 1979
Appearances: 107 (gls 47) Cup: 8 (gls 4)
18 months after his first spell with the hammers this popular Wearsider was back at Upton Park, resigning for £80,000 in October 1976. Once again he led the goalscorers' list with 24 Second Division tallies in 1978-79, winning an Adidas Golden Boot award in the process. Although offered a new contract, his amazing career again retraced its steps when he returned to Roker Park for the second time in the summer of 1979. Moved on to Carlisle United in 1980 and was back in London again for 1982-83, still scoring goals for Chelsea. He then returned to his Beloved North-East as player-coach to Sunderland and enjoyed a fairytale return to Upton Park by helping the Wearsiders to a shock 1-0 win. Pop was appointed manager of Carlisle United, but later relinquished the post and then played part-time for Gateshead in the Northern Premier League.
As a schoolboy footballer Devonshire was turned away by Crystal Palace for being too small. His started his senior football career with non-league Southall, by day he worked as a fork-lift truck driver at the Hoover Factory in Middlesex. Devonshire was spotted playing for the Isthmian League side by Hammers scouts Eddie Baily and Charlie Faulkner who recommended him to West Ham manager Ron Greenwood. Quite possibly the biggest transfer bargain of all time when he was plucked from obscurity for a paltry £5,000 on 27 September 1976 to make his senior West Ham debut in the League Cup against Queens Park Rangers at Upton Park 27 October 1976. The midfielder immediately proceeded to set the First Division alight as he took on and beat opponents with his silky skills and wing play, although the gifted player couldn't halt the Hammers slide into the Second Division in 1978. ‘Dev’ was influential in the Hammers’ return to the top flight in 1980-81, and also the dazzling Cup successes of the same period. A former Middlesex and London Boys star, he was an automatic choice at Upton Park until side-lined by injury in 1984-85, but came back to have a great 1985-86 season. In his last four seasons for the Hammers he only managed another 45 League outings, due to more injury problems. Capped 8 times for England, the first of which was against Northern Ireland at Wembley Stadium in May 1980. Awarded a Testimonial against Crystal Palace at the start of the 1989-90 campaign. Dev joined Watford on a free transfer in the summer of 1990. He embarked on a managerial career by becoming manager of Maidenhead United in 1996, followed by Hampton & Richmond Borough, Braintree Town before returning to Maidenhead in 2015.
Born: 13 April 1956, Park Royal, London
Date: 27 September 1976
Debut: QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Upton Park : 27 October 1976
Date: July 1990 Free Transfer
Appearances: 344/13 (gls 29) Cup: 86/4 (gls 3)
Versatile midfielder Anton Otulakowski helped West Ham to narrowly avoid relegation from the top-flight in 1976-77. Born in Dewsbury with a Polish father, he began with Ossett Town and joined Barnsley in March 1 975. He made his League debut in their 4-3 defeat at Hartlepool on the final day of that season and secured a regular first-team place during the following campaign. After impressing against West Ham in the 1976-77 League Cup Second Round tie, he moved to Upton Park for £60,000 in October 1976 and played 17 League games for the Hammers before being sold to Southend United for £50,000 in March 1979. He starred in Southend's 1979-80 League Cup run and 1980-81 Fourth Division title triumph, netting eight goals in 163 League games prior to joining Millwall with Dave Cusack in March 1983. Twice voted 'Player of the Year' including their 1984-85 promotion success and FA Cup run, his playing career was ended by a serious ankle injury shortly after moving to Crystal Palace in August 1986. He briefly managed Hastings Town and taught PE at Eton House School, then ran Leigh Village Day Nursery as well as Sportace.
Born: 29 January 1956, Dewsbury, Yorkshire
Date: 27 October 1976
Debut: MANCHESTER UNITED
Old Trafford : 27 November 1976
Transferred: SOUTHEND UNITED
Date: 29 March 1979
Appearances: 10/7 (gls 0)
A famous name from Arsenal's "1971 double season." Made his Hammers debut in the 2-0 victory over Liverpool at Upton Park 18 December 1976. His two years in the claret-and-blue were dogged by almost unbelievable bad luck. In 30 senior outings he did everything but score; at times it seemed gremlins were at work to prevent him doing so. As if by magic, his move to Blackburn Rovers in February 1978 saw him regain his scoring touch. His 30 games for Hammers without scoring a goal must remain something of a record for a recognised striker.
Born: 22 February 1947, Pontefract, Yorkshire
Date: 14 December 1976
Upton Park : 18 December 1976
Transferred: BLACKBURN ROVERS
Date: 23 February 1978
Appearances: 28 (gls 0) Cup: 2 (gls 0)
Signed apprenticeship forms on 15 July 1974 and professional forms in February 1976. Brush made his League debut as a 19-year-old against Norwich City 20 August 1977 and became a defender of some standing in Football League circles. He was twelfth man for the 1980 F.A. Cup Final against Arsenal at Wembley. A fine servant and highly-valued member of Hammers' senior squad who proved invaluable during the 1984-85 injury crisis. Scored his one and only goal against Queens Park Rangers 1 January 1985. Signed on 3-month loan to Crystal Palace on 30 September 1985, his transfer across London to the Eagles was made permanent on 21 December 1985 where he stayed for three years and made 50 league appearances before spending another three seasons with Southend United. Brush then moved into non-league football with clubs including Enfield and Heybridge Swifts before hanging up his boots to join Leyton Orient as youth coach in 1994, was appointed manager in October 2001 which lasted two years. Later became assistant manager at Lincoln City.
Born: 22 February 1958, Plaistow, London
Date: 22 February 1976
Debut: NORWICH CITY
Upton Park : 20 August 1977
Transferred: CRYSTAL PALACE (loan)
Date: 21 December 1985
Appearances: 144/7 (gls 1) Cup: 29/4 (gls 0)
Hales joined Gillingham as a youth team player in 1968 but failed to gain a professional contract and drifted into non-league football, playing for Faversham Town and then Dartford. In 1972 Luton Town paid £2,000 to sign him from Dartford, a year later he was sold for £4,000 to Charlton Athletic. The striker with an insatiable appetite for scoring goals made his name at The Valley, in two spells he scored 168 goals in 368 appearances with the Addicks. In between those spells his £300,000 transfer to Derby County was the highest ever paid for a Second Division player at the time. The Hammers got “the Killer” for a third of that fee in September 1977, he made his debut against Middlesbrough at Upton Park in October 1977 in a 0-2 defeat, but the player found it hard to settle at the Boleyn and he returned to The Valley the following year. Moved to Gillingham in 1985, where he rounded off his professional career with 9 goals in 40 appearances. Later became a pub landlord in his hometown of Lower Halston.
Born: 15 December 1955, Lower Halston
Signed: DERBY COUNTY
Date: 29 September 1977
Upton Park : 3 October 1977
Transferred: CHARLTON ATHLETIC
Date: 29 July 1978
Appearances: 23/1 (gls 10) Cup: 3 (gls 0)
(Bryan Robsonf irst played for the Hammers February 1971)
539. David CROSS ... (1977 - 1982)
540. Alvin MARTIN ... (1978 - 1996)
541. Phil PARKES ... (1979 - 1990)
542 Nicky MORGAN ... (1979 - 1983)
543. Billy LANSDOWNE Jnr. ... (1979 - 1981)
Signed from West Bromwich Albion for the then record fee of £180,000 on 9 December 1977; he made his League debut for Hammers a week later - against his old club in a 0-1 defeat at The Hawthorns on the 17 December. Nicknamed "Psycho" by the fans. Formerly with Rochdale, Norwich City and Coventry City before going to the Hawthorns, he proved to be one of West Ham's best-ever buys, scoring regularly in the First and Second Divisions. After leaving West Ham, Dave had spells with Manchester City and Oldham Athletic and was back with West Bromwich Albion in 1985-86 season. He went on to play for Manchester City, Oldham Athletic and spent the summers of 1983 and 1984 with Vancouver Whitecaps (46 appearances 29 goals) before rejoining West Brom for the 1984–85 season. He signed for Bolton Wanderers in 1985–86, but a fractured skull helped to end his playing career in England apart from a brief unsuccessful loan spell at Bury at the end of the campaign. He then had a brief spell with Aris Limassol of Cyprus. After retirement, Cross spent nine years in the insurance industry, and scouted for Watford. Joined Oldham Athletic on the coaching staff before moving up to assistant manager to Iain Dowie in 2002. He later became a scout for West Ham and also worked on opposition analysis for Blackburn Rovers, leaving the post in 2016.
Born: 8 December 1950, Heywood, Lancashire
Signed: WEST BROMWICH ALBION
Date: 9 December 1977
Debut: WEST BROMWICH ALBION
The Hawthorns : 17 December 1977
Transferred: MANCHESTER CITY
Date: 9 August 1982
Appearances: 178/1 (gls 77) Cup: 44 (gls 20)
The best centre-half seen at the club since the days of Ken Brown. Tall and dominating, he likes nothing better than to join in attacks for set-pieces, and has scored some vital goals in the process. League debut against Aston Villa on the 18th March 1978 in 1-4 reverse. Had previously won an England Youth cap and been a member of Hammers' side which reached the F.A. Youth Cup Final in 1975 . Since embarking on his senior career the honours have come thick and fast, at club and international level. Won a Cup-Winners' medal in 1980 and Second Division Championship and League Cup Runners-up medals the following year. A full England international, he gained 17 England caps, and he was in the World Cup squad for Mexico 1986. On 21st April 1986 he scored a hat-trick against three different goalkeepers when the Hammers beat Newcastle United 8-1 in a League match at Upton Park. "Stretch" was awarded a Testimonial against Tottenham Hotspur at the start of the 1988-89 campaign. Alvin wanted a move away from Upton Park when the Hammers slipped into the Second Division in 1989, but was persuaded to stay by new manager Lou Macari, and went on to have one of his best campaigns for many a season. Determined to become a manager, the 38-year-old dearly wanted to bring his welter of experience to the coaching pitches of Chadwell Heath, but sadly left to join Leyton Orient in May 1996 - free transfer. Overlooked for the O's hot seat, he finally broke into management at Southend United where the harsh realities of not having a penny to spend finally ended with him parting company with the struggling Shrimpers.
Born: 29 July 1958, Bootle, Lancashire
Debut: ASTON VILLA
Villa Park : 18 March 1978
Transferred: LEYTON ORIENT
Date: May 1996
Appearances: 462/7 (gls 26) Cup: 126 (gls 11)
Born: 8 August 1950, Sedgeley, Staffordshire
Signed: QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Date: February 1979 £565,000
Debut: OLDHAM ATHLETIC
Upton Park : 24 February 1979
Transferred: IPSWICH TOWN
Appearances: 344 Cup: 96
Born: 30 October 1959, Eltham, London
Date: July 1976
Debut: LUTON TOWN
Upton Park : 9 April 1979
Date: March 1993
Appearances: 14/7 (gls 4) Cup: 2/2 (gls 0)
Born: 28 April 1959, Epping, Essex
Date: June 1978
Upton Park : 28 April 1979
Transferred: CHARLTON ATHLETIC
Date: 13 July 1981
Appearances: 5/4 (gls 1) Cup: 4/1 (gls 3)
Born: 2 October 1960, Stratford, London
Date: September 1978
Debut: CARDIFF CITY
Ninian Park : 11 May 1979
Date: August 1981
Appearances: 0/1 (gls 0)
Part 1 : 527. Billy Jennings to 558. Ray Houghton
Great in deeds and stature. His £565,000 transfer from Queens Park Rangers in February 1979 broke the existing record between English clubs for a goalkeeper. Had already made over 400 League appearances before his arrival at Upton Park, 52 of them with his first club, Walsall. Made his Hammers debut v. Oldham Athletic in a Second Division 3-0 victory at Upton Park on the 24th February 1979. His fine displays in the promotion season of 1980-81 were a big factor in West Ham's return to the top flight. A full international, Phil had 20 "shut-outs " in 42 League and 10 Cup games in the team that gained third place in the First Division in 1985-86. An elbow infection, which took a long time to heal, cost "Eric" his No. 1 jersey and was unable to reclaim it with Tom McAlister in such fine form. Tom also in turn lost his place with the signing of Allen McKnight for the 1988-89 season, but Phil returned to the First team against Charlton Athletic, much to the delight of the Upton Park faithful, in a Fifth Round F.A. Cup tie at Selhurst Park, after McKnight had some "McNightmare" games. Finally called it a day with the signing of the Czechoslovakian World Cup goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko in February 1990. Transferred to Ipswich Town in the Summer of 1990 to team up with ex-Hammers manager John Lyall. Later joined as goal-keeping coach with Alan Devonshire's Maidenhead United.
Useful striker, who was unable to win a regular place in the First Team. Signed apprentice professional in July 1976, full pro in October 1977; made his League bow against Luton Town in a Second Division 1-0 victory on the 9th April 1979. Gained invaluable experience on the Continent when he was loaned out to Hammers' 1976 European Cup Winners' Cup opponents - Den Haag during the 1981-82 season, scoring 7 goals in 16 appearances for the Dutch club. With the signing of Dave Swindlehurst from Derby County, Morgan jumped at the chance to lead the front-line for Bobby Campbell's Third Division side Portsmouth, joining the Fratton Park side in March 1983 for £50,000. Later played for Stoke City and Bristol City.
A live-wire young striker who was well-schooled by his father who also played for the Hammers! Billy made his League debut when he came on as a substitute against Wrexham in a Second Division clash at Upton Park 28th April 1979 with a 1-1 score line. Scored a celebrated "hat-trick" to end the League Cup marathon with Southend United in 1979 and Transferred to Charlton Athletic in July 1981, Bill later had a spell in Sweden but returned home to feature in Dagenham's great F.A. Cup run in the 1984-85 season.
544. Phil BRIGNULL ... (1979)
Born: 15 November 1950, Chingford, Essex
Signed: NORWICH CITY
Date: 11 September 1970
Upton Park : 15 September 1979
Transferred: AFC BOURNEMOUTH
Date: January 1983
Appearances: 66/7 (gls 8) Cup: 21/2 (gls 1)
Born: 28 August 1962, Aveley, Essex
Date: 28 August 1979
Upton Park : 29 September 1979
Transferred: TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Date: 19 June 1985
Fee: £400,000 + Sell-on fee
Appearances: 149/3 (gls 6) Cup: 36/8 (gls 5)
Born: 10 October 196, West Ham, London
Date: August 1979
Debut: SOUTHEND UNITED
Upton Park : 8 October 1979
Transferred: Retired injury 1980
Appearances: 1 (gls 0) Cup: 1 (gls 0)
Born: 12 October 1959, Harlington, Middlesex
Signed: QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Date: 11 August 1980
Debut: LUTON TOWN
Upton Park : 16 August 1980
Transferred: NEWCASTLE UNITED
Date: November 1986
Appearances: 159/11 (gls 54)
Cup: 42/1 (gls 17)
Born: 17 December 1962, Kingston
Date: September 1980
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium : 17 September 1980
Date: March 1986
Appearances: 31/12 (gls 5) Cup: 7/2 (gls 1)
A useful defender whose First XI opportunities were extremely limited. His sole appearance in the senior side was made as substitute against Cardiff City in a Second Division match at Ninian Park 11th May 1979 which finished 0-0. Transferred to A.F.C. Bournemouth in 1981, where his cousin, former Chelsea star David Webb, was then assistant manager. After 129 appearnaces for the Dean Court club he joined Wrexham on loan, before plying his trade with Cardiff City and Newport County. Slipped into non-League football with Weymouth in 1998.
545. Stuart PEARSON ... (1979 - 1982)
A goal-scoring striker of proven ability whose time at the club was dogged by injuries. Had already won 15 full international caps for England when he arrived at Upton Park from Manchester United for a big fee in August 1979. First impressed Hammers when he played against them in an F.A. Cup-tie for Hull City at Boothferry Park in January 1973; but the player spent the intervening years at Old Trafford, appearing in two Wembley Cup Finals for United - a feat he emulated with Hammers. "Pancho" made his Hammers debut in the 0-1 reverse against Wrexham at the Racecourse ground in a Second Division clash on the 18th August 1979. Stuart had a brief spell in South Africa before opening a shop at Whitefield near Manchester which sold European tile imports, brought back into the game by Brian Talbot to assist him at West Bromwich Albion.
Born: 21 June 1949, Hull, Yorkshire
Signed: MANCHESTER UNITED
Date: 7 August 1979
The Racecourse Ground : 18 August 1979
Transferred: SOUTH AFRICA 1982
Appearances: 28/6 (gls 6) Cup: 11/5 (gls 4)
Born: 15 May 1961, Kensington, London
Date: May 1979
Upton Park : 20 August 1979
Date: August 1982
Appearances: 2/3 (gls 0) Cup: 1 (gls 0)
Born: 7 September 1959, Stanley, Perthshire, Scotland
Signed: DUNDEE UNITED
Date: 30 August 1979
Oakwell : 4 September 1979
Transferred: ST. JOHNSTONE
Date: July 1991
Appearances: 343/1 (gls 62) Cup: 86/2 (gls 23)
446. Dale BANTON ... (1979 - 1980)
Dale made his Hammers' debut as substitute for Stuart Pearson in the Second Division fixture with Chelsea at Upton Park in a 0-1 defeat on the 20th August 1979. Highly-promising midfielder, who was reluctantly allowed to leave the Boleyn owing to intense competition for places. The former Middlesex Schools star grabbed the headlines when scoring five goals in one match at the end of the 1982-83 season for Aldershot, the club he joined on leaving Hammers. He then teamed up with F.A. Cup giant-killers York City in the 1984-85 season, but later rejoined the "Shots" and was named as sub when they visited West Ham in an F.A. Cup 3rd round match in 1990-91.
547. Ray STEWART ... (1979 - 1991)
Raised in the quite village of Stanley, Perthshire. He signed schoolboy forms for Scottish Premier League club Dundee United at the age of 16 and made such an impact as a young defender with obvious leadership qualities, that he went on to captain Scotland at schoolboy, youth and under-21 level. After just 44 league games for Dundee United, he became Britain's most expensive teenager on 30 August 1979, when West Ham manager John Lyall paid £430,000 to bring him to the East London club. Ray made his initial Hammers debut in the Football League Cup against Barnsley at Oakwell on the 4th September 1979 in a 2-1 victory. Eight months later, Ray had established himself as a firm favourite at Upton Park and was a key member of Hammers' F.A. Cup winning side - his dramatic late penalty in the quarter -final against Aston Villa having helped the Hammers' march towards Wembley. The Hammers were back there again the following March, when Ray - who had been awarded the first of his 10 full Scottish caps by then - scored an even more dramatic spot kick to put West Ham level with Liverpool in injury-time. Hammers were beaten in the League Cup Final replay but the season ended in style for Ray and his team mates as they annexed the Second Division championship with a record points haul. "Tonka" - the nickname by which Ray became known for because of his ability to strike the ball with such venom and accuracy, especially from the penalty spot - has experienced all the Hammers highs and lows...from the glory of their best-ever third place in Division One, to the heartbreak of relegation just three seasons later. Ray spent the last 18 months of his Upton Park career battling hard to overcome a serious knee injury that threatened to end his playing days. Yet throughout his ordeal he remained one of West Ham United's most popular characters. Ray later managed Scottish club Livingston then St Johnston.
548. Jimmy NEIGHBOUR ... (1979 - 1983)
Neighbour joined Tottenham Hotspur as an apprentice in November 1968. He made his senior debut for the Lilywhites against Stoke City at White Hart Lane in October 1970. The highlight of his 156 appearances for Spurs was winning a Football League Cup winners medel in 1971. Neighbour was a winger who was not always given the credit he deserved. The experienced professional had transferred to Norwich City in September 1976 for £75,000 before joining the Hammers from the Carrow Road club on the 12 September 1979 for a £140,000 fee. Made his Second Division League debut against Sunderland in a 2-0 victory at Upton Park on the 15 September 1979. The League Cup also provided the winger with his defining moment in a West Ham shirt as he scored the deciding goal that clinched a League Cup Final appearance for the club in 1981. After leaving West Ham he turned out a couple of times for the Isthmian League side Cheshunt in the 1984-85 season, This concluded with him hanging up his playing boots to embark on his coaching and mangerial career. In the late 1980s he returned to the Boleyn Ground as Youth Development Officer. Not long after he was on the move again, this time as Doncaster Rovers’ assisatnt manager and subsequently as manager of Isthmian League amateur side St. Albans City.
549. Paul ALLEN ... (1979 - 1985)
The subject of a shock transfer to Tottenham Hotspur for a fee set at £400,000 by the Football League Tribunal during the summer of 1985, this young midfield dynamo was already the proud holder of two national football records. In May 1980 he became (at 17 years and 256 days) the youngest player ever to appear in an English F.A. Cup Final, collecting a winners' medal to boot. He also smashed Bobby Moore's long standing record of 18 England Youth International caps the following year. Before joining his cousin Clive Allen at White Hart Lane, Allen signed apprentice in July 1978 and full professional forms for the Hammers in August 1979 and made his Second Division League debut a month later in the 2-1 victory against Burnley at Upton Park 29th September 1979. A one-time Essex and Thurrock Boys starlet, he returned to West Ham's First Division side in 1984 after a long lay-off through injury and made a major contribution towards the club's successful fight against relegation, displaying the kind of form which saw him blossom into one of the finest midfield players in the country and led Spurs and Liverpool battling for his signature. The eventual winners from North London paid Hammers 50% of the profit on his £550,000 move to Southampton in September 1993, because of a clause in his contract. Loan spells followed with Luton Town and Stoke City before he signed for Swindon Town on a free transfer in 1995 and helped them win the Division Two title. He later played for Bristol City (15 games) and Millwall (28 games). After retiring from playing football at the end of the 1997-98 season he worked for the Professional Footballers’ Association.
550. Mark SMITH ... (1979)
Born: 10 December 1952, Clydebank, Scotland
Signed: SWINDON TOWN
Date: 22 May 1981
Debut: BIRMINGHAM CITY
St Andrews : 3 October 1981
Transferred: HARROW BOROUGH
Date: June 1989
Appearances: 85 Cup: 15
Born: 1 December 1954, Opwyk, Belgium
Signed: NEW YORK COSMOS (USA)
Date: 23 December 1981
Debut: BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
Goldstone Ground : 16 January 1982
Transferred: LOKEREN (Belgium)
Date: 23 June 1983
Appearances: 61/1 (gls 14) Cup: 7/1 (gls 3)
Died: 17 January 2017, Opwijk, Belgium (aged 62)
A lad who looked destined to follow in the tradition of a long line of Upton Park full-backs, he instead had a career of latent promise cruelly cut short by injury. A West Hammer by birth, he had won rave notices with Newham, Essex and London Boys and was an England trialist before signing for his local club in October 1979. After skippering the Youth team he made his initial senior appearance against Southend United in a 5-1 victory in the League Cup on the 8th October 1979 and his Second Division League bow came against Swansea before the tragic termination of his career.
Born: 9 January 1962, Glasgow, Scotland
Date: 5 July 1979
Highbury : 1 May 1982
Date: 7 July 1982
Appearances: 0/1 (gls 0)
Born: 13 May 1959, Greenock, Scotland
Signed: MORTON (Scotland)
Date: 9 January 1982
Debut: MANCHESTER UNITED
Old Trafford : 27 January 1982
Transferred: HIBERNIAN (Scotland)
Date: 25 August 1987
Appearances: 133/13 (gls 4) Cup: 24/5 (gls 1)
Born: 6 May 1951, Buckie, Scotland
Signed: BUCKIE THISTLE (Scotland)
Date: August 1978
Debut: IPSWICH TOWN
Portman Road : 13 April 1982
Transferred: HEARTS (Scotland)
Date: August 1983
Appearances: 6/2 (gls 0) Cup: 1 (gls 0)
Born: 24 January 1963, Forest Gate, London
Date: January 1981
Debut: COVENTRY CITY
Highfield Road : 17 April 1982
Transferred: AFC BOURNEMOUTH
Date: September 1983
Appearances: 6/1 (gls 0)
551. Paul GODDARD ... (1980 - 1986)
This exciting striker created a club record fee of £800,000 when signed from Queens Park Rangers in September 1980. His subsequent displays at club and Under-21 international level proved him to be worth every penny of that vast outlay. Made his Hammers debut at the start of the 1980-81 Second Division campaign against Luton Town in a 1-2 defeat at the Boleyn on the 16th August. Nicknamed "Sarge" by his colleagues, after his Boy's Brigade days, the clean-cut Goddard seemed destined for the highest honours in the game until injuries hampered his progress in the 1983-84 season, but he returned to top form in the following season. He won a Second Division Championship and Football League Cup Runners-up medal in 1981. Transferred to Newcastle United in November 1986 for a fee of £425,000 after he could no longer break back into the First Team due to the fine form of both Cottee and McAvennie. Later transferred to Derby County after his family couldn't settle in the North-East. Millwall acquired his services in the 1989-90 season, and former manager John Lyall plucked him from The Den on a free transfer to enjoy a successful period Ipswich Town, helping them towards a place in the newly formed Premier Division. “Sarge” rejoined the Hammers at the start of the 2001-02 campaign as coach to the first team under the leadership of Glenn Roeder. Parted company with the Hammers when new manager Alan Pardew took control soon after the start of the 2003-04 campaign.
552. Bobby BARNES ... (1980 - 1985)
Fast, skilful flank-man with the ability to take on and beat opponents, he scored on his League debut v. Watford in September 1980. Won an extended run in the First XI during Hammers' injury crisis of 1983-84, and staked a regular claim in 1984-85. A member of the Youth Cup winning team of 1981, he also had England Youth honours. Had a spell on loan to Scunthorpe United in 1985-86 season before being transferred to Aldershot for £15,000 in March 1986, he later joined Swindon Town and then Peterborough United.
553. Tom McALISTER ... (1981 - 1989)
A once under-rated 'keeper who was on the verge of breaking into the Scottish squad to go to Munich for the 1974 World Cup Finals, when he had to cry off with a broken leg. Disaster struck once more when he tried to come back too soon and broke the leg again. All this happened with Sheffield United, in their First Division days; he then moved to Rotherham in January 1976, and Blackpool in July 1979. Signed for Hammers on a free transfer in May 1981 from Bristol Rovers, where he was on loan from Swindon Town, the experienced Scot did well when deputising for the injured Phil Parkes for four games in season 1981-82, making his debut in the 2-2 draw against Birmingham City at St. Andrews on the 3rd October 1981. Tom established himself as West Ham's No. 1 and kept out Phil on merit. Indeed, but for a stomach virus which ruled him out of the home game with Arsenal in April 1988 (ironically, almost a year to the day when injury to Phil presented him with his chance), "Milk Tray Man" would have played in all 45 first team games...more than he had done in his six previous seasons at the club! Lost the green jersey to Allen McKnight after the first two games of the 1988-89 season through injury, had a load period to Colchester United in February 1989. The Scot was allowed to depart in the summer of 1989 to Harrow Borough as player/Manager.
554. Francois VAN DER ELST ... (1982 - 1983)
Most remembered for his stunning performance against the Hammers in the European Cup Winners' Cup Final for Anderlecht at the ill-fated Heysel Stadium in 1976. West Ham signed their tormentor-in-chief and architect of their defeat six years earlier for £400,000 from New York Cosmos 23 December 1981. His appearance for the Belgians that night versus his club-mates-to-be (although he could hardly have realised it at the time) was the first of a unique hat-trick of appearances in successive seasons in the Final of that competition, being on the losing side against Hamburg in 1977 and a winner again the following year against WAC Austria. Also in the Anderlecht team which won the U.E.F.A. Super Cup against Liverpool in 1978. Francois was an automatic choice for his country until his move to the States. Made his Hammers debut as a 79th minute substitute against Brighton & Hove Albion at the Goldstone ground on the 16 January 1982 in a 0-1 defeat. His form at Upton Park saw him resurrect his international career, however, culminating in his appearance in the 1982 World Cup in Spain. Considered by many to have been one move ahead of many of his colleagues at the Boleyn, it's doubtful if the brilliant Belgian would have returned to his own country with Lokeren so soon if his family had been able to settle here.
555. Neil ORR ... (1982 - 1987)
Son of the Scottish international and Greenock Morton player, Tommy Orr, who followed his father to Cappielow Park in 1975 and over the next seven years the midfielder played in 196 league games. On the recommendation of fellow Scot, Ray Stewart, the Hammers signed him on the 9 January 1982 for £400,000. Orr made his West Ham debut in the 0-1 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford on the 27 January 1982. The Scotland Under-23 international was a prominent member of the Hammers most successful league side making 36 appearances in season 1985-86. After playing in the first game of the 1987-88 season he was the subject of a surprisingly out of the blue transfer, and after playing in 175 games for the east London club he returned to Scotland on 25 August to join Hibernian for a £123,000 fee. He spent six seasons at Easter Road playing in 167 league games. In 1995 he dropped down a division to sign for St Mirren where he made 29 league appearances before leaving in 1995 to join Queen of the South where he played in seven league games. In 1997 he joined Edinburgh University, first as a player then head coach and later manager. After five years he was appointed as youth development officer with the Scottish Football Association. Today Neil later relocated to work in Australia as a technical director for Valentine FC, a National Premier League club.
556. George COWIE ... (1982 - 1983)
When George was appointed captain of the Scottish Youth XI in 1978, Hammers had the unique distinction of having the skippers of Scotland and England among their apprentice ranks - Paul Allen winning the equivalent honour for England. After gaining honours in schools football with North of Scotland the young defender joined his local side Buckie Rovers from where he signed for West Ham United in July 1977. Made a full pro just over a year later, he had his First Division debut on 13th April 1982, coming on as substitute for Jimmy Neighbour against Ipswich Town at Portman Road in a 2-3 defeat. Despite proving himself a valuable squad member, George was allowed to transfer to Hearts in 1983, where he was later joined by another former Hammer in striker Sandy Clark; and the pair became involved in the quest to bring the first Premier League Championship to Edinburgh but ended as runners-up.
557. Everald LA RONDE ... (1982 - 1983)
A promising young defender who signed professional forms for West Ham in January 1981 and appeared to have a bright future at Upton Park. Captained the 1981 Youth Cup Winning side and showed up well when drafted into the senior XI, making his League debut in the 1-0 reverse against Coventry City at Highfied Road 17 April 1982. La Ronde came on as a substitute for Alvin Martin who had broken his collarbone and missed out on going to the World Cup Finals in Spain. In total La Ronde played seven times that season for West Ham before joining up with former Hammer Harry Redknapp at AFC Bournemouth in September 1983. Arguably his most notable game for the ‘Cherries’ came on 7 January 1984 when he was part of the team which knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup. After an injury hit period amounting to 24 games on the south coast he completed a loan spell with Peterborough United before injuries forced him into the lower leagues with Wealdstone and later retirement from the game.
558. Ray HOUGHTON ... (1982)
Houghton was born in Scotland but began his football career south of the border with the Hammers where he came through the ranks and signed professional forms as a 17 year-old 5th July 1979. Ray's endeavour failed to make any impact at Upton Park and after 3 years, in which he made just 1 appearance as substitute in the last half-hour against Arsenal a 0-2 defeat 1st May 1982 at Highbury. Hammers had to allow this talented young Scot to go to Craven Cottage 7 July 1982 due to excellent form by Trevor Brooking and Alan Devonshire. That sole appearance puts him some way behind Billy Bonds in the record books. It was at the West London club that his name grew as a young, hardworking ballplayer but he made the First Division grade with Oxford United following a transfer from Craven Cottage at a big figure, and moved further north to join League Champions Liverpool for an even bigger fee in 1987. Although born in Glasgow, he was capped for the Republic of Ireland in 1986 through family qualifications, culminating in the World Cup Finals in 1990 which were held in Italy. Ray joined Aston Villa in 1992 and later played for Crystal Palace, Reading and wound down his career at Stevenage Borough.