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Banner Hammers Logo theyflysohigh Pyke Palace CPFC 1959-60 team 1957 Czech Tour BRNO Pyke debut report 02 Pyke debut report 01 PYKE Malcolm signature

Malcolm Pyke (1938 - 2020)

by Roger Hillier

PYKE Malcolm 50th Anniversary PYKE Malcolm - Poppy Day 2010 1952 Taken at Charlton 1952-53 Woolwich Schoolboys 1953-54 UGB Pantiles PYKE Malcolm 01 PYKE Malcolm small

Malcolm Pyke






Date of Birth:












Hammers Appearances:




Eltham, London




March 6, 1938




January 1954




March 6, 1955




17        Football League

2          FA Cup

2          Essex Professional Cup

3          Southern Floodlight Cup


Malcolm Pyke poses with Bobby Moore's bust at the

Boleyn Ground in November 2010

Malcolm Pyke on the 50th Anniversary of the

Second Division championship

1957 Youth 8 Nations 57_04_22 WHU v. Bristol City 55_03_26 Lowestoft Town v. WHU ECL 55_03_19 Horsham v. WHU Metro 55_05_04 WHU v. Bournemouth Reserves

Woolwich Boys 1951-52

At schoolboy level in the early 1950s Malcolm Pyke gained a reputation as a goalscorer with Woolwich, Kent and London school sides until the goals dried up and he found himself occupying the right-half berth.


For the 1953-54 season he joined local side United Glass Bottle FC, the Blackheath based club better known as U.G.B Pantiles.  


As a 16-year-old Malcolm had trials with Wolverhampton Wanderers and was courted by Arsenal before West Ham’s manager, Ted Fenton, signed him to the ground staff in January 1954.


Pyke progressed through the junior ranks to sign professional on his 17th birthday in March 1955. Prior to turning professional Malcolm had played in the London Mid-Week, Metropolitan, Eastern Counties and South East Counties League sides.


He could lay claim to be included in the first dozen junior players to graduate from West Ham United’s renowned academy to the first team eleven.


Making his football league debut in April 1957 wing half Pyke went on to be part of the club’s 1957-58 Second Division championship winning squad and don the claret and blue first team shirt on 24 occasions.


He can be proud that in 19 (79%) of these matches the Hammers either won or drew.


Two years after his football league debut Malcolm transferred to Crystal Palace in an exchange deal with Ron Brett in the summer of 1959.


Born: Eltham, March 6, 1938, Malcolm Pyke died February 13, 2020 aged 81.

Crossed Hammer

UGB Pantiles 1953-54

Crossed Hammer

Youth to Reserve Team Debut

Having joined the Upton Park ground staff in January 1954, Malcolm's first appearance in the claret and blue was for the Hammers 'B' team on February 3, 1955 in the London Mid-Week League fixture against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Pyke was in good company, as six of his teammates in that afternoon's 1-0 victory over Spurs went on to make a first team appearance. The six youngsters were; Brian Rhodes, Fred Cooper, Bill Nelson, Robert Johnstone, George Fenn and Billy Lansdowne.


After his February 1955 ‘B’ team debut in the London Mid-Week League, further debuts for the ‘A’ and Youth teams in the various competitions quickly followed.  




Lansdowne W.

Nelson A.








Metropolitan League

19 March 1955  

Queen Street 1-2 (Fenn)


Eastern Counties League

26 March 1955  

Crown Meadow 1-2 (Walker)



Nelson W.










South East Counties League

2 April 1955  

Green Silley Weir 0-3


East C.

McNeilley T.

Taylor J.

Hayes A.

Smith J.

Fenn G.


Lundstrum C.

McDonald T.

George M.

Football Combination Debut


Just turned 17, Malcolm made his reserve team debut in the Football Combination home fixture against Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic on Wednesday May 4, 1955.  Despite goals from Doug Bing and Dave Sexton, the Hammers lost 4-2.


The team for a match kicking-off at the unusual time of 6.00pm was:  

Clish, Nelson W., Kinsell, Bing, Brown, Johnstone, Franklyn, Pyke, Sexton, Foan, Haley

Football League Debut


With right half Andy Malcolm injured, Pyke was called-up for the last two league games of 1956-57 season. The 19-year-old's debut match was the 3-1 home win over Bristol City on Monday April 22, 1957. Goals from Billy Dare, John Dick and Eddie Lewis secured the points. The Stratford Express commented on his performance: "Newcomer Malcolm Pyke looked confident in his debut at right-half. He showed touches of cleaver constructive play, and deserves a place in the West Ham line-up."


The team that afternoon was:

Ernie Gregory, John Bond, Noel Cantwell, Malcolm Pyke, Ken Brown, Malcolm Allison, Billy Dare, John Smith, Eddie Lewis, John Dick, Malcolm Musgrove.


Five days later manager Ted Fenton selected an unchanged side for the season’s final fixture a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.


Did you know?    

Three weeks before his football league debut, Malcolm made a scoring debut in the London Challenge Cup as  West Ham beat Millwall 3-1.  

This was the first of his seven LCC matches which included the 1957-58’s final defeat to Arsenal.


Czechoslovakian End of Season Tour

Favourable performances in the season’s two league games persuaded Ted Fenton to keep Pyke in the first team for the end of season Pearson Charity Cup tie against Colchester United and in the first team squad for May’s four game tour of Czechoslovakia.  


The Hammers’ 4-3 victory after extra time in the Pearson Charity Cup primed the team for the visit to eastern Europe.


As a result of Sparta Prague's visit to Upton Park in March 1957, The Hammers' were invited to visit the Continent at the end of the season to play this famous Czecho-Slovakian club and three other teams in the course of an eleven-day tour.


Malcolm played in the tour’s first two matches, a win over a combined Spartak Prague / Dukla Prague side (May 22, 1957) and a defeat to Brno (May 25, 1957).  

Division Two Champions


After 26 seasons of second tier football, the Hammers won the Second Division championship to bring top flight football back to Upton Park.


Malcolm Pyke was one of the 23 players Ted Fenton called on in the championship winning campaign. He participated in 15 of the 42 games as replacement for Malcolm Allison and Andy Malcolm. After the season’s opening eight games Malcolm Allison had been taken ill with tuberculosis which left Malcolm Pyke sharing replacement duties with Bill Lansdowne.


He started ten of West Hm's final 17 Second Division matches as they overhauled Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic and Liverpool and were crowned Second Division champions with a 3-1 victory at Middlesbrough on the last day of the season, scoring a record breaking 101 goals along the way.


Pyke's last football league match also turned out to be his final claret and blue league appearance, a 1-1 home draw with Liverpool on April 19, 1958.


Showing three changes from his debut line-up, the following XI helped maintain West Ham’s position at the top of the Division Two table: Ernie Gregory, John Bond, Noel Cantwell, Andy Malcolm, Ken Brown, Malcolm Pyke, Mike Grice, Eddie Lewis, Vic Keeble, John Dick, Malcolm Musgrove.

After a season in the reserves Malcolm pulled on the first team shirt for the final time on Wednesday April 8, 1959 in the Essex Professional Cup semi-final against Colchester United. The Hammers booked a final berth with a 4-3 win.  


The team:

Brian Rhodes, John Bond, John Smith, Malcolm Pyke, Ken Brown, Bill Lansdowne, Doug Wragg, Harry Obeney, Billy Dare, David Hills, Mike Grice.


Malcolm's last ever claret and blue appearance was for the 'A' team against Crawley Town in a 6-2 victory at Town Meadow on May 4, 1959, he even managed to get his name on the scoresheet with a goal. Billy Dare scrored four with the other coming from Bernard Maxted.

Crossed Hammer Pyke debut report 03 Pyke 01 Crossed Hammer 1957 Team Group Czech 1957 Tour of Czecho-Slovakia

Upton Park photo call before trip to Czecho-Slovakia

The Hammers line-up before the FC Brno match

Crossed Hammer Action against Fulham 2 Action against Fulham

Malcolm Pyke in action opposing Jimmy Hill in both home and away fixtures against Fulham

1957-58 Second Division Champions Pyke - Exeter v CP 18.4.60 prog cover Pyke - Torquay v CP 22.4.60 prog cover

West Ham United

Second Division Champions 1957-58

Back row: Billy Moore (trainer), Andy Malcolm, Ken Brown, John Bond, Ernie Gregory, Noel Cantwell, Billy Lansdowne, Malcolm Pyke, Ted Fenton (manager)

Front row: Mike Grice, John Smith, Vic Keeble, John Dick, Malcolm Musgrove

Cup Ties

In addition to his 15 league appearances, Malcolm played six cup games to bring his season’s total first team games to 21. These six games covered the FA (2), Southern Floodlight (3) and Essex Professional (1) Cups. One of his two FA Cup games included the Hammers’ first all-ticket affair the February 15, 1958 home 5th round defeat to Fulham.

Wearing the number four shirt he played a couple of football league games for The Glaziers, both in the west country. His league debut was on April 18, 1960 away to Exeter City in a 2-2 draw followed five days later with a place in the team which lost 2-1 at Plainmoor to Torquay United.


Team mates included former Hammer Alf Noakes and future Hammer Johnny Byrne.


After leaving Crystal Palace he spent seven years with Southern League club Dartford followed by a couple with Tonbridge. In 1969 he became a landlord of the Plough public house in Dartford, Kent.


Last First Team Game

Crossed Hammer Tributes George Petchey Doug Wragg

Newspaper coverage courtesy of Richard Miller, and thanks to Crystal Palace historians Ian King / Pete Hurn for Palace material

'theyflysohigh' would like to pass on our condolences to son Martin,

and to his family and friends at this sad time

International Voetbaltornooi Belgium

May 1958

Obeney, Kirkup, Rhodes, Cripps, Pyke, Moore

Woodley, Smillie, Keeble R., Smith, Scott

Crystal Palace Exchange Transfer

With the regular wing halves, Andy Malcolm and John Smith, pushing for international honours, Malcolm’s first team opportunities would be limited which prompted his transfer.  


On June 9, 1959 he signed for the south Londoners Crystal Palace in an exchange deal involving forward Ron Brett joining the Hammers.

Crystal Palace 1959-60

436 PYKE Malcolm Trophy Cabinet 1957-58


Second Division Championship Medal

LIverpool report 58_04_19 WHU v. Liverpool 01

Malcolm Pyke's last Football League appearance against Liverpool at Upton Park

Pyke frame

Malcolm Pyke

Virtual Trophy Cabinet

Click the Picture Link below

Back row left to right:  3rd Malcolm Pyke, 6th Dave Sexton, 7th Alf Noakes

Front row:  1st left Johnny Byrne