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Banner Hammers Logo theyflysohigh Backdrop 2 Enter the Field GREAVES Jimmy 02 Manchester City v. WHU (A) 01

Muddy Marvels ...

1970 Win in the Maine Road Mud

by Roger Hillier

Sunday May 11’s last Premiership game of 2013-14 season takes in a visit to The Etihad Stadium to play Manchester City. A trip up the M6 is a reminder of an earlier visit to play the Blues over 40 years ago at the club’s previous home, Maine Road. This feature recounts a scintilating day when the Hammers exceeded expectations to record a victory which fans of the Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst era remember to this day.

It had all of the ingredients for match of the season..... the biggest win of the season, debut goals and another from just inside the opponents half!

Match of 1969-70 Season

A Result to Partially Compensate for a Disappointing Season

Despite a promising start to the 1969-70 season with wins in the opening two Division One games, the season gradually degenerated into one of dispappointment. Early exits in the F.A. and League Cups left the Hammers spending much of the season flirting with the relegation zone. Then a small change of fortune in the final six league games steered the Hammers well clear of any relegation threat. In these last few games the Hammers recorded three wins, two draws and a solitary defeat. And the loss was after West Ham had opened the scoring! A significant factor in this improved run of results was the arrival of Jimmy Greaves.  

70_03_21 Manchester City v. WHU David Llewelyn

David Llewelyn... League debut


Martin Peters / Jimmy Greaves Transfer

As part of the Martin Peters record £200,000 transfer to Tottenham Hotspur, Jimmy Greaves moved in the opposite direction. For Jimmy, by now past his prime, it was something of a homecoming as he was born in Dagenham. His arrival helped lift the Hammers, albeit briefly, to an unexpected improvement in league results. Days after his transfer he made his debut at Maine Road on an overcast March afternoon.  Jimmy brightened up proceedings by maintaining his personal record of scoring on every debut he ever made.  


Perhaps the BBC received a tip-off about the afternoon’s entertainment, as their cameras were in situ to capture all the goals for that evening’s Match of the Day showing.  

Manchester City 1-5 West Ham United (HT 1-3)

Maine Road

Saturday March 21, 1970

Manchester City:

Lee (13 mins)



West Ham United:

Greaves (10 mins), Greaves (36), Hurst (44), Boyce (81), Hurst (85)


Attendance: 28,353


Jimmy Greaves

The goals flowed as follows:


1st Goal 10 mins: from Pat Holland’s cross Greaves side steps Tony Book to slot the ball past goalkeeper Corrigan.


Three minutes later a speculative 18 yard shot by Francis Lee sped under Peter Grotier for an equaliser.  


2nd Goal 36 mins: A rebound off Corrigan dropped gently into the path of Greaves whose unerring left boot caused another shudder in the Tottenham Hotspur boardroom.


3rd Goal 44 mins: Hurst scores with a blindside header.


4th Goal 81 mins: This was the most memorable and an unfortgetable goal from Ron Boyce. From the right hand side of Manchester City’s penalty area goalkeeper Joe Corrigan cleared the ball down field. As he turned and nonchantly jogged back to his goal, Ron Boyce volleyed the ball from just inside the Manchester City half straight into the Manchester City goal! Corrigan reached his goal just in time to see the ball fly into the net! A volley from all of 40 yards!  


5th Goal 85 mins: With five minutes remaining Hurst hit his second of the game.

On paper the game between Division One’s 11th and 17th placed teams had limited appeal. Except this was West Ham’s first league game with new boy Greaves and without legend Martin Peters. Nothing to play for?   There was in Jimmy Greaves’ case.


This debut game for his last league club helped to revitalise Greaves as he scored a double in West Ham’s biggest win of the season. Match images record the mud bath of a pitch and clart and blue shirts caked in mud.

Crossed Hammer outline

West Ham had all the control, all the power and, of course, the nerve-wracking talent of Greaves

The sight of two goals from Jimmy Greaves was only one of many delights of a match in which a wealth of talent and enterprise triumphed over dragging mud. Both sides had the strength and spirit to provide a rare feast of attacking football

City again raised their game after the interval, but their efforts were more concerned with saving face than salvaging the match

Jimmy Greaves will always get goals if the chances are provided. We have been making the chances but not scoring

Hurst rounded off the scoring with a beautiful volley from just inside the box. This was the kind of shot that would make Hurst worth Peters's £200,000 and Greaves's £75,000 put together

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RON GREENWOOD, West Ham United manager

TED MACAULEY, Sunday Mirror

TOM JACK, Sunday Telegraph

PATRICK COLLINS, News of the World


It is difficult to argue against a 5-1 win away from home, but City were a long way below form, fitness and enthusiasm they showed when winning the League Cup

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Film Strip

Click the picture link right

to view Ron Boyce's volley

YouTube logo

First Team Debut for Striker David Llewelyn

In addition to Jimmy Greaves and Ron Boyce, a third Hammer has good reason to remember the magnificant 5-1 victory. Jimmy Greaves was not the only player making his West Ham league debut that day. Second half substitute, David Llewelyn came on for Peter Eustace in the 78th minute to make his long awaited league debut.  



Manchester City: Jim Corrigan, Tony Book, Arthur Mann, Mick Doyle, Tommy Booth, Alan Oakes, Tony Towers, Francis Lee, Ian Bowyer, Neil Young, Tony Pardoe.


West Ham: Peter Grotier, Billy Bonds, Frank Lampard, Ron Boyce, Alan Stephenson, Bobby Moore, Pat Holland, Peter Eustace (Dave Llewellyn 78 mins), Geoff Hurst, Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Howe.

Match programme signed by David Llewelyn


SLUG Memorabilia Man City Report 01 POLAROID

Pat Holland is unable to score in front of an open goal

Man City Report 02 Manchester City v. WHU (A) 03

Bobby Moore clears the ball from the feet of Glyn Pardoe

Man City - Moore Manchester City v. WHU (A) 04

Moment of Glory...

Jimmy Greaves keeps up his extraordinary run of scoring on his debut for each new team by coolly slotting the first of West Ham’s goals

Newspaper coverage courtesy of Richard Miller

It’s that man Greaves again. This is goal number two for Jimmy, as he rams the ball past Manchester City keeper Joe Corrigan

Man City report 04 Goal 1 Articles A Grand Day Out 1964 : 50th Anniversary