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The season of Pat Holland’s Testimonial was notable for a couple of reasons. Many claret and blue fans will remember it for the 10-0 bashing of Bury in the League Cup. The second reason was the club’s league performance and how they were in the running to actually win the Division One title.
The end of season Division One league table shows West Ham as finishing in 9th place. But this hides the club’s fantastic early season form evidenced by topping the League in September and October 1983.
Despite form gradually slipping away they were still placed third in the middle of March 1984. But a disastrous run of only one win in their last 12 league matches meant they slipped to finish in 9th place.
Tottenham Hotspur finished one point and place above the Hammers. Despite finishing lower, the Irons had the satisfaction of completing the double over the Lillywhites with 2-0 and 4-1 victories at White Hart Lane and Upton Park respectively.
The Pat Holland triumph ensured one of those rare hat-trick of wins over their north London rivals. The latest being in season 2013-14 with a league double and a Capital One Cup Quarter Final 2-1 win at White Hart Lane.
In May 1984 Tottenham Hotspur won the UEFA Cup for the second time in their history. In the two-legged final the Lillywhites beat the Belgian side R.S.C. Anderlecht 4-3 on penalties after the final’s aggregate score finished 2-2.
The two legs were played out on May 9 and 23, 1984. Sandwiched in between these two matches on Friday May 18, to help maintain Tottenham’s match fitness, Spurs provided the opposition for West Ham United’s 19th testimonial match.
The testimonial game was held in honour of midfielder Pat Holland’s 13 seasons of senior football. From his football league debut in April 1969 to his final appearance in January 1981, midfielder Pat clocked 304 competitive first team appearances and netted 32 goals.
But for sustaining a knee injury in a Division Two match which forced his early retirement, he would have had a few more seasons of first team action.
'Dutch' joins the Hammers Ground-staff
Pat Holland signed apprentice forms for West Ham in September 1967. His youth team mates on the Hammers ground-staff of 1967-68 included fellow future first teamers: Peter Grotier, Clyde Best, John McDowell and Clive Charles.
First Team Debut at 18 Years of Age
Patsy signed professional forms on April 21, 1969 on the same day he made his first team baptism against Arsenal in the First Division fixture at Upton Park.
First Claret & Blue Substitute to Score
One of Pat Holland's 'claim to fame' moments came in 1973-74’s FA Cup. In January’s 3rd round home tie against Hereford United, Pat was called into play as substitute for an injured Bobby Moore. In what turned out to be the last of Bobby Moore’s 647 first team games.
Final First Team Appearance
West Ham’s testimonial match squad included a couple of guests from London clubs. Former England star and future Hammer Clive Allen (Queens Park Rangers) pulled on a claret and blue shirt for the first time, and Vince Hilaire, the Crystal Palace and former England Under 21 international winger, crossed the Thames.
Eight years later in March 1992 Clive would sign for West Ham United and make 44 league and cup appearances netting a healthy 18 goals in his three season tenure.
A local press report described the game as having a “surprisingly competitive edge”. And “the elegant skills of Trevor Brooking keeping the Hammers ticking impressively, plus the balance and menacing stride of Clive Allen (QPR) in the home attack, the game was always excitingly open”.
Four Days After Brooking’s Farewell
Pat’s benefit game was the second home match in the space of four days for West Ham. Four days earlier fans had attended Trevor Brooking’s farewell competitive claret and blue appearance in 1983-84’s final Division One fixture, the 1-0 home defeat to Everton.
Perhaps two first team matches so close together stretched many Hammers’ fans pockets too far and contributed to a slightly disappointing attendance of 6,421. But nevertheless, Holland received a healthy £12,000 contribution to his testimonial fund.
From Top to 9th in Division One
Member of the Hammers’ 1975 FA Cup winning eleven
2nd & 3rd Wembley appearances in the Charity Shield defeats to Derby County in 1975 and Liverpool in 1980
Scoring one of West Ham’s goals in their 1976 European Cup Winners’ Cup final against Anderlecht
Member of the 1980 FA Cup winning squad – unlucky not to have made the final starting line-up after playing in the semi-final
In 1980-81 a member of West Ham’s Division Two championship winning squad.
West Ham United 4 - 1 Tottenham Hotspur (HT 1-1)
Friday May 18, 1984
West Ham United:
Neil Orr (19 mins), Clive Allen (56 mins), Tony Cottee 2 (57 & 77 mins)
Steve Archibald (26 mins)
West Ham United Squad:
Parkes, Stewart, Lampard, Walford, Brush, Martin, Orr, Cottee, Swindlehurst, Brooking, Whitton, Pike, Holland, Hilton
Guests: Clive Allen (Queens Park Rangers), Vince Hilaire (Crystal Palace)
Tottenham Hotspur Squad:
Parks, Culverhouse, Hughton, Roberts, Miller, Hazard, Archibald, Falco, Brazil, Crooks, Mabbutt, Galvin, Ardiles, Bowen, Perryman
Third Division Hereford took the lead in the 21st minute and were on the brink of causing a major cup upset, until the 85th minute when Pat received the ball and went on a solo mazy run culminating in slotting the ball home from a narrow angle. In doing so Pat not only secured a replay but also became the first West Ham substitute to score for the first eleven. A goal which he admitted afterwards "just about had legs enough to get over the line".
Unfortunately, the fairy tale entrance had an unhappy ending when four days later the Bulls won the Edgar Street replay 2-1.
Pat’s final first team game came in the Hammers’ Division Two championship winning season, 1980-81. After missing just two of the opening 27 league fixtures, on a bleak winter afternoon at Notts County's Meadow Lane ground on Jaunary 19, 1981, Pat sustained a serious knee injury in the act of scoring West Ham’s point-saving goal in the 1-1 draw.
The Tottenham Hotspur squad included ten players who played in the 2nd leg of their UEFA Cup final triumph. Three of the Lillywhites squad would later move to E13: goalkeeper Tony Parks, full back Chris Hughton and midfielder Mark Bowen.
For the record, Tottenham Hotspur’s starting eleven for the 2nd leg of the UEFA Cup final was: Parks, Thomas, Hughton, Roberts, Miller (Dick), Mabbutt (Ardiles), Hazard, Archibald, Falco, Stevens, Galvin.
This starting line-up included one change from the 1st leg, with Gary Mabbutt replacing Steve Perryman.
Neil Orr “blasted” West Ham into a 19th minute lead before Steve Archibald equalised with a “gem of a shot” seven minutes later.
In the second half West Ham took command as guest Clive Allen restored West Ham’s lead in the 56th minute, and second half substitute, Tony Cottee, netted a double in the space of 20 minutes.
'Dutch' in full flight before the ill-fated challenge against Notts County
Did you know?
Of the 35 testimonial matches hosted at Upton Park, Pat Holland’s was the only one to have been played on a Friday.
Spurs Graham Roberts and Pat Holland take to the field
Five Days Later Spurs UEFA Cup
Pat Holland and Arsenal's Neil McNab in a heading duel
As an 18 year old, manager Ron Greenwood called Pat into the first team in place of Harry Redknapp.
Unfortunately, he ended up on the losing side despite John Sissons putting the home side ahead after a quarter-of-an-hour. Arsenal’s George Graham and Jon Sammels each netted before half-time to end the scoring.
'Dutch' scores but couldn't aviod the challenge from goalkeeper Raddy Avramovic
Neither Holland or County goalkeeper Raddy Avramovic pulled out as both challenged for a 50-50 ball, Pat got there first by a split second to clip the ball over the goalkeeper and into the net, but couldn't avoid a fearsome challenge. Despite an operation on his knee the bone-jarring collision effectively ended his first-team career.