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Roy Stroud is one of a select band of West Ham players to have played for the England amateur international team.
Prior to signing for the Hammers he started with Heston & Isleworth Boys, gaining London and Middlesex honours before being capped for England at outside-right. His promise attracted the attention of Arsenal who signed him on amateur forms and recommended the centre-forward to Hendon FC where he enjoyed a distinguished amateur career and gained the first of his 11 international caps in January 1948.
During his six seasons with the Hammers he was a squad player who appeared in 13 Division Two games scoring four goals.
He also played in a couple of Essex Professional Cup games including season 1954-55’s drawn final with the trophy shared.
Two seasons later he tasted cup success as a member of the West Ham side which won the London Challenge Cup.
Unusually, in his first two seasons with West Ham he retained his amateur status and from time to time he continued to play for Hendon, until he signed professional in November 1953.
Born: Silvertown March 16, 1925 Roy Stroud died June 4, 2015 aged 90.
Football League Debut and Goal Quartet in
His reserve team bow was on Saturday April 12, 1952 in a comprehensive 8-1 Upton Park win over Leyton Orient in the Football Combination Cup.
The other scorers were Tucker with a brace, Harry Williams and a rare contribution from full back Ernie Devlin.
The XI that afternoon was:
George Taylor, Ernie Devlin, John Bond, Andy Malcolm, Dick Walker, Alf Noakes, Harry Hooper, Harry Williams, Roy Stroud, John Gregory, Ken Tucker.
Shortly after signing for West Ham in the spring of 1952 the amateur player made an immediate impact by scoring a quartet of goals on his reserve team debut just two days prior to making his football league debut.
West Ham football league debut
The Hammers' went into the Easter holiday fixture programme missing a dozen key players to injuries. Two days after notching four goals the twenty-five-year-old was drafted into the first team as the replacement for the injured leading goalscorer, Bert Hawkins, for the game at Meadow Lane against Notts County on Easter Monday April 14, 1952.
Unfortunately Notts County were tougher opposition and the centre forward drew a blank in the 1-0 defeat.
The Hammers’ team for Stroud’s first team debut also included full back John Bond from the Football Combination side two days earlier. This was also Bond’s initial season of first team action and only his second football league appearance.
Back to Hendon FC
The 1952-53 season started well, Stroud played a staring role by notching a hat-trick in the opening curtain raiser for the Club Colour's against The Blues' in the First Practice match at Upton Park ahead of the new season.
However as the season started to unfold he returned to his amateur club, Hendon, for the best part of the campaign and he had an 18 month wait for his next football league game for West Ham United.
Stroud's Hendon FC career started in season 1939-40 when the club was known as Golders Green, where he quickly gained his place in their senior side and played regularly for them until the out-break of the Second World War.
When the call-up came Roy was enlisted into the Royal Engineers, whom he served for four years in Hampshire. His war-time soccer was interspersed with appearances for both Arsenal and Brentford.
When hostilities ceased Roy returned to Golders Green who by now had changed their name to Hendon FC. Roy's career with The Greens' would span 16 seasons.
According to a Hendon FC website popular centre-forward made 426 league and cup appearances scoring a highly impressive 212 goals.
From Golders Green to Hendon FC
Hendon FC 1948
Back Row: Roy Stroud, Bob Avis, K. Scott, R. Kemp, J. Weeks, Bill Fisher.
Front Row: R. Wright, W. Reay, Laurie Topp, Pat Lynch, J. Watson.
Insets (left): W. Prior, (right): L. Fontana.
Hendon FC 1952
Back Row: Laurie Topp, Bill Fisher, Dexter Adams, Reg Ivey,
Mickey Lane, Des Gittus.
Front Row: Bob Avis, Roy Stroud, Pat Lynch, Arthur Phebey,
First Division Two Goals
Although remaining on amateur forms for the Hammers it was not until November 1953 that the Club persuaded him to sign professional. In his first professional month he played in four Division Two games which included goals in consecutive games.
Back in the team in place of the injured Tommy Dixon, he made his initial professional appearance against Bury at Upton Park on November 7 and scored his first football league goal in the impressive 5-0 victory.
John Dick grabbed the headlines that afternoon with the first hat-trick of his West Ham career and Dave Sexton notched the other.
The following Saturday away at Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park he scored West Ham’s solitary replay in a disappointing 3-1 reverse.
Four games into his pro career he sustained a pulled muscle which allowed Tommy Dixon to resume in the number nine shirt.
October’s Friendly Win over Hearts
On October 19, 1953 West Ham faced the Scottish side Hearts of Midlothian in one of the early floodlit Upton Park friendlies. Roy was on target as the Hammers ran out comfortable 7-0 victors.
Goalscorers being: Jimmy Andrews 2, Dave Sexton 2, Gerry Gazzard, Derek Parker and Roy Stroud
Essex Professional Cup Winners’ Medal
A notable match for Roy was the sharing of the season’s Essex Professional Cup as the Hammers drew with Southend United in the final. The Roots Hall final was held over to August 31, 1955 in the following season as the following XI shared six goals:
Ernie Gregory, John Bond, Geoff Hallas, Dave Sexton, Bill Nelson, Gordon Johnstone, Roy Stroud, Brian Moore, Alan Blackburn, Albert Foan, Ken Tucker.
Blackburn, Tucker and Moore grabbed the goals.
Stroud played in a solitary league game, the season’s opening fixture away to Swansea Town in a 5-2 defeat. He was one of seven players manager Ted Fenton tried in the centre forward position to support John Dick who was the team’s main goal scorer with a post-war season’s club record of 26 nets.
Two League Appearances
This was a disappointing season for the Hammers as they finished 16th in the second tier. Roy was selected as the right winger for the opening two games. After a draw at home to Rotherham United and a defeat at Port Vale, manager Ted Fenton bought in Harry Hooper.
Port Vale v. West Ham United 22nd August 1955
Back row: A. Malcolm, G. Wright, G. Taylor, L. Bennett, N. Cantwell, F. O’Farrell
Front row: R. Stroud, B. Moore, W. Dare, J. Dick, M. Musgrove, M. Allison
A Brace of Goals
As a fringe first team player Roy was recalled as an inside forward replacement for Albert Foan and stayed in the side for four consecutive games. In the second of these he made the headlines by scoring both goals in a 2-0 away win over Lincoln City on September 1, 1956.
His last first team appearance was as replacement for the recent centre forward signing, Eddie Lewis, in the 2-1 home win over Port Vale on January 19, 1957.
West Ham United v. Port Vale 19th January 1957
Back row: J. Bond, A. Malcolm, R. Wyllie, N. Cantwell, B. Lansdowne, M. Allison
Front row:W. Dare, J. Smith, R. Stroud, J. Dick, M. Musgrove
London Challenge Cup Winners’ Medal
A winners’ medal came Roy’s way when he was in the side which overcame Millwall on April 1, 1957 in the final of the London Challenge Cup held at Upton Park.
Roy was a member of the side which won 3-1, and he had also played in and scored in the earlier October cup ties against Bromley (3-0) and Briggs Sports (5-1).
Summer 1957 Move to Chelmsford City
and West Ham take a Hammering
With first team opportunities limited, Roy transferred to the Southern League side Chelmsford City in the summer of 1957. On the same day, August 24, 1957, as West Ham started their promotion winning season with a draw at home to Lincoln City, Roy made his Chelmsford City debut against Merthyr Town in a 4-2 win.
Ten months after leaving the confines of the Boleyn Ground, Stroud would have had mixed feelings when he faced his former club colleagues in the 1958 Essex Professional Cup final.
Unlike four years previously when the Cup win was shared with Southend United, Roy went one better this time by scoring one of the goals in Chelmsford's 5-1 defeat of the Hammers at their New Writtle Street ground May 2, 1958.
But 6 months later his elation turned to despair as he broke an ankle against Yiewsley on November 8, 1958. Unfortunately, an operation to repair the break was unsuccessful which forced his retirement from the game.
So in his short but prolific goal scoring spell with the Southern Leaguers he finished with 68 league and cup appearances scoring 48 goals and a Cup win over the Hammers.
England Amateur International Appearances
Roy Stroud's 11 amateur England international caps were spread over five years.
He is listed as scoring on his international debut on January 24, 1948 in a 7-2 win over Wales at The Stadium, Bangor. Other goal contributions were against Northern Ireland 4-1 at Sincil Bank, Lincoln and in the 3-3 draw in his ninth appearance against Wales in the international held at Highbury on February 14, 1953.
Records indicate his last England game was on May 3, 1953 against France at the Stade de la Liberation, Boulogne-sur-Mer.
After signing professional for West Ham in November 1953 he was no longer eligible for amateur internationals or to play for Hendon FC.
After hanging up his boots he worked as a product buyer for Liptons and Safeway.
Date of Birth:
March 16, 1925
2 Essex Professional Cup
theyflysohigh would like to pass on our condolences to Roy's family and friends at this sad time.
Essex Professional Cup Winners 1958
Back row: A. Adey, L. Bolton, R. Stroud, J. Parry, S. Doherty, G. Walker, T. Butcher
Front row: L. Dicker, D. Tiffin, J. Jones, J. Lawler
Images courtesy of West Ham United Football Club, Hendon FC, Chelmsford City and John Northcutt