A Pictorial History

FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES

WEST HAM UNITED

Steve Marsh & Stuart Allen

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1902-03 Southern League : First Division

Manager: Syd King

19 December 1902

WILLIAM (Alec) DAVIDSON signs from READING

 

Previously with Third Lanark, Glossop, Manchester City and Reading, from where he joined the Irons in December 1902, he was a fearless player but rather erratic. Wearing the number nine, Davidson was given that amount of first team appearances to make a name for himself. Made his Hammers bow in the 1-2 home defeat at the hands of Southampton on Christmas Day 1902 in which William Grassam scored for Hammers. Scored the first of only two goals against Wellingborough Town on the 10 January 1903, his last came against Northampton Town. Moved to Luton Town, then on to Fulham for 1903-04.

Lancashire Daily Post December 20 1902

Lancashire Daily Post

There was an exodus of senior players as the season began, which upset the fans. Key players such as Charlie Craig, Bill Jones, Roddy McEachrane and Fergus Hunt left for pastures new. Among the new recruits were wing-half Joe Blythe, centre-half Tommy McAteer, full-back George Eccles and winger Billy Barnes.

The opening game of the season saw West Ham draw 1-1 with Reading at home and this was followed up with a 0-0 draw at Queens Park Rangers. A visit to Wellingborough finished with the Hammers being beaten 5-1. With no victories on the board there were complaints that the new players were not as good as those who had left.

The team responded and wins followed over Watford (3-1) and Brentford (3-0) with Billy Grassam scoring twice in both games. However, the good form did not last; visitors Millwall won 3-0 and a week later the Hammers were knocked out of the FA Cup with Lincoln City winning 2-0 at Sincil Bank. Worse was to follow with a crushing 6-0 defeat at Reading in early December. The Christmas fixtures did not bring any cheer with a 2-1 home defeat to Southampton on Christmas Day and a 2–0 loss at Portsmouth on Boxing Day. However, the supporters morale soon changed as the team went on to record five successive home wins, with Billy Grassam scoring five times. At home West Ham remained unbeaten for the rest of the season, which gave an upsurge in the attendances resulting in a crowd of 10,000 for the final home game against Portsmouth. The remaining three games of the season were all away, which resulted in a 6-0 defeat at Reading, a 4-0 defeat at Luton and a final game 2-1 loss at rivals Millwall. It meant a final placing of 10th but the 49 goals conceded was one of the worst in the league.

8 August 1902

ARCHIE HULL (1928) Born this day East Ham, London

 

Archibald James Hull was rated the best amateur centre-half in London when his club side Ilford were sweeping all before them in the late twenties, Archie Hull was unable to assist West Ham on a regular basis due to his commitment to the Isthmian League outfit. A team-mate of a later West Ham centre-half at Ilford - Wally St Pier - Archie made his debut for Hammers against  West Bromwich Albion in a 1-2 defeat at Upton Park on the 19 February 1927, and had only one more First Division outing with Hammers in a 0-4 defeat against Huddersfield Town on the 22 December 1928. He later joined Clapton Orient.

1 September 1902

PETER COWPER (1924) Born this day Tyldesley, Lincolnshire

 

Right-wing flyer whose, two First Division outings were against Bury at Upton Park on the 11 October 1924 and versus Nottingham Forest at the City Ground the following Saturday. Peter Poole Cowper signed from Rossendale F.C. his First XI opportunities were limited by the fine form of rival flankmen, Tommy Yews and Bill Edwards. He joined Grimsby Town on leaving Hammers and later played for New Brighton, Southampton, Southport, Carlisle United and Wigan Athletic, Altrincham and finally, Precot Cables in 1936.

READING : Southern League

Memorial Grounds

1 - 1 (Barnes)

6 September 1902

Att: 7,000

Biggar, Eccles, Dow, Bigden, McAteer, Blythe, Campbell, Grassam, Farrell, Barnes, Linward