A Pictorial History

FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES

WEST HAM UNITED

Steve Marsh & Stuart Allen

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1908-09 Southern League : First Division

Manager: Syd King

In need of new players, the club signed three forwards: David Waggott, Walter Miller and right-winger Herbert Ashton. To bolster the defence they bought full-back Fred Shreeve and half-back Bill Yenson. The Hammers made an excellent start after beating current Southern League champions Queens Park Rangers 2-0 at the Boleyn. Jack Foster scored one of the goals and he scored again at Brighton in a 3-2 defeat. Luton Town were beaten 4-0 at home, with another two goals from Foster. He was certainly the man in form as Portsmouth came to the Boleyn and were defeated 3-1, with Foster claiming a hat-trick. It was the same old story again as the Hammers were winning their home games but losing away. They were leading 3-1 at half-time at Norwich but finished up losing 6-3. By Christmas the away record was one draw and nine defeats, so it was crucial to keep winning at home. On Christmas Day a goal from Fred Blackburn ensured a 1-0 home win over Southampton, but on Boxing Day, before a crowd of 20,000 at Leyton, the team slumped again and lost 1-0. It was back to the Boleyn for the visit of Plymouth Argyle, which saw Danny Shea score all four goals in the 4-0 victory.

The FA Cup began with a trip to Queens Park Rangers where the teams drew 0-0, with the Hammers winning the replay 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Danny Shea. The next round brought another away tie at Leeds City. This was drawn 1-1 and in the replay it was Danny Shea again who scored twice in a 2-1 win. In the third round it was First Division Newcastle United who travelled to London. It was a hard-fought game that ended goalless, with the replay being played before an attendance of 36,500. Despite another goal from Shea, West Ham were beaten 2-1.

In between the cup games there had been four away defeats, with the Hammers losing 4-1 at Portsmouth and suffering a 6-0 defeat at Northampton. Luckily the home form continued, with Shea scoring a hat-trick against Swindon in a 4-2 win. This was followed up with two more home wins against Southend (4-0) and Exeter City (4-1). The season ended with two more away defeats at Reading and Exeter, which gave a final placing of seventeenth.

The campaign began on September 1st, which was a Tuesday, with a late afternoon kick off, It was an attractive opening fixture against the reigning champions Queens Park Rangers. The West London club had put themselves in a very awkward position during the close season as they had resigned from the Southern League in anticipation of joining the Second Division of the Football League. Tottenham Hotspur, who had finished 7th in the table were elected instead, and QPR had to go back 'cap in hand' to the Southern League Committee to rejoin. Constitution and fixtures had already been arranged without them, but the club were allowed back providing they played all their games in mid-week, other than in special circumstances.

The Hammers made a great start to the season by beating the current champions by 2-0. Bill Yenson came in at right half against his old club, but it was the forward line that had a 'new look' about it. Ashton and Dyer were the right wing pair with Jack Foster in the centre. Partnering 'old boy' Blackburn on the left was Jack Burton. Foster scored with a cracking solo goal, and the second goal was set up buy Ashton, who sent the ball over and Foster hit the goalkeeper with his shot, but Blackburn put in the rebound

QUEENS PARK RANGERS : Southern League

Kitchen

Gault

Taylor A.

Yenson

Piercy

Jarvis

Ashton

Dyer

Foster

Burton

Blackburn

When Crystal Palace came across the river from South London the match should have been billed as West Ham United v Johnson, as the Palace 'keeper saved shot after shot in defence of his goal, but even so the visitors still found time to nip to the other end, and with a forward unmarked, drive the ball into the net.

Upton Park

2 - 0 (Blackburn, Foster)

1 September 1908

Att: 7,000

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION : Southern League

Kitchen

Gault

Taylor A.

Yenson

Piercy

Jarvis

Ashton

Dyer

Foster

Burton

Blackburn

Goldstone Ground

2 - 3 (Burton, Foster)

5 September 1908

Att: 6,000

Supporters who travelled down to the South Coast to the match at Brighton were hoping that that the reasonably good away form of 1907/08 (with the exception of the final four matches) would at least be maintained, but defeat by the odd goal in five gave it a bad start, although new boys Burton and Foster both scored for the Irons.

 

CRYSTAL PALACE : Southern League

Kitchen

Gault

Taylor A.

Tirrell

Piercy

Young

Frost

Shea

Yenson

Dyer

Blackburn

Griffin Park

0 - 1

19 September 1908

Att: 6,000

BRENTFORD : Southern League

Kitchen

Gault

Taylor A.

Yenson

Piercy

Jarvis

Frost

Shea

Foster

Waggott

Blackburn

Upton Park

0 - 1

12 September 1908

Att: 10,000

The visit to Griffin Park to play Brentford was very much like the encounter with Palace in reverse as George Kitchen was at his absolute best, making save after save from the home forwards, and he was ably assisted by Archie Taylor at full-back who was playing against his old team. Unfortunately there was a different outcome for it was not the Hammers then went down and 'nicked' the winner, but the home side who eventually squeezed the ball past Kitchen to take both points.

LUTON TOWN : Southern League

Kitchen

Taylor A.

Harwood

Yenson

Piercy

Tirrell

Ashton

Shea

Foster

Burton

Blackburn

Upton Park

4 - 0 (Foster 2, Ashton, Piercy)

26 September 1908

Att: 3,000

The Southern League fixture with Luton Town was significant in that the directors of the club, perhaps with the team's poor start in mind, gave Syd King entire responsibility for team selection, something that the Board, with minor occasional input from the manager, had previously undertaken themselves. Although such a statement was made at the time, it must be taken 'with a pinch of salt' as Syd King certainly did not always have full responsibility. Often it was joint, and on some occasions he had no input at all. It was not until Charlie Paynter became first team trainer in 1912 that the two together had some influence on team selection.

WATFORD : Southern League

Kitchen

Taylor A.

Harwood

Yenson

Piercy

Tirrell

Ashton

Shea

Foster

Burton

Blackburn

Cassio Road

1 - 2 (Shea)

30 September 1908

Att: 3,000

In the Luton match, those players that were picked certainly gave an all-round display. Ashton was responsible for the first two goals with an excellent cross for the opener, converted by Foster, and another cross direct to Blackburn, who in turn found Piercy who banged the ball into the net, much to the crowd's joy. Ashton scored the third himself. All three goals came in the first half, and virtually sunk the visitors. Foster scored his second after the interval for a 4-0 victory.

SWINDON TOWN : Southern League

Kitchen

Taylor A.

Gault

Yenson

Piercy

Jarvis

Ashton

Shea

Foster

Burton

Blackburn

 

County Ground

0 - 3

3 October 1908

Att: 6,000

PORTSMOUTH : Southern League

Upton Park

3 - 0 (Foster 3)

10 October 1908

Att: 8,000

QUEENS PARK RANGERS : Southern League

Park Royal

0 - 3

17 October 1908

Att: 6,000

NORTHAMPTON TOWN : Southern League

Upton Park

2 - 1 (Shreeve, Tirrell)

24 October 1908

Att: 9,000

Kitchen

Taylor A.

Harwood

Tirrell

Young

Jarvis

Eastwood

Shea

Miller

Burton

Blackburn

 

 

 

In the absence of Ashton, out through injury, the right wing spot was given to Harry Eastwood, a young Clapton amateur, who although capable gave a nervous start when Portsmouth were the visitors. Despite some good defensive play, especially from Archie Taylor who was outstanding, it looked like another Southern League defeat with Pompey one goal up with just ten minutes left for play. Foster then amazingly hit a hat-trick before the final whistle which gave the score a lopsided look, as a fairer result would have been a draw.

Memories were stirred up at the club regarding the case of Peter Kyle back in the season of 1901-02. This was the player, it will be remembered, that despite possessing undoubted ability, was averse to training, and the club were obliged to dispense with his services. Now the club were faced with a similar problem. Jimmy Gault, the Scottish full-back signed for 1906/07 was failing to turn up for training. In the West Ham United club programme for the match against Portsmouth the following diatribe appeared:-

About a fortnight ago, a hint was thrown out that if an alteration was not made the Directors would have to take drastic measures. I am sorry to say that the Directors on Monday were obliged to suspend Gault for one month for breaches of the training regulations which order that a player should keep himself fit. A months loss of wages is a severe punishment, but Gault has no one to blame but himself, for he has refused to take heed of more than one admonition. The old Aberdeen player during the present season has never given any such display as he did last year, when he was looked upon as one of the best backs in the South. Possibly when he comes back in November he will have learnt his lesson, and will again thrill us all with more dashing displays.'

Kitchen

Taylor A.

Harwood

Tirrell

Young

Jarvis

Eastwood

Shea

Miller

Burton

Blackburn

 

 

 

Kitchen

Shreeve

Taylor A.

Tirrell

Piercy

Jarvis

Eastwood

Grassam

Foster

Shea

Blackburn

 

 

There were enforced changes for the visit to Queens Park Rangers when both Foster and Piercy picked up injuries, and Miller and Young deputised. With Jack Burton coming in for Bill Brown the team had an unfamiliar look about it, and it showed when Rangers gained an easy 3-0 triumph.

NEW BROMPTON : Southern League

Priestfield Stadium

1 - 2 (Miller)

31 October 1908

Att: 6,000

Kitchen

Shreeve

Taylor A.

Tirrell

Piercy

Young

Eastwood

Randall

Miller

Shea

Blackburn

MILLWALL ATHLETIC : Southern League

Upton Park

1 - 0 (Foster)

7 November 1908

Att: 14,000

Kitchen

Gault

Taylor A.

Young

Piercy

Jarvis

Eastwood

Randall

Foster

Grassam

Blackburn

SOUTHEND UNITED : Southern League

The season was definitely becoming a 'win at home, lose away' campaign as the Hammers defeated Northampton Town at the Boleyn ground by two goals to one. Billy Grassam came into the side for his first game of the season after a long illness and played his usual unselfish game. Fred Blackburn, now in his fourth campaign for West Ham received some rough treatment from the 'Cobblers' right back Brittan who sent Freddy crashing against the side fencing without receiving a caution from the referee. Both Hammers' goals were scored by players not usually on the score sheet. Pat Tirrell scored against his old club, and Fred Shreeve hit home from the penalty spot after Brittan handled in the area. Justice, considering the full-back's previous demeanours.

True to form, the visit to Kent to meet New Brompton, ended in defeat. West Ham's efforts were not helped when Shreeve was injured in the first half and he left the field, returning but only as a passenger in the second. Miller opened his account for the club, but the 1-2 final score meant that, in the Southern League, the Irons had played six games away from home and lost the lot.

After missing the previous game through injury, Foster returned up front in place of Miller, and scored the only goal of the match against Millwall. In front of a crowd of 14,000, the best of the season so far, West Ham had just the edge, and it was the first time that the team had beaten the 'Dockers' in the Southern League since 1905-06.

1908-09

West Ham United

1908-09

Match extracts from the excellent book "IRONS of the SOUTH West Ham United in the Southern League"

By kind permission of author JOHN POWLES and published by Soccer Data

HERBERT ASHTON, JAMES DYER, JACK FOSTER, JOHN BURTON and (WILLIAM YENSON his 2nd debut) all make their Hammers debut against QPR

DAVID WAGGOTT makes his Hammers debut against CRYSTAL PALACE at Upton Park

PATRICK TIRRELL makes his Hammers debut against BRENTFORD at Griffin Park

HENRY EASTWOOD makes his Hammers debut against PORTSMOUTH at Upton Park

WALTER MILLER makes his Hammers debut against QUEENS PARK RANGERS at Park Royal

FREDERICK SHREEVE makes his Hammers debut against NORTHAMPTON TOWN at Upton Park

24 July 1908

REG GOODACRE (1931-1933) Born this day Billingborough, Lincolnshire

 

A Lincolnshire lad who was on the books with Lincoln City but never made a first team appearance. Joined Boston Town for the start of the 1927-28 season and went on to make 58 League outings for the non-league side. Signed for West Ham United in the summer of 1930 and made his initial claret and blue appearance for the Reserves at Reading 30 August 1930. Usually employed in the right-back position, Reginal Goodacre was the cousin of a more famous professional, Eric Houghton, the Aston Villa left-winger, capped seven times by England. His first team game was against Manchester United along with fellow debutant Joe Musgrave at Old Trafford on the 14 February 1931 in a 0-1 reverse, Reg Goodacre proved an invaluable deputy for Hammers' more experienced backs, and gave the club good service over three seasons until his move to Mansfield Town. There, he made 18 appearances in 1933-34, scoring one goal. He then joined Midland League club Peterborugh United and made 35 appearances in 1934-35. He later had a short spell with Chesterfield and then Gainsborough Trinity.

08_10_24 WHU v. Northampton

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6 October 1908

ARTHUR WILSON (1932-1934) Born this day Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne & Wear

 

Another member of the considerable North-East England enclave which assembled in increasing numbers between the wars at Upton Park. A Geordie by birth, Arthur Wilson was a talented inside-forward who liked a crack at goal. His early honours included selection for both Newcastle and Northumberland Boys, and he was snapped up by his local club - Scotswood F.C. - when he left school. He then made the long trip South to sign professional forms for Southampton, where his fine form attracted the attention of West Ham's management and an invitation to Upton Park. Making his initial Iron's appearance against Swansea Town in a 0-1 defeat at the Vetch Field on the opening day of the 1932-33 campaign, 27 August. He went on to score a creditable 15 goals in 33 League and Cup games that season. Wilson joined Chester on 14 March 1934 and in November 1937 he transferred to Wolverhampton Wanderers where he stayed until January 1939 when he transferred to Torquay United.

11 October 1908

HERMAN CONWAY (1934-1938) Born this day Gainsborough, Lincolnshire

 

A big dependable goalkeeper signed from Burnley, having previously made a name for himself with Midland League Gainsborough Trinity. Made his Hammers debut along with Richard Walker against Burnley at Upton Park in a 1-2 defeat by the Turf Moor club on the 27 August 1934. With his safe handling inspiring confidence among his fellow defenders in subsequent games, Herman made 41 League appearances in the 1934-35 season, the end of which saw Irons just pipped for promotion to Division One by their old adversaries - Bolton Wanderers - on goal average. After making over a century of senior appearances, he lost his place to Harry Medhurst in December 1938, but was to have one last moment of glory as a member of the Hammers' team which won the Football League Cup at Wembley in 1940. Soon afterwards he begun his war-time service, and rose through the ranks to become Commandant of a supply camp at Accrington as Adjutant-Quartermaster during the conflict. When his military commitments permitted he turned out for the losers of that 1940 Final, Blackburn Rovers, and was invited to stay on at Ewood Park when the war ended; but he decided to return to continue his building-trade interests. The post-war season was played on a regionalised transitionary basis, and Southend United manager Harry Warren managed to persuade Herman to participate and end his career with the Essex club.

26 October 1908

PAT McMAHON (1932-1934) Born this day Glasgow, Scotland

 

Patrick McMahon made a sensational debut between the posts against Birmingham in the F.A. Cup Sixth Round at Upton Park on the 6 March 1933 played a major part in Hammers' progress to that year's Semi-Finals. With regular goalkeeper George Watson sidelined by injuries received in a car crash, young Patrick stepped into the breach and kept a clean sheet as West Ham thrashed their First Division opponents 4-0. Although he lost his place versus Everton in the next round at neutral Molineux, he went on to total 13 Second Division outings that season. After leaving school in his native Scotland, the capable 'keeper had joined his local junior club Pollokshaws Hibernian and from there went to those famous star finders, St Anthony's F.C. and in addition to providing Hammers with Pat McMahon, the Saints also supplied Hughie Mills and Arthur Tonner to the Upton Park payroll. Pat eventually returned to Scotland to join St. Mirren and then moved to Wrexham during the end of the 1934-35 season.

6 November 1908

JACK RUTHERFORD (1933-1934) Born this day Nenthead, Cumberland

 

Signed from Watford on the recommendation of former Hammers' goalkeeper Ted Hufton, after the latter had joined the Hertfordshire club in the twilight of his career. Although Ted claimed the credit for sending Jack to Upton Park, it was Gillingham F.C. who discovered him originally playing for Crawcrook in the North Eastern League while continuing to work as a coal miner. From the Kent club he transferred to Vicarage Road, and from there to the Boleyn, making his Hammers debut in the 6-0 thrashing of Preston North End at Upton Park on the 23 September 1933 and became a regular first choice 'keeper for 1933-34. Jack made way for a new signing from Burnley, Herman Conway, the following Second Division campaign, and in June 1935 he joined Charlie Paynter's old home town club, Swindon Town.

Roots Hall

0 - 0

14 November 1908

Att: 6,000

Kitchen

Gault

Taylor A.

Young

Piercy

Jarvis

Ashton

Shea

Foster

Randall

Blackburn

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The Hammers paid their first ever visit to Roots Hall, Southend, for the club's next away fixture. Southend United had been formed as recently as 1906, but won the 2nd Division of the Southern League in 1907/08 and were promoted. Would the East End club finally gain their first away win in this competition? A draw was the next best thing, and it was a 0-0 draw at that. It was a fair result, but Foster came close with a couple of well directed shots which Charlie Cotton the ex-West Ham 'keeper confidently saved. It was good to see Ashton back after injury, performing well on the right flank, and proving himself to be a great signing.

COVENTRY CITY : Southern League

Upton Park

2 - 0 (Foster, Randall)

21 November 1908

Att: 6,000

Kitchen

Gault

Taylor A.

Young

Piercy

Jarvis

Ashton

Shea

Foster

Randall

Blackburn

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Coventry City was another club new to the division, and the Irons met the Midland side for the first time at the Boleyn ground. City were struggling in their first season and West Ham, with the same line-up that played at Southend, won quite comfortably by two goals to nil.

BRISTOL ROVERS : Southern League

Eastville

0 - 1

28 November 1908

Att: 8,000

Kitchen

Gault

Taylor A.

Young

Piercy

Jarvis

Ashton

Shea

Foster

Grassam

Blackburn

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TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : London Challenge Cup (Second Round)

Upton Park

0 - 2

30 November 1908

Att: 3,000

Kitchen

Shreeve

Taylor

Young

Piercy

Jarvis

Ashton

Shea

Foster

Grassam

Blackburn

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PLYMOUTH ARGYLE : Southern League

Home Park

0 - 2

5 December 1908

Att: 7,000

Kitchen

Shreeve

Taylor A.

Young

Piercy

Jarvis

Ashton

Grassam

Miller

Burton

Blackburn

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NORWICH CITY : Southern League

The Nest

3 - 6 (Burton 2, Grassam)

12 December 1908

Att: 4,500

Kitchen

Gault

Shreeve

Young

Piercy

Jarvis

Ashton

Grassam

Foster

Burton

Blackburn

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READING : Southern League

Upton Park

2 - 1 (Blackburn, Grassam)

19 December 1908

Att: 5,000

Kitchen

Shreeve

Harwood

Allison

Piercy

Jarvis

Ashton

Grassam

Shea

Burton

Blackburn

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SOUTHAMPTON : Southern League

Upton Park

1 - 0 (Blackburn)

25 December 1908

Att: 15,000

Kitchen

Taylor A.

Harwood

Yenson

Chalkley

Jarvis

Eastwood

Grassam

Shea

Burton

Blackburn

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GEORGE CHALKLEY makes his Hammers debut against SOUTHAMPTON at Upton Park

LEYTON : Southern League

Hare & Hounds

0 - 1

26 December 1908

Att: 20,000

Kitchen

Gault

Shreeve

Young

Piercy

Jarvis

Ashton

Grassam

Foster

Burton

Blackburn

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27 December 1908

JIM HOLMES (1936) Born this day Skelmersdale, Lancashire

 

James Holmes had trial spells with both Liverpool and Wigan Borough in 1925 but was an employed as a miner and playing for local side Prescot Cables when he was spotted by Chesterfield in 1930. Signed by Chesterfield in May of that year, Holmes remained with the Derbyshire club for just one season before being signed by Division One side Sheffield United in May 1931 for £1,750 and became a regular in the Blades defence for the next four years. Regarded as a robust and tough tackling defender with a fiery temper, highlighted when a referee ruled out a goal Holmes had scored, only for the defender to pick up the official and "shake him like a dog would a rat" according to press reports. In May 1936 Holmes moved to West Ham United for £750 and made his Hammers debut in the Second Division clash with Blackpool in a 0-1 defeat at Bloomfield Road 5th September 1936; his second and last senior appearance in the claret-and-blue came four days later in a 3-5 defeat at Newcastle United. He found himself on the "not retained" list at the end of the season and joined Reading in July 1937. Holmes remained with the club following the onset of World War II, but having made two guest appearances for his former club Chesterfield in 1940, he retired from playing and returned to his former profession as a miner.

PLYMOUTH ARGYLE : Southern League

Upton Park

4 - 0 (Shea 4)

28 December 1908

Att: 10,000

Kitchen

Gault

Taylor A.

Yenson

Chalkley

Tirrell

Frost

Shea

Foster

Waggott

Blackburn

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CONTINUE 2

SECOND-HALF

DULWICH HAMLET : London Challenge Cup (First Round Replay)

Freeman's Ground

6 - 0 Foster 3, Miller 2, Ashton)

5 November 1908

Att: 4,000

Clark

Taylor

Gault

Jarvis

Piercy

Young

Blackburn

Miller

Foster

Randall

Ashton

 

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DULWICH HAMLET : London Challenge Cup (First Round)

Upton Park

3 - 3 (Shea 2, Brown)

15 October 1908

Att: 2,000

Clark

Yenson

Harwood

Tirrell

Piercy

Jarvis

Lee

Shea

Miller

Brown

Blackburn

 

 

 

 

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1523 Plymouth Argyle 01 (H) 08-09 - Nottingham Daily Express (2)