WEST HAM UNITED
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Monday 7th June
This morning we made a trip by Motor to Bayon, a delightful seaside resort about 20 miles from Vigo, and we were rewarded with some magnificent scenery en route. The afternoon was spent in walking along the coast.
Tuesday 8th June
All were about and packing ready for our journey home, which we had booked on the R.M.M.V. “Asturias”, the world’s largest motor liner. The ship anchored in the bay at 7 am, and we were soon on board. The allotment of cabins was made and we were then ready for the first English food we had eaten for three weeks, and it was a welcome change to that which we had in Spain, although the Spanish cooking was quite good. Lunch over we were able to look over this super vessel of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., and a few details of the boat are interesting.
Built by Harland & Wolff, Belfast, the “Asturias” has a gross tonnage, 22,500 tons; displacement tonnage, 35,390 tons; length, 630 feet; breadth, 78 feet; depth, 45 feet; Accommodation is provided for 1780 passengers. The first class Dining Saloon can seat 408 diners, while the second class saloon can provide for 200 persons.
The upper promenade deck is eight laps to the mile. An elaborate swimming pool, with marble floors and columns 29 feet long, 17 feet broad, with a depth of 4 feet 6 inches to 8 feet, has a constant flow of sea water. There are also a Winter Garden, Gymnasium, Children’s playroom, and Electric Lifts.
The vessel can attain a speed of 18 knots, and smoke and dust from the funnels is eliminated as the engines of 20,000 horse power are of the Diesel type, working on crude oil.
We were out of the harbour at 10 o’clock, and as the weather was perfect the usual deck games were soon being played. After lunch more games and were anticipating meeting the German Fleet which we knew was due at Vigo this evening. In this we were disappointed. They evidently had taken another direction as we did not sight a warship the whole day. After dinner, Tommy Yews played the piano on deck for a few songs and some dancing until 11 pm.
Wednesday 9th June
Rain prevented parade on deck so an impromptu concert was tried in the lounge, but the faces of the passengers looked so much like church that our boys went to a game of cards. A sweepstake on the day’s run of the ship was promoted, and 402 miles, the winning number,,was drawn by the writer of these notes.
About 6 pm some excitement occurred, as one of the Ocean greyhounds hove in sight, and it proved to be the White Star Liner, “Olympic”, outward bound for New York. The last night on board we had an impromptu concert, several of our party rendering excellent items which were appreciated by the passengers.
Thursday 10th June
We were anchored in Cherbourg harbour to disembark passengers until 8 am when the ship left for Southampton. During the trip across the channel, Billy Moore thanked the Directors for a very fine holiday the players had participated in, and Mr. White replied in a few suitable words, remarking on the pleasure it had been to be with the boys on such an extended tour.
Southampton was reached and after going through the customs and paying duty on various presents brought home, we left for London where the party dispersed.
In concluding this record of a very entertaining and delightful holiday in Spain, I take the opportunity of thanking the following gentlemen for the courtesy and assistance paid to members of our party at considerable inconvenience to themselves.
Madrid:- Sir Horace Rumbold, British Ambassador, Senor J. Olave, President of the Football Federation,Senor J. Alcaraz, Mr W. Moore, of Crossley Bros.
Corunna: - Mr. Henry Guyatt, British Vice-Consul, Mr. J. Long, and Senor Rodriguez Rincon.
Vigo:- Mr. W. Owen, British Vice-Consul, Mr. Spiller, Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., Senor Manuel Munez, Celta FC, and lastly to Mr. Henry Alcarez, of the International Sleeping Car Co., for his untiring efforts to make our tour a journey of happy memories in which he succeeded beyond all praise.
Outside the Royal Palace, Madrid 24th May 1926
Tuesday 25th May
Visits to the parks and in this respect Madrid has some of the finest public gardens to be seen. The Buen Retiro, Moneloa, Parque del Oeste and the Dehesa de la Villa being very beautiful places. After lunch preparations for the game against the Royal Madrid Club were made and at 5 pm we left for the ground which is one of the best laid out sports grounds on the Continent.
There was a large crowd present when the teams turned out, the King showing his interest in the game, sent his two sons, H.R.H. Infante Don Juan, and H.R.H. Don Gonzalo to witness the match which was very fast and interesting, and resulted in a win for the Madrid Club, 3-2. Campbell and Ruffell scoring for the Hammers. At the conclusion of the game the players were introduced to the Princes and after the usual complimentary remarks had been passed we returned to the Hotel where we sat down to dinner at the unusual time of 10.30 pm.
FIRST PRACTICE MATCH :
Probables v. Possibles
SECOND PRACTICE MATCH :
Probables v. Possibles
NORWICH CITY : Reserves
LETCHWORTH : Reserves
5 - 0
15 August 1925
6 - 1
22 August 1925
4 - 6
2 January 1926
1 - 6
16 January 1926
2 - 0
30 January 1926
MAIDSTONE : Reserves
3 - 2
13 February 1926
WEYMOUTH : Reserves
3 - 1
2 April 1926
CHELSEA : Reserves
? - ?
5 April 1926
West Ham United in Madrid, Corunna and Vigo May - June 1926
Recorded by Mr A.C. DAVIS (Director)
Thursday 20th May
With very pleasant memories of visits to Bilbao, Prague, Vienna, Buda, Pesch, Cologne, Frankfort, Friburg, Amsterdam, and other continental towns, our party assembled at Victoria at 8 am en route for Spain, where arrangements had been made to play in Madrid, Corunna and Vigo, two games in each place. The officials and players making the journey were Messrs. J.W.Y.Cearns, W.J.Cearns, A.C.Davis, G.F.Davis, H.Iggleden, L.Johnson, E.S.King, F.R.Pratt, W.F.White, E.Hufton, J.Hebden, T.Hodgson, J.Barratt, G.Carter, G.Kay, J.Collins, P.Cowper, T.Yews, J.Campbell, V.Watson, W.Moore, W.Ruffell, J.Ruffell, C.Paynter, with H.Alcaurez, of the International Sleeping Car Company, as courier.
Leaving London by the 9 am boat train and a prospect of fine weather, we arrived at Folkestone and all were pleased that the sea was in a happy mood, and a splendid crossing was made to Boulogne where we landed about 1 pm when a rush was made to the Customs, which after a few minutes resembled a heated political meeting.
The journey to Paris brought to mind the war, as a number of well kept cemeteries are observed around Etaples. Arriving in Paris just after 4 pm we drove across the City to the Quay d’Orsay where tea was taken. As we were not due to leave for Spain until 7 pm, a walk through the Tuilleries gardens was taken by a number of the party and a debate took place as to the dates of various battles near Corunna.
There was some difficulty with the railway officials, but eventually we were fixed up with reserved seats and settled down for an all night run to Irun.
Friday 21st May
We arrived at the Spanish Frontier station, Irun, at 8 am, and the usual procedure of Customs inspection and Passports to be gone through, and breakfast partaken in the station Restaurant. It was close to Irun where one of the last acts of the British forces in the Peninsular War occurred. This was the passage of the Bidassou, October 7th 1813, when the Duke of Wellington took by storm a strong fort on Mont la Rhunes.
After breakfast a stroll through the town for about 45 minutes, previous to leaving from Madrid which meant another 13 hours’ train ride. The track through the Pyrenees is a succession of tunnels and gorges with mountainous scenery for about 80 miles.
It is often remarked that the world is small, and we had this forcibly brought to our mind when we were seated in the dining car for lunch. The remark “what are you doing here” was made by a passenger to one of our officials, the greeting coming from a gentleman lately residing at Stratford.
The journey from the Pyrenees to Madrid was through flat and uninteresting country, and we were all glad when at 10.45 pm we alighted in the capital of Spain.
There was a number of Football Officials at the station to welcome our party, including the President of the Football Federation, who saw us to the Hotel Metropolitano, and all were glad to get to bed after a 40 hours’ journey from London.
Saturday 22nd May
All were about fairly early and the morning was spent in fixing up arrangements for visits to the principal places of interest.
Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a city of contrasts. There are modern cars and ancient mule carts driving in the streets, splendid buildings, the Post Office being the most magnificent in the world. Theatres out of date, beautiful parks, bad roads, modern cabarets and beggars, lottery ticket sellers, children in the streets till 4 o’clock in the morning, and other public objections that would not be tolerated in any of the other continental cities which we have visited during the last four years.
We were invited during the afternoon to witness a game of Jai Alai or Basket Polaro. It is a game requiring perfect eyesight and accurate judgement and is played on a paved court 50 yards long by 12 yards wide, walled on three sides. The game is played for points similar to tennis. The bookmakers cause as much excitement as the players, and personally I should not care to bet on either side as it is palpable to any observer that the play is arranged to suit the betting.
On arriving back at the hotel we were surprised to find an invitation from the Duke de Miranda Equerry to the King for the Directors to attend the ceremony at the Palace at 11am on Sunday May 23rd.
SPANISH INTERNATIONAL (Spain)
2 - 1 (Watson, Campbell)
23 May 1926
Sunday 23rd May
Beautiful weather; at 10 am we left the Hotel to attend the ceremonies at the Royal Palace, and it was a sight that does not fall to the lot of all visitors to Spain to witness. The scene was one of gorgeous splendour. The brilliant uniforms of King Alphonso and the Grandees, and beautiful dresses of the ladies made up a moving picture that will live in one’s memory.
At 3.30 pm we were off to the Stadium for the first game of the Tour. The ground lies in a lovely setting and it was a picture when the crowd had taken up their places. The ladies mostly carried sunshades of varying colours rarely seen at a football match at home.
King Alphonso, the Queen Mother, Princess Christina, Princess Beatrice, Princess Isabella, Duke and Duchess of Miranda, Duke and Duchess of Albu, Sir Horace Rumbold, British Ambasador, and other Representatives of Foreign Nations arrived before the commencement.
Owing to indisposition Queen Victoria was unable to be present and Mr White asked the King to accept a bouquet of flowers for the Queen.
The teams lined up before the King :-
Spanish International - Martineuz (Madrid); Pasarin (Vigo); Pallana (Bilbao); Pena (Bilbao); Zahal (Barcelona); Gamborena (Irun); Alcauer (Bilbao); Polo (Vigo); Errazquin (Irun); Samiter (Barcelona); Piera (Barcelona).
At half time King Alphonso addressed the players and presented silver cups to the Spanish side to commemorate their exploits in International games.
The match was well contested, goals being scored by Samiter (Spain), Campbell and Watson for Hammers who won by 2 goals to 1. At the banquet after the match, speeches were made by the Chairman, Senor, J. Olave, President of the Football Federation, Sir Horace Rumbold, British Ambassador; Don Augusto Garcia, Madrid Athletic Club, and Mr W. White, West Ham, a very fine conclusion to a wonderful day.
Whit-Monday 24th May
The morning was spent in various ways. A game of golf, visits to the flower show and other attractions. After lunch the whole party left for a visit to the Royal Palace as a special privilege had been given for us to inspect the Royal Apartments and Stables, and the wonderful things seen made one think of the great artists there must have been in ancient days.
The King’s horses were all very fine and it was recalled by some of the horses names of the Royal Family’s English connections, three names over the horse stalls being Rose Marie, Nelly Kelly, and Little Tich.
We were also shewn the carriage in which King Alphonso and Princess Ena were riding on their wedding day 20 years ago, and at which a bomb was thrown killing all the horses and 25 persons.
The evening was spent at the Zarzulla Theatre, the show being Paris Review, in which the Tiller Troupe and Jackson troupe of English dancers were appearing. As illustrating the difference between Madrid and London in the habits of the people : The Theatrical shows start at 11 pm and finish at 2 am, when the streets of the city are full of beggars and other objectionable persons, and everyone seems to vie with each other in making as much noise as possible.
ROYAL MADRID (Spain)
2 - 3 (Campbell, Ruffell J.)
25 May 1926
Wednesday 26th May
Our last day in Madrid was occupied in shopping expeditions. Before leaving Madrid some of our party took the opportunity of seeing a Bull Fight and after witnessing four horses being killed by Bulls without a chance being given them of fighting for their lives (as the horses are blindfolded) it made us feel disgusted with the Sport, if it can be called by that name.
Bull-fighting is the national pastime and everyone from the Noble to the mule driver is critical of the exploits of the performers. After the killing of the Bull the Matador walks around the ring and if he has done his work well he is wonderously applauded and the spectators throw their hats to him and he has a busy time throwing the hats back to their owners, but if the work is badly done the Matador has a very bad time and is glad to clear out quickly. The breeding of Bulls for the ring may be described as one of the national industries of Spain. Noblemen try to keep up the breed and the fighting qualities of the bulls, and the rearing of the bulls is the proper occupation of a gentleman. The breeding establishments of Andalusia turn out the finest fighting bulls and they are considered fit for combat at the age of five years, and their value is £50. Over 1000 of these animals are killed in Bull fights annually, while the number of horses gored to death is considerably larger. Bull-fighting is, however, apparently on the wane, and it is believed that in a very few years footballers will oust the Matadors as national heroes.
Thursday 27th May
Leaving Madrid at 6.30 pm the previous evening for an 18 hour train journey, we were all pleased when we arrived at Corunna at 1 pm to be welcomed by some of the leading citizens of the Town who had cars waiting to drive us to the Hotel. Lunch was immediately served, after which we retired for a much needed rest.
All were, however, down for Dinner, and later we strolled through the Town until bedtime.
Corunna is an important seaport with a population of 70,000 people, and it has some historical interest for British visitors as it was from this port that the Spanish Armada of 130 ships and an army of 30,000 men sailed in 1588 to conquer England.
The town was burnt down by Sir Francis Drake’s fleet in 1598, and later in 1747 and 1805 two naval battles were won by the English close by. The town has a very striking appearance, nearly all the houses having glazed balconies on each floor which gives the streets the appearance of huge conservatories. There are some very fine buildings, but the paving of the streets is very bad and does not appear to have been repaired for a generation.
3 - 0 (Yews, Campbell, Ruffell W.)
28 May 1926
Friday 28th May
We played our first match here, the team being:-
Hufton, Hebden, Hodgson, Carter, Barratt, Collins, Yews, W. Ruffell, Campbell, Moore, J. Ruffell. The Corunna team put up quite a good fight, but West Ham eventually won 3-0, scored by Campbell, W. Ruffell and Yews.
The British Vice-Consul, Mr Henry Guyatt, and a number of British residents attended the match. The Military control of Spain was more noticeable here as a large number of Civic Guardsmen were on duty at the game, carrying rifles, whilst eight mounted guards escorted us from the ground until we were clear of the crowd.
Saturday 29th May
At noon the whole of our party made a pilgrimage to the grave of Sir John Moore, where Mr. White laid a wreath of remembrance to this famous soldier who was killed in battle on the heights of Elvina, on January 16th, 1809, when the French Marshal Soult endeavoured to prevent the embarkation of the British Army.
Returning to the Hotel we visited a Municipal Wash-house and an amusing incident occurred as several of the players took off their coats and started to help with the washing, much to the amusement of the natives.
After lunch a motor launch too us across the bay to a fine stretch of sands where most of the party went sea bathing in primitive style.
About 8 pm, the Pacific Co’s S,S, “Oreto” entered the harbour to land passengers, and a number of us accepted the invitation of a local Britisher, Mr. Long, to board the steamer, where we were cordially received by the officers and able to obtain fresh stocks of English Cigarettes. Again we found how small the world is as the writer met in the 2nd Steward the son of a former business colleague of Liverpool.
We spent a very pleasant two hours aboard the boat, and thanks to the personality of our local friend we were able to come ashore without question carrying sufficient cigarettes to last us through to Vigo.
2 - 1 (Yews, Campbell)
30 May 1926
SUNDAY 30th MAY
This was the big day in Corunna as we had the second match to play in the afternoon, and invitations had been sent to us for a Tea Dance after the game, and for a performance at the Theatre, commencing at 11 pm.
During the morning we saw the local Peace celebration for the conclusion of the War against the Riffs in Africa.
We arrived at the Stadium at 4 pm and found that the Corunna Club had obtained the assistance of two internationals from Vigo to strengthen their side in an endeavour to win the second game, and we decided to play:
Hufton; Hodgson; Barratt; Carter; Kay; Collins; Yews; W. Ruffell; Watson; Moore; J. Ruffell.
The Spanish team put up a much better show in this game, but the Hammers won by two goals, scored by Yews and Watson, to one goal from a penalty given for alleged handling. The Referee in this match would have done justice to one of Karno’s best shows.
After the game we visited the Club’s headquarters where wine was served in honour of the Corunna Captain who was taking his benefit.
Dinner followed and at 11.15 pm we arrived at the Theatre where the entertainment was also for the benefit of the football captain. The performance was an amateur one and from the applause given we judged the artists were doing very well, but owing to language difficulties we probably failed to appreciate the show which finished at 2.30 am.
Monday 31st May
This was our last day in Corunna, and during the morning a visit was made to the picturesque fishing village of Sada.
After lunch another trip was made to access the bay for swimming and fishing, and our last night in Corunna was spent in visits to the Circus and other amusement halls, and taking leave of friends we had made during our few days in the Town.
Tuesday 1st June
We left Corunna at 10 am by Motor for Santiago, which has been for hundreds of years a favourite resort of pilgrims to the shrine of St. James, the patron saint of Spain.
The Cathedral towards which every visitor turns his steps is in the centre of the town. The building was consecrated in 1211, and the style is far from uniform owing to various additions.
Before the figure of St. James on the western facades between the two towers are sculptured kneeling Kings.
The interior is very impressive. The most imposing view being obtained from the transept.The apostle’s tomb is in the crypt immediately under the Capilla Major.
In the Chapel we were shown the statue of the Saint richly draped and holding in his hand the original pilgrim’s staff which is kissed by all devout pilgrims. In one of the entrance columns are five recesses which it is said have been worn in the stone by pilgrims and visitors who are supposed to place the thumb and fingers of their right hand in the recesses say five prayers and get five wishes granted.
The journey from Santiago to Vigo was through a picturesque and fertile country with vineyards and fields of maize in abundance, and we were able to observe the difference between the peoples of the various provinces.
In Galacia the women of the poorer class have to do the hard work and we came in contact with them working on the quay or dockside unloading all kinds of material including coals, charcoal, bricks etc. They also do most of the porterages, and it is quite a common thing to see women with heavy trunks and boxes staggering along the streets. In several towns we noticed the women carrying water tubs from a supply in the open to the houses. They also do a considerable number of jobs on the railways including attendants at crossings, booking clerks, and ticket collecting.
The Spanish people are very devoted to dancing; every province having its traditional dances from the Jota Aragonesa of Aragon to the Seguidillas of Seville.
Two charming points about the Spanish women are essentially their own. Her coiffure and footwear are irreproachable. Aristocrat or servant, her hair is always tastefully and daintily arranged. Even the poorest go to the hairdresser every day.
The Spaniard hates rain and it is no uncommon sight to see cabbies, cyclists, or even workmen raise umbrellas at the first sight of a shower.
Wednesday 2nd June
A glorious morning after heavy rain. The R.M.S. “Arcadian” entered the bay with 400 tourists and we were invited on board.
Before going out to the ship the draw was made for a sweepstake on the Derby, the favourites being drawn by Mr J.H. Cearns, Mr. Spiller, R.M.S. Co., and Charles Paynter.
Upon leaving the Hotel one is immediately impressed with the picturesque beauty of the place.
Vigo has a population of 60,000 and is situated in a magnificent bay. The town being built upon the slopes of the hills. Numerous palms and orange trees give the town quite an oriental appearance.
We were received very cordially by the officers of the R.M.S. “Arcadian” which was returning to England after a trip to Madeira with tourists from all parts of England.
After lunch we had a trip across Vigo Bay to a quaint old world fishing village, Demoana, almost prehistoric in everything except lighting, which to our surprise was electric.
We had quite a lot of amusement with about 30 lads of the village who fought, raced, and scrambled for coins, and altogether we had a very pleasant afternoon quite off the beaten track.
2 - 1 (Barrett, Yews)
3 June 1926
Thursday 3rd June
Some of our party were out early to visit the Fish quay and market. There were about twenty trawlers being unloaded and again one observed the work being done by the women as they were carrying large baskets from the boats to the market, and to our surprise women were the auctioneers.
Our first game with the Vigo Club was arranged for 5 pm, and the team was:
Hufton; Hodgson; Hebden; Carter; Barrett; Collins; Yews; Watson; Campbell; Moore; W. Ruffell.
The Vigo team who were semi-finalists of the Spanish Cup, and are reputed to be the best team in Galacia, put up a good game and were unlucky to be beaten 2-1. The goals for the winners scored by Yews and Barrett.
After the match we were spectators of a very fine religious procession in connection with the Corpus Christi festival, and it was remarkable to see all the female spectators kneeling on the road as one part of the procession passed while men stood with bowed heads.
Friday 4th June
We made another trip across Vigo Bay to a small town called Cangus, where a few hours were spent before returning to the Hotel for Dinner. Later a visit was paid to the Theatre.
Saturday 5th June
Our party received an invitation from Messrs. Hyos de Antonio Alonzo to visit their Saldine factory and most of us took advantage of the offer to see the process of canning fish carried out. We arrived at the works about 11.30 and were received by one of the Partners who conducted us through the various departments. This company during the busy season employs between 900 to 1000 hands, mostly women.
The visit was quite interesting, and no doubt instructive to those who had not already seen a canning works. In the afternoon most of the party made a trip over the mountains to a small place called Porrino and thoroughly enjoyed the delightful scenes en route.
2 - 3 (Barrett, Watson)
6 June 1926
Sunday 6th June
A visit to the Church of Santa Maria which had been lavishly decorated for the Corpus Christi feast was made this morning, and later on we had a trip to Bouzos.
Our concluding match of the Tour was fixed at 5 pm, and the team was:
Hufton; Hodgson; Hebden; Carter; Barrett; Collins; Yews; Cowper; Watson; W/ & J. Ruffell.
The game was a good exhibition of football, but the Referee evidently did not want us to win, as J. Ruffell was wrongly pulled up on four occasions for offside, and when a penalty was awarded the Spanish team for supposed handling which none of us saw. It made us think that we were not to be allowed to win the last match.
The score was 2-2 with five minutes to go, and the Vigo centre forward received the ball in such an offside position that Hufton walked out to place the ball for the kick which did not come off as the player put the ball into the net and to our amazement the Referee allowed the point and we lost 3-2, our goals being scored by Watson and Barrett.
Image courtesy of Nigel Turner
Image courtesy of Nigel Turner
Image courtesy of Nigel Turner
Image courtesy of Nigel Turner
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : Dockland Settlement
1 - 1 (Watson)
3rd May 1926
ILFORD : Reserves
2 - 2
24 September 1925
CUSTOM HOUSE : Reserves
1 - 0
13 February 1926
ROYAL AIR FORCE : Reserves
0 - 4
25 February 1926
CRYSTAL PALACE : London Professional Charity Fund
2 - 2 (Watson, BIshop)
16 November 1925
CRYSTAL PALACE : London Professional Charity Fund (Replay)
3 - 0 (Watson 3)
30 November 1925
Hufton, Hodgson, Hebden, Bishop, Barrett, Cadwell, Yews, Earle, Watson, Moore, Ruffell
Baillie, Hebden, Horler, Bishop, Barrett, Collins, Carter, Earle, Watson, Williams, Ruffell
6 - 4 (Watson 3, Moore 2, Ruffell)
9 September 1925
Hufton, Hodgson, Henderson, Carter, Barrett, Cadwell, Yews, Earle, Watson, Moore, Ruffell
BARKING TOWN : Reserves
2 - 4
1 May 1926
? - ?
24 October 1925
The friendly against Summerstown FC at their south London ground was played as part of the deal which took Alfred Earl to Upton Park.
Earl was born in Earlsfield, London, on 19th March 1903.
Image courtesy of Nigel Turner
0 - 3
20 February 1926
Other Matches Played at the Boleyn Ground
ESSEX v. LONDON : Representative Match
0 - 5
19 April 1926
WEST HAM BOYS v. LIVERPOOL BOYS : ESFA Trophy (Semi-Final)
1 - 1