A Pictorial History

FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES

WEST HAM UNITED

Steve Marsh & Stuart Allen

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1952-53 Football League : Division II

The close season was chiefly notable for two things: firstly, the big increase in the rate of Entertainment Tax on sport; and secondly, for the fact that it was the "deadest" ever so far as the Transfer Market was concerned. With the exception of the same old half-dozen or so, all Clubs were facing very weighty financial problems, with the result that transfers were much more difficult to negotiate. The new rate of Entertainment Tax of course meant increase admission charges.

 

The match programme, priced at three old pence (about 1½p), was advertising season tickets at £5 and £7 respectively. There was a distinct lack of goals in the opening games – only three were scored in the first seven fixtures. At home there was an improvement as after Leicester City were beaten 4-1 what followed was a series of three-goal wins against Nottingham Forest, Brentford and Swansea Town. With the side in mid-table the visit of Lincoln City in December brought a 5-1 victory, both Albert Foan and John Gregory scoring twice.

The FA Cup attracted a healthy attendance of 35,150 to the Boleyn Ground for the visit of West Bromwich Albion. The First Division side proved too strong for the Hammers as they won 4-1. Fred Kearns grabbed a hat-trick in the 3-2 home win against Bury, after which there was a run of seven games without a win. Again the team were inconsistent, a good 4-1 win at Brentford being followed by a 1-3 home reverse to Doncaster Rovers. At Easter Fulham won 2-1 at Upton Park but the Hammers won the return at Craven Cottage 3-2. The big event of the season was the first ever floodlit match at Upton Park, which took place on April 16, 1953. It was a friendly match against Tottenham Hotspur, and in a keenly fought match goals from Jim Barrett and Tommy Dixon gave West Ham a 2-1 victory. The campaign ended with the Hammers finishing in a rather disappointing fourteenth place.

 

52_08_23 WHU v. Southampton 01

SOUTHAMPTON : Football League Division II

52_08_25 Hull City v. WHU

HULL CITY : Football League Division II

52_08_30 Bury v. WHU

BURY : Football League Division II

52_09_01 WHU v. Hull City 01

HULL CITY : Football League Division II

52_09_06 WHU v. Birmingham City 01

BIRMINGHAM CITY : Football League Division II

52_09_08 Leicester City v. WHU

LEICESTER CITY : Football League Division II

52_09_13 Luton Town v. WHU

LUTON TOWN : Football League Division II

52_09_15 WHU v. Leicester City 01

LEICESTER CITY : Football League Division II

52_09_20 WHU v. Leeds United 01

LEEDS UNITED : Football League Division II

52_09_27 Plymouth Argyle v. WHU

PLYMOUTH ARGYLE : Football League Division II

52_10_04 WHU v. Rotherham United 01

ROTHERHAM UNITED : Football League Division II

52_10_11 Blackburn Rovers v. WHU

BLACKBURN ROVERS : Football League Division II

52_10_18 WHU v. Nottingham Forest 01

NOTTINGHAM FOREST : Football League Division II

52_10_25 Everton v. WHU

EVERTON : Football League Division II

52_11_01 WHU v. Brentford 01

BRENTFORD : Football League Division II

52_11_08 Doncaster Rovers v. WHU

DONCASTER ROVERS : Football League Division II

52_11_15 WHU v. Swansea Town 01

COLCHESTER UNITED : Essex Pro Cup (First Round)

Layer Road

3 - 2 (Moroney 3)

13 November 1952

SORRY NO IMAGE

SWANSEA TOWN : Football League Division II

52_11_22 Huddersfield Town v. WHU

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN : Football League Division II

52_11_29 WHU v. Sheffield United 01

SHEFFIELD UNITED : Football League Division II

52_12_06 Barnsley v. WHU

BARNSLEY : Football League Division II

52_12_13 WHU v. Lincoln City 01

LINCOLN CITY : Football League Division II

52_12_20 Southampton v. WHU

SOUTHAMPTON : Football League Division II

52_12_25 WHU v. Notts County 01

NOTTS COUNTY : Football League Division II

NOTTS COUNTY : Football League Division II

52_12_27 Notts County v. WHU CONTINUE 2

Manager: Ted Fenton

SECOND-HALF

The opening League game of the season versus Southampton in the Second Division. A fine, sunny afternoon; 25,535 present; a wonderful display by visiting 'keeper Kiernan; and a single goal by young Jim Barrett to earn us full spoils.

22 August 1952

1952 NOEL CANTWELL signs from CORK UNITED for £725 + £200 after 15 appearances

CANTWELL joins the Hammers

Noel Cantwell is greeted by Fred Kearns

Upton Park

1 - 0 (Barrett)

23 August 1952

Att: 25,535

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Barrett

Moroney

Gazzard

Andrews

Boothferry Park

0 - 1

25 August 1952

Att: 35,964

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Barrett

Moroney

Gazzard

Andrews

Gigg Lane

1 - 1 (Andrews)

30 August 1952

Att: 13,863

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Barrett

Moroney

Gazzard

Andrews

Upton Park

0 - 0

1 September 1952

Att: 19,726

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Barrett

Moroney

Petchey

Andrews

Upton Park

1 - 2 (Moroney)

6 September 1952

Att: 23,903

Gregory

Wright

Kinsel

lParker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Barrett

Moroney

Petchey

Tucker

Filbert Street

0 - 0

8 September 1952

Att: 23,382

Gregory

Wright

Bond

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Barrett

Moroney

Gregory J.

Tucker

Kenilworth Road

0 - 0

13 September 1952

Att: 16,009

Gregory

Wright

Bond

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Barrett

Moroney

Gregory J.

Tucker

Upton Park

4 - 1 (barrett 2, Kearns, Woodgate)

15 September 1952

Att: 15,492

Gregory

Wright

Bond

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Barrett

Kearns

Moroney

Tucker

Upton Park

2 - 2 (Moroney 2)

20 September 1952

Att: 22,437

Gregory

Wright

Bond

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Barrett

Kearns

Moroney

Andrews

Home Park

1 - 1 (Barrett)

27 September 1952

Att: 28,792

Gregory

Wright

Bond

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Southren

Barrett

Kearns

Moroney

Andrews

Upton Park

2 - 4 (Andrews, Selkuirk [og])

4 October 1952

Att: 21,895

Gregory

Wright

Bond

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Southren

Barrett

Kearns

Moroney

Andrews

Ewood Park

0 - 3

11 October 1952

Att: 22,545

Gregory

Wright

Bond

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Southren

Barrett

Kearns

Moroney

Andrews

Upton Park

3 - 2 (Allison [pen], O'Farrell, Southren)

18 October 1952

Att: 21,444

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Southren

Barrett

Kearns

Moroney

Andrews

Goodison Park

0 - 2

25 October 1952

Att: 38,323

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Southren

Barrett

Moroney

Foan

Andrews

Upton Park

3 - 1 (Hawkins, McGowan, Tucker)

1 November 1952

Att: 23,263

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

McGowan

Hawkins

Foan

Tucker

Belle Vue

1 - 1 (Tucker)

8 November 1952

Att: 10,612

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

McGowan

Hawkins

Foan

Tucker

Taylor

Devlin

Cantwell

Armstrong

Allison

McGowan

Southren

Moroney

Dixon

Petchey

Gunning

Upton Park

3 - 0 (Gregory J., Kearns, Tucker)

15 November 1952

Att: 18,600

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Gregory J.

Kearns

Foan

Tucker

Leeds Road

1 - 0 (Kearns)

22 November 1952

Att: 22,267

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Gregory J.

Kearns

Foan

Tucker

Upton Park

1 - 1 (Woodgate)

29 November 1952

Att: 22,687

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Gregory J.

Kearns

Foan

Tucker

Oakwell

0 - 2

6 December 1952

Att: 8,977

Gregory

Wright

Bond

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Gregory J.

Kearns

Foan

Tucker

Upton Park

5 - 1 (Foan 2, Gregory J. 2, Kearns)

13 December 1952

Att: 14,436

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Gregory J.

Kearns

Foan

Tucker

The Dell

2 - 1 (Kearns, Woodgate)

20 December 1952

Att: 12,284

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Gregory J.

Kearns

Foan

Tucker

Upton Park

2 - 2 (Foan, Kearns)

25 December 1952

Att: 23,614

Gregory

Wright

Kinsell

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Gregory J.

Kearns

Foan

Tucker

Meadow Lane

1 - 1 (Allison)

27 December 1952

Att: 24,189

Gregory

Wright

Bond

Parker

Allison

O'Farrell

Woodgate

Gregory J.

Kearns

Foan

Tucker

Sid Gerrie scored for Hull City at Boothferry Park with two minutes remaining. However far from giving in, our XI went straight into the attack, reached the Tigers' defensive zone, and then had a penalty awarded them when Terry Woodgate was brought down by Murray who had dropped back to help his defence. Regrettably Woodgate shot wide, and that was the end.

GEORGE PETCHEY makes his Hammers debut against HULL CITY at Upton Park

The hammers were held to a goalless draw by Hull City at Upton Park. A late change in our side was George Petchey in place of the injured Gerry Gazzard at inside-left. Among the Tigers' line-up was international Neil Franklin  and Danish international Viggo Jensen; a notable absentee was Raich Carter - another injury victim.

As  the "substitute rule" was not yet in being, the Hammers had to play their Division II fixture at Upton Park with depleted forces after the first minute against Leeds United. Jimmy Barrett, Jnr., bruised a thigh muscle in our first attack, and was slowed up for the rest of the game; then Terry Woodgate pulled a calf muscle in the 20th minute - leaving him a "passenger" for most of the remaining period. It affected our team-work, and a couple of defensive errors permitted Iggleden and Tyrer to score for the visitors. This made the opposition over-confident, and they did not particularly bother to mark Woodgate. However, the Hammers' winger made the most of his chance to put Tommy Moroney away with a through ball, and the inside-left netted his second goal of the game to earn a point in a 2-2 draw.

A 22,545 attendance saw Blackburn Rovers defeat the Hammers 3-0 at Ewood Park. Neither club had done more than moderately well so far that season, but it was an interesting game with both sides creating opportunities. Eddie Quigley led the home forwards, but Wharton was Rovers' star with two headed goals. International Bill Eckersley converted a spot-kick.

Frank O'Farrell captain for the first time

An attendance of 10,612 were at the Belle Vue Ground, Doncaster to see us draw 1-1 with the Rovers in a Second Division game; stars of our side were goalkeeper Ernie Gregory and Malcolm Allison. Player-manager Peter Doherty was "man of the match" for Doncaster who went ahead in the seventh minute. Hammers equalised when left-winger Ken Tucker beat three men and walked the ball past goalkeeper Ken Hardwick

52_11_13 Colchester United v. WHU EPC1

TOMMY DIXON, NOEL CANTWELL and HARRY GUNNING all make their Hammers debut against COLCHESTER UNITED at Layer Road

Fog was part of the inclement conditions which kept the attendance down to 18,600 for a Division II match against Swansea Town at Upton Park on this day in 1952. Fred Kearns got a goal after 18 minutes, Ken Tucker added a second four miutes later, John Gregory scored his first League goal after the interval in our 3-0 win.

Following our 1-0 away win over top-of-the-table Huddersfield Town, we had a home Second Division fixture against the new leaders — Sheffield United. The Blades had beaten Leicester City 1-2 on the previous Saturday, so we were not surprised to claim the second-highest gate in the Division for this fixture 22,687. Albert Foan laid on the move for Terry Woodgate's goal, but the visitors survived a penalty appeal and then earned a point as Alf Ringstead headed home from a crossbar rebound.

Our defeat by Barnsley at Oakwell was the Tykes' solitary win over us in the first 13 Second Division meetings that took place between us after World War II. It ended our run of five unbeaten games at a time when we were challenging for honours, but still left the Yorkshiremen at the foot of the table.

10 December 1952

TOM McALISTER (1981-1989) Born this day Clydebank, Scotland

 

A once under-rated 'keeper who was on the verge of breaking into the Scottish squad to go to Munich for the 1974 World Cup Finals, when he had to cry off with a broken leg. Disaster struck once more when he tried to come back too soon and broke the leg again. All this happened with Sheffield United, in their First Division days; he then moved to Rotherham in January 1976, and Blackpool in July 1979. Signed for Hammers on a free transfer in May 1981 from Bristol Rovers, where he was on loan from Swindon Town, the experienced Scot did well when deputising for the injured Phil Parkes for four games in season 1981-82, making his debut in the 2-2 draw against Birmingham City at St. Andrews on the 3rd October 1981. Tom established himself as West Ham's No. 1 and kept out Phil on merit. Indeed, but for a stomach virus which ruled him out of the home game with Arsenal in April 1988 (ironically, almost a year to the day when injury to Phil presented him with his chance), "Milk Tray Man" would have played in all 45 first team games...more than he had done in his six previous seasons at the club! Lost the green jersey to Allen McKnight after the first two games of the 1988-89 season through injury, had a load period to Colchester United in February 1989. The Scot was allowed to depart in the summer of 1989 to Harrow Borough as player/manager.

A crowd of 14,436 were inside the Boleyn Ground for this Second Division fixture with Lincoln City. There were no floodlights in those days and the first half was played in semi-darkness. The spectators feeling the cold on the terraces were soon warmed up as the Hammers raced into a three goal lead inside 16 minutes through goalscorers John Gregory, Albert Foan and Fred Kearns. The Imps pulled a goal back midway through the second half from Graver. Another rampaging spell in the last 15 minutes brought further goals from Gregor and Foan to give an emphatic 5-1 victory.

Christmas morning at Upton Park for a Second Division fixture against Notts County and a commendable attendance of 23,614. Hammers opened with goals by Fred Kearns and Albert Foan, but prior to half-time ex-Aston Villa international winger Frank Broome scored from a penalty. Terry Woodgate had a "goal" disallowed, but then Ken McPherson got his side's equaliser to enable them to share the points.

After having Boxing Day "off." the two teams met for their Festive return match at Meadow Lane. The only change from the 2-2 first encounter was John Bond in place for the injured Harry Kinsell. County dominated the first half, and held an interval lead through Billy Evans' tenth-minute header. Some 20-minutes after the interval Deans handled the ball, and we were awarded a penalty. Bradley parried Malcolm Allison's spot-kick, but succumbed as our centre-half netted the rebound. So another draw this time 1-1.

McALISTER Tom