A Pictorial History

FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES

WEST HAM UNITED

Steve Marsh & Stuart Allen

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It was a whirlwind start to life in the Second Division as the Hammers beat Notts County 5–2 at home and followed this up with a smart 3–0 win at Newcastle United. Joy turned to gloom, however, with two home defeats in four days: Third Division Swindon Town dumped West Ham out of the League Cup, winning 2–1, and then Fulham won 1–0 in the league. Bryan Robson then scored six goals in three successive home games, which included a hat-trick in the 3–0 win against local rivals Millwall.

Inspired by Bonds and Brooking in midfield and the goalscoring abilities of Cross and Robson, the Hammers moved up to third spot after beating Cambridge United 5–0 at home in December. An upset on Boxing Day saw the Orient win 2–0 at Upton Park, but days later Blackburn Rovers were beaten 4–0 at home. Hopes of a run in the FA Cup were dashed as Fourth Division Newport County won 2–1 at Somerton Park.

The football world were staggered in February when West Ham paid a world record fee of £565,000 for goalkeeper Phil Parkes from Queens Park Rangers. Apart from the 5–0 thrashing of Newcastle United in March, the goals had dried up, with a spell of just one goal in four games. With just one win against Burnley in the last seven games the Hammers missed out on promotion and finished fifth.

1978-79 Football League : Division II

Manager: John Lyall

NOTTS COUNTY : Football League Division II

78_08_19 WHU v. Notts County 78_08_19 WHU v. Notts County

NEWCASTLE UNITED : Football League Division II

78_08_23 Newcastle United v. WHU

CRYSTAL PALACE : Football League Division II

78_08_26 Crystal Palace v. WHU

Ferguson

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Brooking

Robson

Upton Park

5 - 2 (Cross 3, Devonshire, Blockley [og])

19 August 1978

Att: 25,387

St James' Park

3 - 0 (Cross, Devonshire, Robson)

23rd August 1978

Att: 27,167

Ferguson

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Brooking (Taylor A.)

Robson

Selhurst Park

1 - 1 (Taylor A.)

26 August 1978

Att: 32,814

Ferguson

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Taylor A.

Robson

SWINDON TOWN : Football League Cup (Second Round)

78_08_30 WHU v. Swindon Town

FULHAM : Football League Division II

78_09_02 WHU v. Fulham 78_09_09 Burnley v. WHU

BURNLEY : Football League Division II

BRISTOL ROVERS : Football League Division II

78_09_16 WHU v. Bristol Rovers 78_09_23 WHU v. Sheffield United

SHEFFIELD UNITED : Football League Division II

SUNDERLAND : Football League Division II

78_09_30 Sunderland v. WHU 78_10_07 WHU v. Millwall

MILLWALL : Football League Division II

OLDHAM ATHLETIC : Football League Division II

STOKE CITY : Football League Division II

78_10_14 Oldham Athletic v. WHU 78_10_21 WHU v. Stoke City

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION : Football League Division II

PRESTON NORTH END : Football League Division II

78_10_28 Brighton v. WHU 78_11_04 WHU v. Preston North End

NOTTS COUNTY : Football League Division II

CRYSTAL PALACE : Football League Division II

78_11_11 Notts County v. WHU 78_11_18 WHU v. Crystal Palace

FULHAM : Football League Division II

LEICESTER CITY : Football League Division II

78_11_21 Fulham v. WHU 78_11_25 Leicester City v. WHU

CAMBRIDGE UNITED : Football League Division II

78_12_02 WHU v. Cambridge United

WREXHAM : Football League Division II

CHARLTON ATHLETIC : Football League Division II

78_12_09 Wrexham v. WHU 78_12_16 WHU v. Charlton Athletic 78_08_26 Crystal Palace v. WHU 78_08_30 WHU v. Swindon Town FLC 2 78_09_23 WHU v. Sheffield United 78_11_04 WHU v. Preston North End 78_10_21 WHU v. Stoke City 78_11_21 Fulham v. WHU 78_12_02 WHU v. Cambridge United

LUTON TOWN : Football League Division II

78_12_23 Luton Town v. WHU Post

Kenilworth Road

23 December 1978

ORIENT : Football League Division II

BLACKBURN ROVERS : Football League Division II

78_12_26 WHU v. Orient 78_12_30 WHU v. Blackburn Rovers CONTINUE 2

SECOND-HALF

78_12_30 WHU v. Blackburn Rovers 78_10_28 Brighton v. WHU

Image courtesy of Richard Miller

The Hammers were still reeling from relegation when Notts County visited the Boleyn Ground and like champagne, the opening League match of the season bubbled, sparkled, fizzed and gave a heady feeling for the first 20 minutes. It regained its liveliness as we topped up the glass to record a fifth goal 13 minutes after half-time. Then, on the hour, it began to go flat, and a couple of counters from the opposition left us with a slight hangover at the end of a hectic afternoon. A David Cross hat-trick provided the base for the thumping 5-2 victory, with a Jeff Blockley own goal and an Alan Devonshire strike completing the scoring to this five-star display that helped lift the mood for the new campaign.

Christmas is notorious for surprises, and our Boxing Day morning episode against the Orient was only one of the shocks among the day's results. There was little to enthuse over in the first half, as frorn the kick-off the game did not engender as much "local derby" atmosphere that might have been expected from the O's first League visit here since 15 years ago. A nicely-executed move earned the visitors their interval lead, and it left the majority of our second-highest attendance of the season in far-from-festive spirit. Two substitutes went on in the space of a minute midway through the second half, but whereas ours was a tactical one the opposition's was of necessity. Almost immediately we were reduced to ten men for several minutes when Tommy Taylor was stretchered off; Tom gallantly essayed to return, but it proved of no avail, and John Chiedozie settled the issue after a mazy run from midfield that was a spectator-pleaser. The Hammers might have obtained a first-half equaliser from one of a number of well-directed shots (particularly Bryan Robson's that was brilliantly saved by John Jackson) ; in such event we could have achieved a better result, but it was not to be.

7 July 1978

PAUL ALLEN signs apprentice forms

 

19 July 1978

BILL GREEN joins PETERBOROUGH UNITED for £90,000 fee

A £100,000 signing from Carlisle United in June 1976 who had a promising First Division career badly disrupted by injuries.

West Ham United career (1976-1978) Appearances: 40, Goals: 1

20 July 1978

NIGEL QUASHIE (2007-2010) Born this day Southwark, London

 

Experienced Scottish international midfielder who completed a £1.5million move from West Bromwich Albion on 8th January 2007 to become Alan Curbishley’s second signing as Hammers manager. The transfer signalled a return to his London roots for the 28-year-old. He started his career with Queens Park Rangers and made his professional debut at the tender age of 17 in December 1995. After several impressive performances for Rangers, Nigel earned a call-up to the England under-21 squad, before making a £2.5million move to Nottingham Forest in the summer of 1998. Joined Portsmouth for £600,000 in the summer of 2000. After establishing himself at Fratton Park and playing a key role in Pompey’s First Division Championship triumph in 2003, Nigel took advantage of a new FIFA ruling, enabling him to accept the opportunity of full international recognition with Scotland, despite wearing the Three Lions of England as an under-21 player.. Nigel was snapped up by his former Pompey manager Harry Redknapp – by now at South Coast rivals Southampton – for a fee of £2.1million. He soon became club captain, but spent just 12 months at St Mary’s before making a £1.2million move to West Bromwich Albion. Played an integral part in helping the Baggies to reach the play-off places in the Championship as they look to bounce straight back to the Premiership. Quashie made his debut against Fulham 13 January 2007 and went on to make eight appearances, none of them on the winning side, as West Ham battled against relegation. A persistent foot injury meant that Quashie did not play a single competitive match during 2007–08. He made his comeback in a friendly match against Queens Park Rangers in August 2008. The signing of Swiss international Valon Behrami in the summer of 2008 and the emergence of academy graduates Jack Collison and Junior Stanislas meant that competition for midfield places was much stiffer. In January 2010 he was released by West Ham and rejoined Coca-Coila Championship side Queens Park Rangers until the end of the season after being released by the club.

19 July 1978

DEREK HALES rejoins CHARLTON ATHLETIC

 

A £100,000 signing from Derby County in September 1977 however, the player found it hard to settle at the Boleyn Ground

and he returned to his first League club the following year.

West Ham United career: (1977-78) Appearances: 27, Goals: 10

Lightning struck Newcastle United in the same place for the second successive season when our early-season visit to St. James's Park last September produced a 3-2 victory for the Hammers. This time it was a repeat win for us, and once more we netted three times with Bryan Robson again getting his name on the score-sheet against his old club.  The big difference on his occasion was that the Magpies failed to score, whereas last year they went into a two-goal lead midway through the first half. Indeed, the homesters rarely got a look in, for although Trevor Brooking had to go off with a pulled muscle after 26 minutes, the claret-and-blue was already very prominent. Alan Devonshire scored his second counter of the season in the sixth minute for our interval lead, but despite some strenuous efforts the Tyne-siders were unable to level the count. A Devonshire-Robson move down the left flank on the hour paved the way for David Cross to turn the centre into the net—thus putting him top-scorer of Division II with four goals. Twelve minutes later hard-working Pat Holland deprived Terry Hibbitt of the ball in midfield, and then laid on the pass for Robson to set the seal on a 3-0 crushing.

Both teams put in a lot of hard work at Selhurst Park, and this all contributed to an interesting game in which we were happier with our point than Crystal Palace appeared to be with theirs. Inevitably there were some near-misses by each side, and the respective managers could reflect that had but one of these gone in they would have had a more successful afternoon. The Hammers scored first, following a great through ball that Pat Holland thumped across and David Cross headed back; it came to Alan Taylor, whose left-footer eluded two defenders and possibly left goalkeeper Peter Burridge unsighted till the last moment. The equaliser came out of the blue in the closing seconds before half-time. Billy Gilbert's "blaster" from way out completely deceived Bobby Ferguson, who freely admitted that he just didn't see it. As it was, each side kept its unbeaten record—and we settled at second place in the table.

Upton Park

1 - 2 (Robson)

30 August 1978

Att: 19,672

Ferguson

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Taylor A. (Pike)

Robson

Upton Park

0 - 1

2 September 1978

Att: 25,869

Ferguson

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Pike

Cross

Taylor A. (McDowell)

Robson

Turf Moor

2 - 3 (Cross 2)

9 September 1978

Att: 12,392

Ferguson

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Martin

Robson

Upton Park

2 - 0 (Brooking, Robson)

16 September 1978

Att: 22,189

Ferguson

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Brooking

Robson

Upton Park

2 - 0 (Robson 2 [2 pens])

23 September 1978

Att: 24,361

Ferguson

Lampard (Pike)

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Jennings

Brooking

Robson

Roker Park

1 - 2 (Cross)

30 September 1978

Att: 23,676

Ferguson

McDowell

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Brooking

Robson

Upton Park

3 - 0 (Robson 3 [1 pen])

7 October 1978

Att: 22,210

Ferguson

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Brooking

Robson

Boundary Park

2 - 2 (Robson 2)

14 October 1978

Att: 9,191

Ferguson

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Brooking

Robson

Upton Park

1 - 1 (Brooking)

21 October 1978

Att: 27,855

Ferguson

McDowell

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Brooking

Robson

Goldstone Ground

2 - 1 (Robson 2)

28 October 1978

Att: 33,028

Day

McDowell

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley (McDowell)

Devonshire

Cross

Brooking

Robson

Upton Park

3 - 1 (Cross, Devonshire, Lampard)

4 November 1978

Att: 23,572

Day

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Brooking

Robson

Meadow Lane

0 - 1

11 November 1978

Att: 11,002

Day

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Brooking

Robson

Upton Park

1 - 1 (Bonds)

18 November 1978

Att: 31,245

Day

Lampard

Brush

Holland (Taylor A.)

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Brooking

Robson

Craven Cottage

0 - 0

21 November 1978

Att: 26,556

Day

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Taylor A.

Robson

Filbert Street

2 - 1 (Cross 2)

25 November 1978

Att: 16,149

Day

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

McDowell

Devonshire

Cross

Taylor A.

Robson

Upton Park

5 - 0 (Robson 2, Bonds, Curbishley, Taylor A.)

2 December 1978

Att: 21,379

Day

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Bonds

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Taylor A.

Robson

Racecourse Ground

3 - 4 ( Cross, Lampard, Robson)

9 December 1978

Att: 15,587

Day

Lampard

Brush

Holland

Taylor T.

Martin

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Taylor A.

Robson

Upton Park

2 - 0 (Cross, Robson)

16 December 1978

Att: 23,833

Day

Lampard

Brush

Holland (Pike)

Taylor T.

McDowell

Curbishley

Devonshire

Cross

Taylor A.

Robson

Upton Park

0 - 2

26 December 1978

Att: 29,220

Day

Lampard

Brush

Pike

Taylor T.

McDowell

Curbishley (Jennings)

Devonshire

Cross

Taylor A.

Robson

Upton Park

4 - 0 (Cross, Robson, Taylor A., Curtis [og])

30 December 1978

Att: 21,269

Day

Lampard

Brush

Bonds

Martin

McDowell

Taylor A.

Devonshire

Cross

Brooking

Robson

30 August 1978

SVETOSLAV TODOROV (2000-2001) Born this day Lovech, Bulgaria

 

Bulgarian international who arrived at Upton Park at the start of 2001 in a bargain £500,000 transfer from hometown club Liteks Lovech. With over 20 senior caps under his belt, including an appearance against England during the Euro 2000 group qualifiers in 1999, the 22-year-old striker has already gained plenty of experience at the highest level and hoped to prove that he could build a reputation in the Premiership. After making his debut against Liverpool as an 73rd minute substitute which resulted in a 3-0 defeat at Anfield 3rd March 2001. Svetoslav scored his first Hammers goal after coming off the bench again, during the devastating FA Cup quarter-final defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur in March. He continued as back-up for first choice strikers Fredi Kanoute and Paolo Di Canio after that, but made a highly impressive full debut against Southampton in the final home match of the season and then scored his first Premiership goal against Middlesbrough two weeks later. Originally arrived in England for a trial with Preston North End but caught the eye of a watching Hammers scout during a practice match and the rest, as they say, is history. The talented striker suffered a badly gashed leg in the summer's first pre-season warm-up, against Bishop's Stortford, but returned to net against Rushden & Diamonds and, with Fredi Kanoute missing the start of the new Premiership season, 'Toddy' was handed a chance to make a name for himself but failed to make an impact. With Harry Redknapp now at the helm with Portsmouth, he still saw the potential the Bulgarian international processed when he first brought him to Upton Park and persuaded him to join the Fratton Park outfit in a deal worth £750,000 in March 2002. Later played for Charlton Athletic.

2 September 1978

LEE BOYLAN (1997-1999) Born this day Chelmsford, Essex

 

Product of the club's very successful youth scheme and member of the South East Counties Championship winning team of 1995-96. Signed professional forms July 1997. Premiership debut as an 89th minute substitute appearance against Sheffield Wednesday in a 5-1 victory at Upton Park on the 3rd May 1997. That one minute appearance in the Claret and Blue catapulted him into the Upton Park record books as the shortest playing time as a Hammer. Republic of Ireland Youth and Under-21 international. Lee was a nippy, strong forward - reminiscent of Tony Cottee. He had been banging in the goals for the youth and reserves team for many years. Unfortunately Lee never establish himself in the big time and was released at the end of the 1998-99 campaign to join Swedish club Trelleborgs on a free transfer and then with Exeter City before dropping into non-league football with Kingstonian, Hayes, Stevenage Borough and then joining Canvey Island in 2001. Boylan had great success with Canvey Island, scoring over 170 goals in five years, including 26 in 53 Conference games, and helping Canvey Island get promoted to the Conference in 2004. When Canvey Island resigned from the Conference in 2006, he joined Grays Athletic on a one-year contract but after starting only 16 games in the 2006–07 season, he joined Chelmsford City in February 2007 on loan for the rest of the season. At the end of the season, he joined Cambridge United on a free transfer and scored eleven goals in 32 league appearances in the 2007–08 season as Cambridge reached the Conference play-off final in May 2008, narrowly losing to Exeter City. He joined Stevenage Borough in June 2008 for an undisclosed fee.

11 September 1978

LAURENT COURTOISE (2001-2002) Born this day Lyon, France

 

Glenn Roeder secured the signing of Laurent Courtois on a free transfer from French club Toulouse, who were relegated a division after financial irregularities. He was recommended by Frederic Kanoute who played with him at Youth level while in France. Previously played for Lyon and AC Ajaccio. Laurent made his Hammers debut on the 18th August 2001coming on as a 79th minute substitute in the 1-2 defeat at the hands of Liverpool at Anfield on the opening day of the 2001-02 campaign. Made a full Premiership debut in the 3-0 victory over Newcastle United at Upton Park 23 September 2001. The excellent form of midfielders Trevor Sinclair, Joe Cole and Michael Carrick meant that opportunities were limited for the former French under-21 international.

20 September 1978

 

TREVOR BROOKING wins his 24th ENGLAND cap

DENMARK a European Championship Qualifier Idraetsparken, Copenhagen 4-3

25 October 1978

 

TREVOR BROOKING wins his 25th ENGLAND cap

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND a European Championship Qualifier Lansdowne Road, Dublin 1-1

7 November 1978

RIO FERDINAND (1996-2000) Born this day Peckham, London

 

Widely regarded as the finest defensive prospect that English football has seen for many years. Rio is coveted by every top club in the land. Even before being called up to the England World Cup squad for France 1998, Rio was being hailed as a certain international for the next decade. The Peckham born defender, who signed schoolboy forms in 1994, was a vital member of the record breaking South East Counties championship team of 1996, when he also picked up an F.A. Youth cup runners up medal. Made his initial debut as a substitute against Sheffield Wednesday at Upton Park on the 5th May 1996. He began his breakthrough into the first team in the 1996/97 season and by the end of that campaign, was already one of the first names on Harry Redknapp's team sheet. Rio picked up "Hammer of the Year" for his consistently outstanding performances in the 1997/98 campaign cumulating with his inclusion in Glen Hoddle's England 22 for France '98. Aged 22 Rio became the world's most expensive defender when he signed for Premiership rivals Leeds United for £18m in November 2000 after the Yorkshire club had an earlier £15m bid turned down by the Hammers. Rio turned his back on the Yorkshiremen soon after the World Cup Finals of 2002 when Manchester United stepped in to take him to Old Trafford for an incredible £30m.

West Ham United produced a five star performance to outshine Cambridge United in front of a jubilant Boleyn Ground crowd. An attendance of 21,379 turned up to see goals from Billy Bonds, Alan Curbishley, Alan Taylor and two from Bryan Robson make it six home games without defeat. The Hammers went onto finish fifth in the division, six points off of a promotion place and seven places above Cambridge United.

8 December 1978

FREDERIC PIQUIONNE (2010-2013) Born this day Noumea, New Caledonia

 

A tall and powerful forward, Frederic Piquionne became Avram Grant’s third summer 2010 signing when he arrived from French club Olympique Lyonnais. Bom in the city of Noumea on the Pacific Ocean collective of New Caledonia in the south west Pacific Ocean, Piquionne moved to the Caribbean nation of Martinique before settling into life as a professional footballer in mainland France and joined Nimes Olympique in 2000. Appeared briefly for the Caribbean island nation of Martinique in 2002. Made his senior debut for France as a substitute in a 1-0 friendly win over Austria at the Stade de France in Paris on 28 March 2007. Appeared for France B in a 1-0 defeat by Slovakia B in August 2007. After impressing for Nimes and Stade Rennais, Piquionne moved to AS Saint-Etienne, initially on loan, in 2004, spending three years with Les Verts and scoring 23 goals in 91 league appearances. Joined AS Monaco in January 2007, netting 12 times in 46 games before moving to Olympique Lyonnais in August 2008. Loaned to Portsmouth for the 2009/10 season and scored in the FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in April 2010. Totalled eleven goals in 45 appearances for Portsmouth. Joined West Ham United on a three-year contract for a reported 1.2m Euros on 16 July 2010 and made his first-team debut as a half-time substitute in the Barclays Premier League defeat at Aston Villa on 14 August 2010. Scored his first West Ham United goal in the 2-1 Carling Cup third-round win at Sunderland on 21 September 2010. Unable to command a place in Sam Allardyce’s 25 man squad for the 2012-13 season. Piquionne was allowed toleave the club by mutual agreement in February 2013. Later signed for Portland Timbers in the USA Major Soccer League.

MATCH POSTPONED

Pitch like a Skating Rink : rearranged for 26 February 1979

20 December 1978

CHRIS COYNE (1999) Born this day Brisbane, Australia

 

Signed from Perth Soccer Club for £20,000 in January 1996. Brisbane-born son of former Tranmere Rovers striker John, who impressed in youth trials. The burly central defender made his sole senior appearance when coming on as substitute against Leeds United in a 1-5 home defeat 1st May 1999. Spent a while on loan at Southend United before his debut. Unable to get another sniff in the first XI Chris was loaned out north of the boarder to Hibernian and was eventually signed by Scottish club Dundee on a free transfer in April 2000. Despite releasing the husky Aussie pivot on a free, West Ham stand to make £50,000 based upon his appearances at Dens Park, as well as including a sell-on clause in the move north of the border. Luto Town signed him for £50,000 in 2001 and quickluy became first choice centre back. After Luton went into admistration during the 2007-08 season, Coyne was sold to Colchester United in January 2008 for a club record transfer fee of £350,000.

EARLY   POSTPONEMENT

Thanks to the co-operation of referee Mr. Derek Civil, our team avoided an unnecessary journey to Luton.

 

Mr. Civil made an early inspection of the pitch at Kenilworth Road, of which (to quote a Hatters' official) "half was like a skating rink."

 

John Lyall's immediate response at 9.45 a.m. was: " Well, I'll have to take them out for some training, instead! . . . and he did ! The squad also had a " session" on Christmas Day.

29 December 1978

NEIL FINN (1997) Born this day Rainham, Essex

 

New Year's Day 1996 will be a day that Neil Finn will never forget. It was just three days past his 17th birthday and, following the suspension of first-choice goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko and injury to his deputy Les Sealey, he became the then youngest player ever to appear in a Premiership match. A product of the Hammers' Academy, the youngster had only played three reserve games but made an accomplished senior debut. Despite suffering with hamstring problems, he performed well in a 2-1 defeat by Manchester City at Maine Road. In March 1998, Neil went on loan to Dorchester Town and, on being released by the Hammers at the end of the season, joined Aldershot Town on a free transfer. After a spell out of the game, he joined non-league Romford in 2004.

29 December 1978

KIERON DYER (2007 - 2011) Born this day Ipswich, Suffolk

 

Kieron Dyer endured a terrible start to his West Ham United career. Disaster struck the pacy midfielder at the end of August 2007, just six days after winning his 33rd England cap against Germany, when he suffered a double fracture of his right leg in the League Cup second round tie at Bristol Rovers. That was only Dyer's third appearance following his £6m return south from Newcastle United on 16 August and it looked likely to rule him out of the remainder of the 2007-08 campaign. The Ipswich-born livewire, originally joined his hometown club as a schoolboy and won England youth caps, after scoring a dozen goals in 113 league and cup outings for the Portman Road side he was snapped up by Newcastle United for £6.5m in July 1999. As his stature on Tyneside continued to grow, he was named in the 2002-03 PFA Premiership team of the season. On the international stage, he made a late substitute appearance against Switzerland in the Euro 2004 finals but, yet again, he saw his subsequent seasons punctuated by shin, knee and eye injuries, while a serious hamstring problem forced him to miss out on the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The subsequent arrival of Sam Allardyce on Tyneside, coupled with Dyer's desire to move south after an eight-season stint at St James' Park - where he scored 36 goals in 251 league and cup games for the Magpies - led to him joining West Ham United on a four-year contract. Dyer made his Hammers debut in the 1-0 win at Birmingham City two days later and after coming agonisingly close to scoring his first-ever England goal in the friendly with Germany, he then impressed on his home debut against Wigan Athletic. But just as he was finding his feet, that untimely broken leg, sustained just ten minutes into the cup tie at Bristol Rovers, looked set to rule the luckless midfielder out of action until mid-2008.

The Boleyn Ground was treated to a Hammers goal fest as West Ham United saw out 1978 in style. A 2-0 defeat to Leyton Orient on the same turf two days earlier was quickly forgotten as Alan Taylor, Bryan Robson, David Cross and an own goal from John Curtis eased the home side to victory. The Hammers finished a strong season in fifth place whilst their visitors were left to face the peril of relegation after finishing bottom of the league.