A Pictorial History



Steve Marsh & Stuart Allen

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1989-90 Barclays League : Division Two

BOYCE v Swindon

SWINDON TOWN : Barclays League Division Two

Manager: Lou Macari / Billy Bonds

Following relegation at the end of the 1988-89 campaign long-serving manager John Lyall is replaced by Swindon Town boss and former Manchester United player Lou Macari.

The Hammers kicked off the new season with a 1-1 draw at Stoke City, but it’s the worst possible start for West Ham’s star striker Frank McAvennie, who broke his leg at the Victoria Ground and missed the remainder of the campaign.

The side topped the table after home wins over Bradford City and Plymouth Argyle as the team settle down to life in the Second Division.

The League Cup adventure begins when both Birmingham City and Aston Villa are knocked out at the Boleyn Ground. League results continue to be positive with a 2–0 win at Sheffield United followed by a 5–0 thrashing of Sunderland.

For their first-ever league meeting between AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United on 1 November which ended all- square at 1-1. The Dean Court club presented the Hammers with a commemorative silver salver.

A stormy fourth-round tie in east London against Wimbledon sees five bookings; captain Julian Dicks receives an early bath as the Hammers progress to the Quarter-finals courtesy of a Martin Allen screamer.

December was a lean month with only one goal scored in five games, prompting Macari to buy two forwards, Trevor Morley and Jimmy Quinn and midfielder Ian Bishop. The trio of new signings had no immediate impact as they crash out 1-0  in the FA Cup at Fourth Division Torquay United. Two replays were needed to beat Derby County in the League Cup to reach the semi-finals for the second season running.

In March Lou Macari was found guilty by the FA for betting irregularities while at former club Swindon Town. The intense media pressure was not the ideal preparation leading into the semi-final at Oldham. The team gave a woeful display, losing 6–0, and by the end of that week Macari had resigned.

The appointment of Billy Bonds as West Ham’s seventh manager was greeted with enthusiasm and the upsurge in spirits under the former captain’s leadership was remarkable. In the last 17 league games, 10 were won, three drawn, and only four were lost. The final memory of the season was Liam Brady scoring in his last competitive match in the 4–0 home victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The side finished in seventh place, but under ‘Bonzo’ they had shown greater consistency and adopted more attacking flair.