Search

A Hammers’ fan shares memories of his first match at Upton Park

14:08 26 February 2014

Peter Sharp was lucky enough to see West Ham United captain Bobby Moore in action. The legend is pictured  leading his team out at Boleyn

Peter Sharp was lucky enough to see West Ham United captain Bobby Moore in action. The legend is pictured leading his team out at Boleyn

S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

Following our recent appeal to readers to share memories of their first match at Upton Park, we feature Peter Sharp’s recollection of the Hammers match against Chelsea in September 1961.

Peter Sharp, on the right, is pictured with fellow Hammers fan Ian Hammond Picture: PontinsPeter Sharp, on the right, is pictured with fellow Hammers fan Ian Hammond Picture: Pontins

He said: “Since there was no adult interested in taking us, my school friend and I, two 12-year-old boys, decided to go to our first West Ham match on our own. Having located the ‘Boys Entrance’ in Castle Street we found ourselves on the old South Bank terrace. Realising that we would otherwise see very little we spent the match sitting on a crush barrier.

“It was September 1961, a warm sunny Saturday afternoon. The opposition was Chelsea, who had just appointed the veteran Scottish defender Tommy Docherty as player manager.

“Docherty had West Ham’s skipper Phil Woosnam off for treatment after a crunching foul, and would have been yellow-carded and sent off by today’s standards, but things were different then. Nevertheless West Ham were two up within half an hour, thanks to their rapid counter-attacking style.

“In the second half Chelsea’s rough, tough tactics continued as they tried to get back into it. The crowd got more and more niggled and the atmosphere got very tense. West Ham had bought the Scotland goalkeeper Lawrie Leslie in the close season and if his ability had matched his courage he’d have been world class.

“Leslie characteristically rushed out and dived headlong for the ball, receiving a boot to the head and a deep cut, and was knocked unconscious. The ball broke free to another Chelsea player who put it in the net. So irate was the crowd that the goal was allowed to stand that several (fans) ran onto the pitch to remonstrate with the referee. Bobby Moore took over in goal (no subs then) and the ten-man West Ham team held on for a 2-1 win. The Sunday papers called it “the battle of Upton Park”.

“Quite an initiation for us, but we were completely hooked from then on.

“Regular attendance continued for many seasons and during the 1960s I had the pleasure and privilege of being present at Wembley Stadium to see the late, great Bobby Moore receive major trophies three years running.”

0 comments

Latest Newham News Stories

07:00
Shahan Ali had to be cut out of his car by the fire brigade and was taken to hospital with neck and back pain

A hit-and-run victim is appealing for help to find the driver who left him injured and trapped in his car.

Prince
Yesterday, 18:45
Commuters face congested roads due to West Ham match. Picture: Andy Butterton/PA Images

Commuters are facing queues due to extra traffic on the roads for the West Ham v Liverpool FA Cup match up this evening at Upton Park.

Yesterday, 16:53
Junior doctors on strike at Newham University Hospital last month

Last-ditch talks are taking place in a bid to avert tomorrow’s planned strike by junior doctors.

Newham University Hospital
Yesterday, 15:04
Ronald Valentine Higgins, pictured in his football kit during his youth

RAF gunner and footballer Ronald Valentine Higgins – so named because he was born on February 14 in 1923 – has died aged 92.

Victoria

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe