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1900-01 Southern League : First Division

West Ham got a home cup-tie they were hoping for when the first round of the FA Cup (more popularly known at the time as the English Cup) was announced, when the draw paired them with Liverpool. Prior to the match a dinner and concert was arranged at the Public Hall, Canning Town. Before proceedings began Mr Cearns proposed a toast to 'West Ham United Football Club'. He thought the club had achieved very satisfactory results, and hoped to see them climb to the top of the Southern League. The toast was enthusiastically drunk, and with a cry 'May they beat Liverpool!'

LIVERPOOL : FA Cup (Supplementary Round)

Memorial Grounds 0 - 1 5 January 1901

Monteith, King, Craig, Dove, Kelly, McEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Reid, Ratcliffe, Kaye

There were great expectations of a large gate for the Liverpool match, and the club arranged for extra entrances and exits, and extra staff to man the turnstiles. However, due to their decision to obtain additional income by doubling the prices, all these arrangements were for nothing as a relatively poor crowd of just 6,000 came through the gates.

As for the match itself, the Hammers entered the field with their usual (for this season) light blue shirts, white shorts with a claret stripe, and black socks. Liverpool followed on, clad in salmon pink! The contest was a titanic struggle in which Monteith, Craig, McEachrane and Dove played exceptionally well in their defensive duties, but the visitors had the class up front. Liverpool won by the only goal, which was hotly disputed. Liverpool's Cox, receiving the ball in an offside position, beat one defender, but Craig with a fair charge knocked him off the ball, but fell himself into the net. Reybould, following up smashed the ball into the net. Several defenders protested, but the referee allowed the goal, and West Ham were out.


01_01_05 WHU v. Liverpool - Daily News

Match report courtesy of Arthur Derian

BRISTOL CITY : Southern League

St John's Lane

0 - 1

12 January 1901

Monteith, King, Pudan, Allan, Kelly, MacEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Reid, Ratcliffe, Kaye

It was back to the 'bread and butter' of the league, and a visit to a very good Bristol City side. Monteith made some excellent saves, although the game was territorially equal, and could have gone either way, but it was City who broke the deadlock and won by a single goal.

ALBERT PUDAN makes his Hammers debut against BRISTOL CITY

SWINDON TOWN : Southern League

Memorial Ground

3 - 1 (Corbett 2, Grassam)

19 January 1901

Monteith, King, Pudan, Allan, Kelly, MacEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Taylor

Weather wise it was another miserable afternoon at the Memorial Grounds when Swindon Town were the visitors. The rain, which had been falling all morning, continued, making the ground very heavy and impossible for good play. The 'Railwaymen' took the lead, but Corbett, who struck the bar after some aggressive play, then equalised after taking a pass from Fergus Hunt, who had run almost the length of the field. Billy Grassam hit the second and Corbett, who was the star on the day, added the third. Dick Pudan, who was standing in for Craig had a torrid time of it, but was covered well by his captain, Roddy McEachrane.

FRANK TAYLOR makes his Hammers debut against SWINDON TOWN at the Memorial Grounds

WATFORD : Southern League

Cassio Road

1 - 0 (Grassam)

26 January 1901

Monteith, King, Craig, Allan, Kelly, MacEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Taylor

At Watford, in a game that saw both Hunt and Taylor hit the bar in the first half, King and Craig stood firm in defence, and Grassam got the winner after the interval.

3 February 1901

ERNEST ENGLAND (1930-1931) Born this day Shirebrook, Derbyshire

Ernest England was a long-serving left-back with Sunderland, when they were a force in the land and could boast of such illustrious company as England international goalkeeper Albert McInroy and a trio of Scottish internationals in right-half Billy Clunas, Tommy McInally and Adam McLean who joined the Wearsiders as a complete left-wing from Glasgow Celtic. The experienced defender made his Hammers' debut in the amazing 5-5 home draw with Aston

Villa on 3 January 1931, and later proved invaluable in passing on his wealth of knowledge to younger players before joining Mansfield Town.

LUTON TOWN : Southern League

Memorial Grounds 2 - 0 (Corbett, Taylor) 9 February 1901

Monteith, King, Craig, Allan, Kelly, MacEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Taylor

With the travel facilities in the area being totally inadequate, it was a great relief that the London, Southend and Tilbury Railway Company at last opened their new station - West Ham - adjoining the ground and on a direct route to Fenchurch Street station. It was expected that this would bring the extra support to the club that was desperately needed. It was ironic then that the attendance for the visit of Luton Town was the equal worst of the season at 1,000! In a 2-0 victory young Frankie Taylor, on his third appearance, was the Irons' best player. It was he and Corbett who were the scorers. Frankie had appeared at outside left for Thames Ironworks on 14 occasions in 1899/1900 and had now worked his way back into the first eleven.


Memorial Grounds 1 - 4 (Grassam) 16 February 1901

Moore, King, Craig, Allan, Kelly, MacEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Taylor

It was now three wins 'on the trot' with the next opponents being Tottenham Hotspur, a fixture which was eagerly awaited. The attendance of 5,500, which was the second best of the campaign in the league, was still lower than expected, being a local derby. It could have been due to the weather, of course, for die rain came down in torrents before the match and for some time afterwards. From the Irons' point of view this was a contest best forgotten as 'Spurs ran out winners by four goals to one. Sadly, most of the blame went to Tommy Moore, in goal for Monteith, who was suffering from lumbago. On the field, Tommy was suffering from a nightmare, as he was directly responsible for three of the visitors' goals. After having given good service to the club, especially under the banner of Thames Ironworks, he never played for the first team again and left at the end of the campaign. Mention of goalkeepers; very often, when under close pressure, they would decide to kick the ball clear rather than attempt to hold it, from fear of having it knocked away from them by a hefty charge, something forwards were allowed to do at the time.


Kensal Rise 2 - 0 (Grassam, Taylor) 23 February 1901

Monteith, King, Pinder, Allan, Kelly, McEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Taylor

A. PINDER makes his Hammers debut against QUEENS PARK RANGERS

Another London derby, this time against Queens Park Rangers at Kensal Rise saw two points gained when the Irons took a two goal lead in the first half through Grassam and Taylor, and maintained it. Monteith had a superb game, and the Rangers' supporters showed their frustration by taking their feelings out on the referee and linesmen. There was some cause for amusement at the start of the match when Rangers were waiting for Alf Hitch (formerly of Thames Ironworks) to take the field. His delay was caused by the apparent loss of his boots and socks. The contest began without him, but after about three minutes he came on in his boots but minus his socks, to much laughter from the crowd.

PORTSMOUTH : Southern League

Memorial Grounds

1 - 1 (McEachrane)

2 March 1901

Monteith, King, Craig, Allan, Kelly, McEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Taylor

When Portsmouth came to town, there had been heavy morning rain, which created muddy conditions, but then a gale force wind picked up from the South West and the visitors enjoyed the benefit of it in their favour in the first half. Billy Joyce, who had played for the Ironworks the previous season, scored for them after 43 minutes. There was an amusing incident after the break, when the referee was accidentally knocked over, and whilst he was on the ground he blew his whistle to stop the game. The Irons kept plugging away for an equaliser and McEachrane got it in the 83rd minute. The crowd were delirious with delight and continued cheering until the final whistle. It had been said that there was not enough vocal encouragement from the crowd at the Memorial Grounds. When a goal was achieved, they were keen to do so. Like the modern chant 'You only sing when you're winning!!'

NEW BROMPTON : Southern League

Priestfield Stadium 1 - 1 (Hunt) 9 March 1901

Monteith, King, Craig, Allan, Kelly, McEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Taylor

A useful away point was picked up in a 1-1 draw at New Brompton, which kept the club in 6th position in the table.

BRISTOL ROVERS : Southern League

Memorial Grounds 2 - 0 (Grassam, Corbett) 16 March 1901

Monteith, King, Craig, Allan, Kelly, McEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Taylor

For most of the campaign the inclement weather appeared to be a regular feature at the Memorial Grounds. When it was not heavy rain, it was cold, with strong winds that blew across the wide-open spaces of an arena that often appeared dismal enough during the winter months. When Bristol Rovers came to Canning Town, it was another morning of rain, indeed right up until kick off, which would have deterred a number of people from travelling, and the extra support that was lost meant less money through the gate. The Hammers mainly had Monteith to thank for the victory, as he saved many a goal bound shot in the second half as the Rovers were chasing a two goal deficit, after Corbett had scored the first in the 18th minute, and Grassam had put a penalty away after the speedy Taylor had been brought down in the box, just before half time.


Memorial Grounds 1 - 0 (Corbett) 21 March 1901

Monteith, King, Craig, Allan, Kelly, McEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Fenton

It was reported in the local press at this time that:- 'The idea of an amalgamation with West Ham and Millwall clubs at the end of this season has caught on rapidly, and is being freely discussed as an almost accomplished fact. It would doubtless be the making of the Memorial Grounds.' Club finances might well have been in a poor state, but someone, thankfully, with the right influence must have persuaded whoever made the proposal, that this was an idea, especially for both sets of supporters, that was not, to put it politely, welcome.

Coincidentally, the 'Dockers' were the next visitors. This was the fixture that was originally abandoned in December due to fog. As it had to be rescheduled for a Thursday, more revenue was lost as only 2,500 were able to get to the match. Usually the attendance for a match against the club's nearest neighbour would have been more than double that figure. The weather was at its worst again, and there was a strong wind blowing, and it was a bitterly cold day. As could have been expected the play was littered with fouls, made worse by a number of offsides, and the visitors left in a bad mood when the Irons scored in the last 5 minutes after the referee had consulted a linesmen to confirm whether it was offside or not.

WADE William

22 March 1901

WILLIAM WADE (1929-1932) Born this day Jarrow, Northumbria

William Alexander Wade was a big, beefy defender who came to Hammers from Preston North End, He had previously played as an amateur for Smith's

High Docks, Bertram F.C. (in the South Shields Combination) and Jarrow F.C. (in the North-Eastern League). Bill made his Hammers debut in the 3-3

draw against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in the opening fixture of the 1929-30 campaign, 31st August 1929. Mainly a reserve at the Boleyn, he returned

North to join the newly-formed Wigan Athletic in 1932.

KETTERING TOWN : Southern League

Rockingham Road 1 - 0 (Grassam) 23 March 1901

Monteith, King, Craig, Allan, Kelly, McEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Kaye

KETTERING TOWN : Southern League

Memorial Grounds 1 - 1 (Taylor) 30 March 1901

Monteith, King, Craig, Allan, Kelly, McEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Taylor

After having beaten Kettering away from home (1-0), a draw just a week later against the same club was a disappointment. Yet another appalling day's weather saw the pitch well soaked due to heavy rain, and any chance of even reasonable football was ruined by a strong gale. With the team having gone six matches unbeaten, a gate that would probably have numbered 4,000, was reduced to 1,000 due to the weather. The team retained their unbeaten run, but after an average performance, they had to come from behind to gain a point when they equalised with just two minutes left, for a 1-1 draw.


Memorial Grounds 2 - 1 (Ratcliffe 2) 5 April 1901

Monteith, King, Craig, Allan, Kelly, McEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Taylor

There was an improved display on Good Friday when Queens Park Rangers were the visitors. Frankie Taylor was in top form again, and it was his run that gave Ratcliffe the opportunity to open the scoring, and Ratcliffe increased the lead before half time. The Irons were deserved winners on a day that saw some bright and sunny weather for a change, even though it was cold.

READING : Southern League

Elm Park 1 - 3 (Grassam) 10 April 1901

Monteith, King, Dove, Allan, Kelly, McEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Taylor

Although gates had been disappointing, due in part to the bad weather all season, the club enjoyed a hard core of support, and always had a number of followers at away matches. A Mr L. Batchelor was one of those who organised various horse-drawn brake parties (the modern equivalent of a mini-bus) that he had been running all season, and he signified his intention of taking up shares in the club. It was hoped that others would follow his lead. There was no brake party for the final away encounter of the season at Reading, one, due to the distance and, two, because the fixture was arranged for Wednesday afternoon. Reading followers themselves were apathetic as the attendance was barely 1,000. Unfortunately West Ham's good run of 8 games without defeat came to an end. Grassam had scored with a long dipping shot in the first half, but the home side scored three goals inside ten minutes in the second.

NEW BROMPTON : Southern League

Memorial Grounds 2 -0 (Ratcliffe, Taylor) 20 April 1901

Monteith, King, Dove, Allan, Kelly, McEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Corbett, Ratcliffe, Taylor

That final fixture was against New Brompton, and played in ideal weather, which was the only time that it had occurred throughout the season. It was a very one-sided affair that ended in a 2-0 victory, and sadly it was to be Charlie Dove's final appearance. Charlie was the only player left at the club who had figured in the first season of the club's history as Thames Ironworks FC back in 1895/96.

The victory meant that West Ham United finished in a respectable 6th position in the Southern League, although the financial situation of the club was still quite weak. Further capital had recently been put into the club, however, and directors and shareholders alike hoped it would put the club on a sounder footing.


12 May 1901

JOHN CAMPBELL (1924-1929) Born this day South Shields, County Durham

A schoolboy goalkeeper who turned centre-forward with some success for his local works team, before continuing his career North of the Border with

Berwick Rangers. Jarrow F.C. soon stepped in to bring him back "home", after being impressed with his performance in the Scottish Border League. It was from the North-Easterners that he joined Hammers for the 1923-24 season, and although he was never a First Team regular, he was nevertheless a valued member of the Upton Park playing-staff during the twenties. Made he debut for the Hammers in a 2-1 victory over Everton at the Boleyn on the 15 March

1924. His finest feat in the claret and blue came in a reserve fixture, however, Johnny's five goals against Fulham in December 1928 contributing to a 13-2 victory which still stands as a West Ham record in a Football Combination match. John was transferred to Clapton Orient in 1929.

17 May 1901

ROBERT DIXON (1928-1933) Born this day Whitehaven, Cumbria

Robert Henry Dixon was mainly an understudy to Ted Hufton during his first two seasons at Upton Park, this former Stoke City goalkeeper had a good run in the First Division side during 1930-31 and 1931-32, proving himself a capable netminder. Bob made his Hammers debut in the 2-4 defeat against Manchester City at Maine Road on the 16 March 1929. However, the arrival of George Watson and the emergence of Pat McMahon as his deputy on West Ham's return to Division II the following season limited Bob to just three more senior outings.

Season 1899-00 Season 1900-01 Season 1901-02

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