Tuesday, February 25

Daily WHUFC News - 25th February 2014

New date for Hull
West Ham's home meeting with Hull City will now take place on Wednesday 26

West Ham United's home Barclays Premier League clash with Hull City will now
be played on Wednesday 26 March with a 7.45pm kick-off. The game was
originally scheduled for Saturday 8 March but needed to be moved due to
Hull's continued involvement in the FA Cup with Budweiser, which now sees
them take on Sunderland in the competition's quarter-finals.

Bobby Moore OBE 1941-1993
West Ham United and England's finest-ever captain Bobby Moore OBE died on
this day 21 years ago

Bobby Moore OBE, West Ham United's most famous player and England's 1966
World Cup-winning captain, sadly passed away on this day 21 years ago. The
central defender made 646 league and cup appearances for the Hammers,
scoring 27 goals. Moore was born in Barking on 12 April 1941, making his
debut for his local club in a 3-2 win over Manchester United at the Boleyn
Ground as a 17-year-old on 8 September 1958. It was the start of a
glittering career that is remembered fondly by football fans the world over.
As a West Ham player, Moore lifted the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup
Winners' Cup in 1965. A year later, he was back at Wembley to complete an
unforgettable hat-trick by lifting the Jules Rimet Trophy following
England's 4-2 victory over West Germany.
Moore would go on to star at the 1970 World Cup finals in Mexico before
moving to Fulham, for whom he played against the Hammers in the 1975 FA Cup
final. Following his retirement, Moore moved first into management and then
into the world of broadcasting before his life was cut short by cancer in
February 1993. He was just 51.
Fellow Hammers legend Billy Bonds MBE recalls Bobby's memory fondly. He
said: "Mooro was an absolute icon. I respected a lot of team-mates and
opponents down the years but he was the only person in my entire career, who
made me feel that way. "He was fantastic to me from the day that I arrived
and I loved him as a player and as a person. Bobby Moore had a presence both
off and on the field. "There was no side to him at all and, having lifted
the World Cup, he'd been the most famous person on the planet on that July
afternoon at Wembley in 1966 but, despite all of that, Bobby wasn't the
slightest bit lairy. Mooro treated everyone the same, no matter who they
were. "Bobby Moore wasn't a particularly good header of the ball and he
wasn't very quick either but, boy, his timing was impeccable. He didn't need
to be good in the air or fast because he could read the game so well - he
always seemed to be in the right place at the right time to nick the ball
off a centre-forward. "And he was just so good at bringing the ball out of
defence and starting attacks, too."

Nobes lauds perfect February
Mark Noble was in positive mood after helping West Ham United to four wins
out of four in February

After a tough start to 2013/14 that saw West Ham United begin the New Year
in the Barclays Premier League relegation zone, the Hammers roared back to
form in February. Sam Allardyce's side won four league games out of four in
the month, scoring nine goals and conceding just one. Over the same period,
West Ham climbed from 18th and two points from safety to tenth, seven points
clear of the bottom three. While the improvement has been a real team
effort, the form of midfielder Mark Noble has been a recognisable highlight
in recent weeks. The No16 played every minute in February, chalking up an
assist for Mohamed Diame in the 2-0 win over Norwich City and making a
team-high 154 passes and 16 tackles over the four matches. Unsurprisingly,
Noble is enjoying the Club's first four-match winning league run since May
2007, when he was part of the team which miraculously avoided relegation by
winning their final four league fixtures. "I was in that run as well, wasn't
I?" he smiled "That's nice. I can't remember it, if I am honest, but
obviously I remember that season. I didn't know that is when we last won
four in a row. "It's a similar situation, really. We were obviously low in
the league, so a draw and four wins in a row is superb. Up until a month ago
I don't even think we had achieved back-to-back wins for two years, and then
we win four in a row. That is just what you get for working hard and taking
your chances."

Many commentators have suggested it was a goalless draw at Chelsea on 29
January - where West Ham repelled 39 shots on their goal - that proved to be
the catalyst for the Hammers' winning run. However, Noble believes the
confidence drawn from the 2-0 win at Cardiff City on 11 January was the real
start of the resurgence. There, West Ham overcame the loss of James Tomkins
to a red card at 1-0, with the midfielder himself scoring a last-gasp
clincher. "To be honest it has been an accumulation of things. We went away
to Cardiff and that was a massive game. We went down to ten men on 70
minutes and we won it 2-0, then we played at home to Newcastle [and llost
3-1]. Then, we went away to Chelsea and defended well and then obviously we
have now won four games in a row. Three of those teams are among the ones
around us and they are the teams you have to beat. "I think the top six or
seven are out of sight and the rest are fighting for places. It has been
enjoyable in the last month. We have come back from Dubai, where we had a
good team-bonding thing out there. We trained and had some free time which
we enjoyed and we have come back and put another win on the board."

Saturday saw Noble at his best yet again, making a team-high 33 passes and
four tackles as West Ham upset a Southampton side which had not lost in the
league since New Year's Day. "Everyone said how good Southampton are," Noble
added. "I think they had taken 19 points away from home already this season.
They came here and we ended up winning 3-1. The confidence is high, it is
five games unbeaten now and we are looking forward to whatever comes our

That 'whatever' is a trip to Everton on Saturday. West Ham's five-match
unbeaten run will no doubt come under threat at Goodison Park, where Everton
have lost just once in 12 home league matches this season. The Toffees also
won 3-2 in the reverse fixture at the Boleyn Ground in September - a game
that saw Noble score before being sent-off for two bookable offences. After
his dismissal, Leighton Baines and Romelu Lukaku netted late goals to send
West Ham spiralling to a disappointing home defeat. However, with confidence
high and striker Andy Carroll available again after a three-match
suspension, Noble says the Hammers have nothing to fear from their trip to
Merseyside. "Yeah. I remember we were 2-1 up and I scored a penalty and I
think there were only ten minutes to go," he recalled. "We always look back
and see that game as what was going wrong with our season in the first half
of it. "Has Baines scored another free kick this season? I don't think he
has. It just seemed like it was all happening to us and we didn't deserve
it. We were getting punished and that is what happens in this league. Now we
are solid and scoring goals it shows what a team we are."

Reading 0-2 Dev Squad: FT
Live text commentary from the Development Squad's match against Reading

Reading U21 0-2 Development Squad

Full-time: A win for the young Hammers arrives courtesy of a brilliant
Elliot Lee volley and Blair Turgott's tidy finish. A very good team
performance from the Under-21s saw them dominate for long periods with the
hosts struggling to create chances. When they did, Spiegel was in inspired
form making two great saves. A well deserved win is the squad's second in a
row. Get in!
90+2 mins: Whithead tries a long-range spectacular with a half-volley from
just inside the Reading half but doesn't connect cleanly and it goes out for
a goal-kick.
90 mins: Three minutes of stoppage time indicated as the Hammers look to
have done enough to earn a second consecutive win.
89 mins: That spell of play just goes to show how small the margins are in
football. Reading come within inches of scoring a late equaliser before
conceding a second less than a minute later. Great entertainment here.
87 mins GOAL: Turgott wraps it up! The winger slams home first time from
Fanimo's centre following a swift counter-attack.
86 mins: The post comes to the rescue as Kelly hits a wonderful long-range
half-volley which had Spiegel beaten before rebounding off the upright. What
an effort!
84 mins: Haycock makes his second change, bringing on Makasi for Lletget. A
good shift from the midfielder tonight who linked up well with Lee up top.
82 mins: What a save! Spiegel produces his second fantastic stop of the
night as he gets down to deny Ugwu from close-range as the forward prodded
powerfully goalward. Super Spiegel to the rescue for the Hammers.
80 mins: Great running from Lee who shrugs off the attentions of Kuhl before
scuffing a shot over the bar. The forward has been full of running tonight
and a menace to the Royals' back four.
78 mins: Tshibola launches a long diagonal looking for Tanner and Fanimo
flicks the ball out for a corner. From the resulting set-piece Burke leaps
to head the ball clear.
76 mins: Reading are probing around the West Ham penalty area but have found
no joy so far today. They'll have to come up with something a bit different
if they want to level things up.
74 mins: Chambers goes off to a good ovation as he's substituted for Burke.
Chambers has been excellent tonight, making a couple of key interceptions as
well as providing composure on the ball at the back for the Hammers.
72 mins: Fanimo just fails to link-up with Lee as he attacks the opposition
box. Close but not quite.
70 mins: A second change of the match for the home side. They take off Keown
and replace him with No 14 Cooper.
68 mins: Signs of life from the Royals who attack down the right with Long
crossing to the centre where Ugwu put his header well wide after stretching
for the ball.
65 mins: Spiegel's been a by-stander for much of the match but the one time
he was called into action he made a terrific stop to keep the scores level.
That may prove to be a crucial moment in this match.
63 mins: Fosu-Henry runs off to be replaced by Kelly as the hosts make their
first change.
61 mins: Fanimo looks to be racing way until the linesman signals he was
offside as he chased Lee's through ball.
59 mins: Chambers makes a great interception to thwart the Reading attack as
he backtracked. It's been a very tidy performance so far from the
centre-back and his partner Potts.
57 mins: The ball breaks to Fanimo who slides it through for Lee. The
striker takes it first time but the 'keeper saves low to his right. Great
chance for the striker to bag his second.
56 mins: A scrappy period of play this with both sides committing fouls as
they search for some rhythm.
54 mins: The Hammers have started the second period on the front foot but
have been unable to carve an opportunity from their possession so far.
51 mins: Professional foul by Whitehead who recieves a talking to for
upending Tshibola as Reading counter-attacked.
49 mins: Knoyle is absolutely clattered as he stops the run of Sweeney whose
momentum flattens the defender. He's on his feet though and should be able
to continue.
48 mins: An early free-kick as Tshibola handles midway inside his own half.
Lee steps up, bouyed by his earlier goal, but sends the ball high into the
stand behind the goal.
46 mins: Reading kick-off the second half looking to claw back the Hammers
who lead thanks to a stunner from Lee.

Half-time: The whistle goes for the end of a competitive first half. The
Hammers have the lead thanks to a brilliant volleyed goal from Elliot Lee
just a couple of minutes before the break. The visitors have enjoyed the
best of the chances so far with Turgott and Lletget also close to opening
the scoring. At half-time the Hammers are good value for their lead.

45 mins: That was a touch of class from Lee who let the ball drop over his
shoulder before firing his volley into the opposite corner. Superb.
43 mins GOAL: What a goal from Lee! The striker does brilliantly to turn a
volley home from a ball into the area. Great strike!
42 mins: The hosts have come into the game after a strong spell from the
Hammers who've performed well so far as we come up to half-time.
41 mins: Whitehead hoists a free-kick into the area where Turgott is unable
to bring the ball down and it rolls out of play.
39 mins: Chambers makes an important interception as Griffin crosses into
the centre.
37 mins: The Royals earn themselves a corner which Tanner takes. Keown meets
it powerfully but Spiegel makes a great diving save before Fanimo is able to
boot the ball clear.
35 mins: Lee's been quiet so far, but has himself a free-kick just outside
the area as he lures the defender into a foul. Fanimo whips it in and Ugwu
is back to make an important headed clearance.
33 mins: Reading have themselves a corner as Page makes a clearance. Tanner
swings it into the box where Turgott clears.
31 mins: Chambers and Turgott play a nice one-two before Turgott has a shot
deflected off for a corner. Fanimo takes and Potts gets up highest to head
straight at Lincoln. The defender is adjudged to have fouled his marker in
the build-up to the chance however.
29 mins: Ugwu turns a long ball into the path of Long who's just unable to
collexct as Chambers gets in to clear.
27 mins: Spiegel is yet to be tested by the Royals who've struggled to cope
with Fanimo and Turgott down the flanks. The Hammers best moments have come
from the two wingers so far.
25 mins: Confusion in the Reading ranks as the keeper and centre-back get in
a muddle. Lincoln clears but only after a back pass which nearly caught him
23 mins: A great piece of play from Chambers sees him dribble the ball past
two players before a Cruyff turn which leaves Ugwu committing a foul on the
20 mins: A couple of great chances there for the visitors, let's hope they
don't come back to haunt them.
18 mins: So close again! The Hammers are having a purple patch now as
Lletget goes within inches of opening the scoring. The midfielder collects
Whitehead's pass before curling a shot just past the post.
16 mins: Close! A great cross from Fanimo finds Turgott unmarked in the
centre but the winger can only direct his header straight at Lincoln.
14 mins: Chambers does well to cut-out another probing pass destined for
Ugwu and the striker plants a shove in his back, conceding a free-kick in
the process.
12 mins: The home side are growing in confidence and Ugwu is nearly clean
through on goal as he looks to latch onto a through ball. The offside flag
is raised however.
9 mins: Reading enjoy a spell of keep ball amongst their back five before
eventually firing a long ball toward the left which drifts out of play.
7 mins: Turgott lively again as he dances inside onto his right foot and
fires toward goal. His shot is deflected and comfortable for the 'keeper.
6 mins: Turgott races onto Potts' through ball and forces a corner as he
looks to find a teammate in the centre. The winger takes but it's easy for
the home defence.
4 mins: Fanimo's clearance finds Stacey who hits a first-time shot out for a
throw-in. One he'll want to forget.
3 mins: Long combines with Stacey down the Hammers' left and crosses but
it's overhit and flies over the bar.
1 min: Lletget races away immediately from the kick-off and fires a
left-foot shot goalward. His effort has the keeper scrambling but slides
just wide of the post. Great start.

Kick-off: West Ham kick us off at the Camrose Ground, kicking from right to
left into the wind.
6:57pm: Reading in their usual blue and white stripes and West Ham
resplendent in their glorious claret and blue shirts emerge from the tunnel
as we prepare to get under-way in Basingstoke.
6:48pm: The teams head back inside the changing rooms as they prepare to go
head-to-head in this Barclays Under-21 Premier League clash.
6:35pm: There are a fair few spectators who've braved the elements pouring
into the Camrose Ground, with a fair few of those making a trip to the
burger van to my left. The rain has eased slightly and the pitch would seem
to be in perfect condition.
6:21pm: Both sides have emerged from the tunnel and are now into their
pre-match routines. The Hammers will have to play well tonight to earn the
three points against a Reading side who've lost just once in their last five
matches, and scoring two wins in that period.
6:15pm: The tunes are on and the 'keepers are out here in Basingstoke.
Haycock is also out and surveying surroundings at the Skrill South club.
6:00pm: The pitch is in good nick here at the Camrose Ground despite the
heavy rain currently seaping into the turf. We're awaiting the teams to
begin their warm-ups.
Nick Haycock is back in the dug-out tonight as he takes the Development
Squad to the home of Basingstoke Town FC to play Reading. Haycock was in
Dubai with the first team when the Under-21s were last in action, beating
Southampton 1-0 courtesy of a wonder strike from Danny Whitehead. That win
was the young Hammers first of 2014 and they will be hoping to follow it up
with victory against the lowly Royals. The home side occupy 19th place in
the Barclays Under-21 Premier League but did score a 2-1 victory against
Arsenal last time out.
A West Ham squad, containing the returning Raphael Spiegel in goal, will
look to secure the three points which would boost their hopes of returning
to the top four in the table. The young Hammers lie sixth in the league
table at present, just one point off fourth placed Liverpool.
West Ham United: Spiegel, Knoyle, Page, Whitehead, Potts, Chambers, Turgott,
Cullen, Lee, Lletget, Fanimo
Subs: Burke, Nemrava, Sadlier, Makasi, Brown
Reading: Lincoln, Long, Griffin, Tshibola, Sweeney, Keown, Stacey, Kuhl,
Ugwu, Tanner, Fosu-Henry
Subs: Hyam, Ward, Cooper, Fridjonsson, Kelly

Lucash returns
Filed: Monday, 24th February 2014
By: Staff Writer

Former West Ham United captain Lucas Neill is back in English football after
signing a short-term contract with Watford. The 35-year-old Australian
international has joined the Championship club for the remainder of the
2013/14 season, subject to international clearance being obtained. Neill
spent just over two years in east London having rejected Liverpool in order
to join the Icelandic revolution in January 2007. He was named club captain
upon the sale of predecessor Nigel Reo-Coker to Aston Villa in July of the
same year. He left West Ham in the summer of 2009 having rejected a one-year
contract extension, said to be worth around half the £70k-per-week
"Magnusson" contract he previously enjoyed. A brief spell at Everton then
followed before Neill moved to Turkey in order to join Galatasaray. After a
year-and-a-half with Gala, Neill moved on to UAE Pro League Club Al Jazira
before being released a year later. Three months at Al Wasl followed - after
which he was effectively fired as the club's lone foreign player. In
February last year the right back returned to Australian where he signed a
short-term deal with the A-League club. Just six months later the
globetrotting Neil was off to Japan, where he signed a four-month deal with
Omiya Ardija. A contract extention was not forthcoming, hence Neill's return
to English football.

West Ham's Mark Noble believes he is playing best football of career
Last Updated: 24/02/14 5:13pm

Mark Noble believes he is playing the best football of his career and would
love to force his way into Roy Hodgson's England squad. The 26-year-old West
Ham midfielder enjoyed another impressive display at Upton Park on Saturday
when the east Londoners beat Southampton 3-1. And Noble said: "I think I am
playing the best football of my career right now as far as my all-round game
is concerned - winning back the ball and starting us off to play. "I have
probably played as well as I ever have in 90 per cent of the games so far
this season but when you are losing it doesn't show. "To be picked for my
country is my ultimate goal, as it should be with any English player. "The
subject has come up a few times before and people have said when an
international squad is about to be announced, 'you've definitely got a
chance', but it hasn't happened. "All I can do, though, is go out there
every week and in training and try my hardest.
"Roy Hodgson hasn't spoken to me but I will carry on enjoying what I do,
working hard for the team and all being well one day I will get my chance."

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce says Kevin Nolan has repaid club for two red
Last Updated: 24/02/14 5:10pm

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce believes Kevin Nolan has repaid the club for the
two red cards he received earlier this season. Nolan was sent off in quick
succession against Liverpool and Fulham, meaning he missed a number of key
games as West Ham struggled at the wrong end of the table, and Allardyce
admits the dismissals were 'one of the lowest points of his career' for the
midfielder. However, the former Bolton man has bounced back from that
disappointment and has been instrumental in West Ham's climb up the table
with five goals in four games and Allardyce never doubted Nolan would come
good. "I know his qualities and I like the fact that he's gone about his job
and made sure he repays everybody at the club for what happened," said
"It was his lowest point of his career. It wasn't just the one sending off;
it was two in a short period of time, but his contribution since then has
been massive and it is not only in the goals, but also the contribution with
the first goal which was a top quality pass. "Everyone talks about him being
with Andy (Carroll), but Andy hasn't been here for a while, and Kevin's
still feeding off the front men with the balls going in the box, and our
quality in the final third is getting so much better now. "Because it's
getting so much better is the reason why we're winning games of football
now, because we've always been good at defending."

By Iain Dale 24 Feb 2014 at 13:45
West Ham Till I Die

1. Sam Allardyce hasn't lost the dressing room.
2. David Sullivan and David Gold have balls of steel.
3. Adrian has proved to be rather better than we thought in December.
4. We should never have let Carlton Cole leave in May.
5. Ravel Morrison has proved not to be the player we thought he was in
6. Bobby Moore is even prouder of Jonjo Heuerman.
7. Winston Reid has a fight on his hands to get back into the team.
8. We should all be ashamed of ourselves for our comments on Kevin Nolan.
9. Scoring goals is not something confined to other teams.
10. With apologies to Harold Wilson, a month is a very long time in

Guilty consciences: Why Bobby Moore has become more revered in death than he
ever was in life
Feb 20, 2013 07:301
The Mirror

Bobby Moore was an idol of mine, too. When he died 20 years ago this
weekend, I took the front page of a national newspaper that commemorated his
passing and stuck it up on my wall. "Bobby Moore," the headline said, "A
True Hero Who'll Never Be Forgotten." I never saw Moore play. I never met
him, either. Of all the people in the game, I wish I could have shaken hands
with but never did, Moore and Bill Shankly top the list. His reputation has
not faded in the two decades that have now passed since he died at the age
of 51 from bowel cancer. Far from it, in fact. His legend has grown and
grown. Initial reactions to a man's death are, typically, uncomplicated by
inconvenient recollections of character flaws. Indeed, in the aftermath of
Moore's tragically early end, the elegies centred on Moore's personal
qualities as much as his football. He was, everyone agreed, 'a perfect
gentleman', 'a perfect pro', 'a great person in every sense'.

The funny thing about Moore is that the intervention of time has done
nothing either to dull or dilute those recollections. His memory has been
cherished with such steadfastness that, if anything, he is regarded as even
more flawless now. Partly, that is because that the vast majority of people
who knew him regarded him with great affection as well as admiration. He was
a popular man, a man's man, one of the chaps, a gentle man possessed of
great generosity of spirit.
But partly, it is because of guilt.

Partly, it is because he was treated like dirt towards the end of his life
and we have been trying desperately to over-compensate for it ever since.
Moore is revered in death but in life he was shunned by almost every part of
the football establishment. He found work at Capital Radio in the end,
driving to matches with his mate, the commentator Jonathan Pearce. Still, we
have never forgiven ourselves for his banishment. The greatest sporting hero
we ever had was treated pretty much like a pariah. It's different now. At
Wembley, before England's match against Brazil earlier this month, a slogan
on the big screen encouraging donations to the bowel cancer charity set up
in his name urged us to 'Make Bobby Proud'. 1970 World Cup Finals,
Guadalajara, Mexico 7th June, 1970, England 0 v Brazil 1, Bobby Moore and
Pele embrace after a fantastic personal dual throughout the match1970 World
Cup Finals, Guadalajara, Mexico 7th June, 1970, England 0 v Brazil 1, Bobby
Moore and Pele embrace after a fantastic personal dual throughout the match
It was an interesting, cleverly-devised message that played on the idea of
Moore as a benevolent force we must seek to please. There's a stand named
after him at Upton Park, of course, and a lovely statue with a fine
inscription outside Wembley. Fans will gather there on the anniversary of
his death on Sunday before the Capital One Cup Final to gaze up at the
likeness of England's World Cup winning skipper.

More tributes will be paid to him and we will mourn afresh for the time when
England's place in the football world was still a matter of pride.
Sometimes, it feels as though Moore's memory has become a giant stick used
to beat the ingrates of the current footballing generation. He was perfect
on and off the pitch, he tackled Pele in full flow, he wiped his hands
before he took the World Cup from our young Queen. How could anyone ever
match that? Some use his memory to portray the current generation of players
as an embarrassment to the game. They use their behaviour on and off the
pitch as evidence and talk as if Moore belonged to a different species. That
ignores inconvenient truths like the fact that the current England squad
have made generous donations to the Bobby Moore Fund. It ignores the fact
that many of our current players, men like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and
others, play the game with the same commitment to excellence Moore had. And,
most importantly of all, it ignores the fact that part of the reason Moore
was revered was precisely because he was one of the lads. He wasn't some
remote, haughty, buttoned-up skipper. He liked a drink. He loved a night
out. And to mock those who have followed him, to say that they are somehow
not worthy, is to ignore the lessons we are supposed to have learned when we
shunned him. I see Moore's legacy everywhere now. I saw it when I went to a
corporate evening at The Emirates recently and Charlie George gave us a
stadium tour. I see it when I read of the delight of Manchester United fans
who have been entertained on match days by a talk from Norman Whiteside. I
see it when I watch an interview with Didi Hamann on Liverpool's website.
And I see it in the determination, doomed or otherwise, to try to save Paul
Gascoigne from himself.

Footballers and ex-footballers deserve our respect and our gratitude for the
entertainment they have given us. The guilt we feel about the way we treated
the great Bobby Moore taught us that.

In memory: St George's flag to fly at half mast at Wembley on Sunday for
Bobby Moore
Feb 21, 2013 17:05 By Mirror Football
The Mirror

The flag of St George will fly at half mast at Wembley this Sunday as a mark
of respect to England's only World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore. Bradford
are taking on Swansea in the Capital One Cup final and it will be exactly 20
years since the death of Moore from liver and colon cancer, aged just 51.
Earlier this month, FA chairman David Bernstein handed over a £25,000 cheque
to the Bobby Moore Fund, with England skipper Steven Gerrard confirming the
players would match that donation. In addition, the FA promoted 'text to
donate' messages around the stadium during England's friendly win over
Brazil - a policy they have pledged to repeat at future England home games,
in addition to the FA Cup semi-finals and final later this season. The most
prestigious section of Club Wembley has been named the Bobby Moore Club, an
association that entitles the BMF, amongst other things, to host an annual
match at Wembley to generate additional funds. Moore's first wife Tina and
daughter Roberta were invited to Wembley this week by FA director of
football development Sir Trevor Brooking ahead of Sunday's anniversary.
"Bobby's contribution to football and history has sadly only been recognised
after his premature death," said Brooking. "He was an astonishing
footballer, but also a great man and an important footballing friend to me
in my early days." Former West Ham and England team-mate Sir Geoff Hurst
added: "Bobby Moore was a great player, a great leader and a great
friend."He was loved and respected by all who played with him and by all who
watched him perform."

Bishop: the truth about Morley
Filed: Tuesday, 25th February 2014
By: Staff Writer

Former West Ham United star Ian Bishop has revealed the full details of what
really happened on the infamous night that team mate Trevor Morley was

In March 1991, the news that Morley was critically ill in hospital having
been wounded in a domestic incident shook West Ham. The striker's Norwegian
wife Hege was held responsible, although the reasons for the dispute were

Shortly after the incident occurred two main rumours regarding the source of
Mrs Morley's fury emerged. Firstly it was claimed that that Morley and team
mate Bishop had been caught with two women in a compromising position by
Hege - but secondly, and with far wider consequences for the two players'
careers, that no women had been involved in the liaison.

The latter rumour - that the two friends and team mates were involved in a
gay relationship - is a falsehood that pervades to this day. It is an
allegation that Bishop, speaking exclusively in the latest episode of the
KUMB.com Podcast, calls "evil" - and a record he was keen to finally set

Taking up the story, Bishop, 48 - who now resides in the United States -
said: "We were at a function for Tony Gale in Chigwell and we shouldn't have
been because it was two nights before a game. But we did it for Galey.

"We thought 'we won't drink too much', because you're not allowed to before
a game. As much as we were a bit of a drinking squad at the time we didn't
abuse it, we didn't go out after a Wednesday.

"You couldn't, because it was your club, your team - you wouldn't disrespect
the club and the supporters in that way. But this night was a function with
our wives in Chigwell, where I lived; Trevor lived in Waltham Abbey.

"After the function, Trevor and his wife came back to our house; we'd had a
couple of beers and they were arguing. After that, she waited in a cab
outside whilst he was finishing a beer in the house. My next-door neighbour
and his wife were there too. Eventually, Trevor and Hege went home

That was the last Bishop saw of his team mate that night - and news of what
had happened upon the couple's return home was broken to him by manager
Billy Bonds the next day after Bish's regular chauffeur at the time - Morley
- failed to collect him for work.

"I was on a driving ban at the time and Trevor was picking me up every
morning," he continued. "I was late for training because he didn't turn up.
When Bill told me [what had happened], it was the first I knew of it.

"Bill said apparently his [Morley's] wife had come home and found us with
two birds - which, considering what the other rumours were, I would have
taken as that would have been a far better story for me! My wife would have
killed me, but luckily enough, she was there at the time..."

It wasn't long before rumours of an alleged relationship between the two
players began to emerge - and soon Bishop and Morley were fending off not
only disgusting abuse from the terraces the length and breadth of the
country, but also the unwelcome advances of the press who sniffed a big

"It was ugly and evil; you know what football fans are like," Bishop
recalled. "We got dogs abuse and I don't think Trevor dealt with it too
well. Obviously he nearly died as well.

"I had the press come to my house offering me tons of money to do a story. I
could have made something up, taken the money and just laughed at them. But
it was at every game we went to.

"Every time we turned up the sports press, who you thought were your
friends, would come up to you and say 'look, the story's going out tomorrow,
do you want to put your side across? Is there anything you'd like us to say
on your behalf?' And I said 'yeah - write the story and I'll sue you'.

"I can talk about it now. The thing was, I was getting abused but I wouldn't
speak because it wasn't my story. It was Trevor's, and what went on in their
house was between him and his wife."

Although he admits that he used to occasionally react to the very worst
abuse - "I showed my arse to the Manchester United fans once, but I got away
with it because I did it really sneakily", he admits - the slurs are
something that have stayed with him ever since.

And despite some 23 years having passed since Morley was hospitalised and
the subsequent false rumours festered, homophobia remains a major issue
within both football (and sport in general, see the recent Olympic

* To listen to the full interview with Bishop, download the latest episode
of the KUMB.com Podcast.

'I could have moved to West Ham', admits Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba
ahead of Chelsea reunion
Feb 24, 2014 22:30 By John Cross
The Mirror

Didier Drogba could have ended up joining West Ham two years before Chelsea.
Drogba was still a rookie at Guingamp when ex- Hammers boss Glenn Roeder
tried to sign him – and his career would have been very different. "That was
two years before moving to Chelsea, I could have gone there," admitted the
Ivorian. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger also tells a story how he could have got
Drogba for around £200,000 before he went to Marseille. But Wenger decided
not to pursue it as he already had Thierry Henry. He added: "I wasn't really
aware of it at the time. I think I spoke about it with my agents at the
time. "That's life, you know, there's a few things, a few decisions that you
make in life take you in a different direction."



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