Anniversary

Dieter Eckstein
Born: 12 March 1964, Kehl, West Germany
National team: West Germany
Clubs: 1. FC Nuremberg, Eintracht Frankfurt, 1. FC Nuremberg, FC Schalke 04, West Ham United, SV Waldhof Mannheim, FC Winterthur, FC Augsburg, SG Post/Süd Regensburg, SV Heidingsfeld, TSV Neusäß, FC Erzberg-Wörnitz, FSV Weißenbrunn, TSV Burkersdorf

The much-travelled Dieter Eckstein joined West Ham United from German Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04 in 1995. The 31-year-old former West Germany international forward had previously helped his country to reach the semi-finals of the 1988 UEFA European Championship and had scored nearly 100 league goals in his homeland. It was therefore hoped Eckstein could continue his prolific ways in English football when manager Harry Redknapp moved to bring him to east London.

Unfortunately for both Eckstein and the Hammers, the German did not make a single first-team appearance for the club and, after a short period, he moved on to Bundesliga 2 side SV Waldhof Mannheim for the remainder of the 1995/96 season.

Eckstein rediscovered his scoring touch at Swiss side FC Winterthur in 1996 before netting 26 times in 48 games for Germany regional league club FC Augsburg. From there, Eckstein dropped into the lower divisions before hanging up his boots. Having survived both testicular cancer and a heart attack, Eckstein continues to work as a coach.

Classic match

West Ham United 1-0 Manchester City
Division One
12 March 1977

West Ham United were in all kinds of relegation trouble when Division One title-chasers Manchester City arrived at the Boleyn Ground on this date in 1977.

The Hammers had been thrashed 6-0 in their previous league game at Sunderland the previous weekend - an embarrassing result that saw them drop to 20th place and into the relegation zone. While West Ham had won their three matches prior to that defeat at home to Stoke City and Bristol City and at Arsenal, few supporters would have given John Lyall's men much hope of turning over Tony Book's Manchester City.

As so often happens, however, the Hammers turned the table on its head by pulling off a memorable 1-0 victory, with Bryan 'Pop' Robson scoring the only goal of the game. At the other end, the central defensive pair of Kevin Lock and Bill Green kept the likes of Joe Royle, Brian Kidd, Asa Hartford and Dennis Tueart quiet with a determined display.

The result would have a massive bearing on both club's fortunes come the end of the season, with Manchester City being pipped to the title by just one point by Liverpool, while West Ham dodged the drop by just one point to finish 17th courtesy of a dramatic 4-2 final-day win over Manchester United.

Complete record - 12 March

2005 Reading 3-1 West Ham United (Championship)
1997 West Ham United 3-2 Chelsea (Premier League)
1988 Charlton Athletic 3-0 West Ham United (Division One)
1983 Liverpool 3-0 West Ham United (Division One)
1977 West Ham United 1-0 Manchester City (Division One)
1966 West Ham United 4-1 Blackburn Rovers (Division One)
1960 Blackpool 3-2 West Ham United (Division One)
1955 Stoke City 0-2 West Ham United (Division Two)
1949 Cardiff City 4-0 West Ham United (Division Two)
1938 Newcastle United 2-2 West Ham United (Division Two)
1932 West Ham United 2-1 Derby County (Division One)
1930 Portsmouth 3-1 West Ham United (Division One)
1928 West Ham United 4-0 Leicester City (Division One)
1927 West Ham United 3-0 Sheffield United (Division One)
1921 Barnsley 1-1 West Ham United (Division Two)

Played 15, Won 7, Drawn 2, Lost 6, Scored 26, Conceded 26