Anniversary

Valon Behrami
Born: 19 April 1985
Clubs: Lugano, Genoa, Verona, Lazio, West Ham United, Fiorentina, Napoli

Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami is today celebrating his 29th birthday, little more than three years after swapping east London for Fiorentina.

Signed by Alan Curbishley on a five-year deal from Lazio in July 2008, he would soon be playing under the stewardship of Gianfranco Zola, as the Italian took the helm at the Boleyn Ground in September of that same year.

Deployed at both full-back and, more successfully, in midfield, the then 23-year-old flourished alongside the likes of Mark Noble and Scott Parker. Behrami started 27 times in his first season with the Hammers, one that was curtailed by a serious knee ligament injury sustained in a 1-0 success over Manchester City on 1 March.

Though it took a full six months for him to return, Behrami more than played his part in the 2009/10 campaign, as Zola's Hammers flirted dangerously with relegation, ending the campaign down in 17th.

Capped 34 times by Switzerland, the all-action midfield man turned out just eight further times in claret and blue, before sealing a switch back to Italy with the Viola. He called time on his Hammers career having racked up 63 appearances and five goals during his two-and-a-half year stay.

Nowadays Behrami is to be found haring around in Napoli's midfield, with whom he penned a five-year deal in the summer of 2012.

Classic match

Watford 0-2 West Ham United
19 April 1986
Division One

John Lyall's Hammers breathed fresh life into a rare title bid with this 2-0 victory at Vicarage Road on 19 April 1986.

A 2-1 defeat at home to Chelsea four days earlier had seen West Ham lose further ground at the top, as they lay in fifth spot, some ten points behind leaders and eventual champions Liverpool.

But there was to be no hangover, as goals from potent strike duo Frank McAvennie and Tony Cottee earned the visitors a much-needed three points. The Scot was on the scoresheet again two days later, as Newcastle United felt the full force of a confident West Ham, succumbing to an amazing 8-1 humbling at the Boleyn Ground.

West Ham would take maximum points from their next four league outings to make it six on the spin, a sequence that propelled the east Londoners to second place and within just four points of the summit. 

Ultimately, however, a 3-1 final-day defeat at Goodison Park saw the Boys of 86 slip back to third, in what remains the club's most successful league campaign in the top flight.

Complete record - April 19

2010 Liverpool 3-0 West Ham United (Premier League)
2008 West Ham United 2-1 Derby County (Premier League)
2005 Stoke City 0-1 West Ham United (Championship)
2003 Bolton Wanderers 1-0 West Ham United (Premier League)
1997 West Ham United 2-2 Everton (Premier League)
1986 Watford 0-2 West Ham United (Division One)
1980 Cardiff City 0-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1976 Ipswich Town 4-0 Ipswich Town (Division One)
1975 West Ham United 1-2 Coventry City (Division One)
1969 Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 West Ham United (Division One)
1965 West Bromwich Albion 4-2 West Ham United (Division One)
1958 West Ham United 1-1 Liverpool (Division Two)
1957 Bristol City 1-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1954 Plymouth Argyle 2-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1952 West Ham United 4-0 Southampton (Division Two)
1947 Newport County 1-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1935 Blackpool 3-2 West Ham United (Division Two)
1930 West Ham United 5-3 Bolton Wanderers (Division One)
1924 Preston North End 2-1West Ham United (Division One)

Played 19, Won 6, Drawn 4, Lost 9, Scored 27, Conceded 31

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