Classic Match

West Ham United 1-0 Preston North End
Championship Play-Off final
Saturday 30 May 2005, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

West Ham United ended their two-year exile from the Premier League by overcoming Preston North End in a closely-contested Championship Play-Off final at the Millennium Stadium.

Alan Pardew's Hammers returned to Cardiff for the second straight season, having been defeated by Crystal Palace the previous May. This time around, however, the east London side would not be denied, with striker Bobby Zamora (pictured) netting the all-important winner on 57 minutes.

For the second campaign in succession, West Ham had confirmed their Play-Off place on the final day of the season, winning 2-1 at Watford to secure sixth position. Ipswich Town were then overcome in the semi-finals for the second year running, setting up a final showdown with fourth-place Preston, who had themselves beaten Derby County over two legs.

West Ham started the final well, with Tomas Repka hitting a post and Preston goalkeeper Carlo Nash denying semi-final hero Matty Etherington. Preston themselves went close through Richard Cresswell, but Zamora would not be denied, converting a smart finish past Nash.

While West Ham did hold on to their slender advantage fairly comfortably, the Hammers had to withstand the loss of goalkeeper Jimmy Walker to a serious knee injury late on and an extended period of added time before they were able to celebrate promotion.

Anniversary

Jim Standen
Born: 30 May 1935, Edmonton, London, England
Clubs: Arsenal, Luton Town, West Ham United, Detroit Cougars, Millwall, Portsmouth

Jim Standen will forever have his name etched into West Ham United for being the Club's goalkeeper during their unforgettable FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup successes in the mid-1960s.

Standen was both in Edmonton in north London before joining Arsenal at the age of 18. He initially found his first-team opportunities limited by the presence of Wales international Jack Kelsey in the Gunners' squad, but he did force his way into the side during the 1960/61. In October 1960, he left Highbury for Division Two club Luton Town.

At Kenilworth Road, Standen found himself playing second-fiddle to England international Ron Baynham and, after failing to force his way into the side, he joined West Ham as an emergency replacement for the injured Lawrie Leslie in late 1962. It was a move he would never have cause to regret.

On Leslie's return, Standen kept his place and was a virtual ever-present over the next four seasons under Ron Greenwood. In 1963/64, his performances helped West Ham to reach the League Cup semi-finals and the FA Cup final, where they overcame Preston North End 3-2 at Wembley to lift the Club's first major trophy.

The following May, Standen and his team-mates were back at Wembley, with the goalkeeper keeping a clean sheet to inspire the Hammers to a 2-0 victory over German side TSV 1860 Munich in the European Cup Winners' Cup final.

Standen remained No1 during the 1966/67 season, but lost his place to Bobby Ferguson at the start of the following campaign. He took the decision to move to North American Soccer League side Detroit Cougars in 1968, returning to play for Millwall and Portsmouth before hanging up his gloves in 1972.

A dual-sport star, Standen also excelled at cricket. Primarily a right-arm medium pace bowler, he won a County Championship winner's medal with Worcestershire in 1964, heading their Championship bowling averages with 52 wickets at an average of 14.42. In all, he took 313 first-class wickets between 1959 and 1970 at an impressive average of 25.34.

Standen set up home in the United States following his retirement and he still lives in the western state of California with his family.

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