Classic match (1)

Queens Park Rangers 1-5 West Ham United
War League South
Saturday 31 May 1941, Loftus Road

Fresh from lifting the inaugural Football League War Cup in June 1940, West Ham United enjoyed a successful 1940/41 campaign in the War League South.

With the Second World War raging, the Football League competitions had been halted to save on resources, with a regional tournament replacing them. The Hammers, who welcomed a number of guest players into their ranks to compensate for the loss of players to the Armed Forces, adapted well to the temporary arrangements.

The 1940/41 campaign had seen West Ham score some eye-catching victories, including an 11-0 home win over Southend United in October 1940, a 6-2 success against Chelsea two months later and an 8-1 victory over Clapton Orient in April 1941. The main goalscorer in all three games was Alec George Foreman, who scored four times against Southend and twice apiece against Chelsea and Orient.

In all, Foreman would finish the season with an impressive 24 goals in just 23 league matches. Three of them came in a 5-1 victory at Queens Park Rangers on this day in 1941, when a 2,000-strong crowd also saw Joseph Stanley Foxall and Len Goulden find the net.

Foreman would score his final goal of the season in a 3-2 defeat by Rangers in the reverse fixture on 7 June 1941 - the last game of the season. The prolific forward would total 188 goals in just 234 appearances for the Hammers, but the hostilities meant that just nine of those appearances and two goals have made the first-team record books.

Classic match (2)

West Ham United 0-5 Burnley
Division Two
Saturday 31 May 1947, Boleyn Ground

West Ham United had next to nothing to play for when Burnley visited the Boleyn Ground on the final day of the 1946/47 season.

The Hammers started the afternoon eleventh in the Division Two table after securing an impressive 3-2 victory at Newcastle United in their penultimate fixture on Monday 26 May, but the five goals would not be shared this time around.

Burnley started the day second in table and knew a win would confirm their promotion to Division One and a return to the top flight for the first time since they were relegated in 1930. The Lancashire club had enjoyed an outstanding 1946/47 campaign, also reaching the FA Cup final where they were edged out 1-0 after extra-time by Charlton Athletic at Wembley.

The season was the first full campaign after the Second World War and, as such, had not started until the final day of August 1946. The season did not end until 31 May, but West Ham would have hoped it was already over as Burnley romped to their biggest-ever win at the Boleyn Ground.

Needing just a draw to secure promotion, Burnley were three goals up at half-time and added two more after the break to complete a dismal afternoon for the hosts.

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