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2013-10-05T06:00:00 Updated 2015-02-18T23:50:22

Cross recalls four-goal salvo

As a man whose best memories in Claret and Blue came against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, David Cross is someone who knows a thing or two about the importance this Sunday's clash.

On 2 September 1981 Cross scored all four goals as the newly-promoted Hammers ran riot at White Hart Lane, recording a 4-0 win that remains the Club's biggest triumph in that part of north London.

The striker was prolific during his time at the Boleyn Ground, scoring 99 goals in 227 appearances, but admits that Wednesday evening stands out for him.


He told "For me to get four goals against Tottenham in a West Ham shirt was the pinnacle of my career in terms of the joy it bought to the West Ham fans.

"The first half of the match they pummelled us and all I could remember of the first half was chasing Steve Perryman up and down their right flank.

"Steve kept bombing on and I was just hoping we could get through to half-time at 0-0 but then Jimmy Neighbour got down the right-hand side managed to cross one in and I scored so we went in 1-0 up at half-time.

"The second-half we settled down played a lot better and I got the other three goals, so it was fantastic."

While Cross stole the show with four goals that night, he doesn't believe that it was his best performance for West Ham and instead says it was particularly special for what it meant to others involved with the Club.

"I probably played better in terms of my touch and what I did on the field but goals change everyone's perception of games.

"Winning 4-0 at Tottenham with me getting all four goals and people still wanting to talk to me about it 30 years later shows that it must have meant so much to the Club and the fans that it's got to be my biggest day in terms of what I did for the Club."

If Cross had ever started to forget just how much his heroics meant to those watching on, then he has received numerous reminders since.

Social media has provided the platform for some Hammers fans to express their gratitude, as the 62-year-old fondly recalls.

He said: "I used to be on Twitter and the amount of West Ham fans that used to tweet me, even now, saying they remember my four goals against Tottenham shows how much it meant.

"West Ham fans would go to work with Tottenham fans on the Monday morning in the same factory or office and it meant so much to them that we were well aware of that.

"Thirty years ago, even though we were well paid, we were working class. We'd go for a pint on the Saturday afternoon after the match and you'd just know how much it meant for our fans to get one over on Tottenham fans."

On Sunday, the Hammers travel across London looking to end a 14-year wait for a win at White Hart Lane.

If the players are to replicate the feat achieved by Cross and co then they will need to overcome a Tottenham team which has been expensively revamped over the summer. Cross is anticipating a tough match.

"If we go to Tottenham on Sunday and get a point it would be an excellent result and the fans would be pleased that we haven't lost to Tottenham.

"If we could beat them it would kick-start the season and be a massive boost to everyone.

"You're always only one game away at this stage of the season from turning your year around and if West Ham are at their best they can win but overall I'm expecting a good game with lots of passion."

Whether they win or lose on Sunday, Cross is sure that the West Ham players will be under no illusions as to just how much the game means to the fans.

"The Tottenham match for West Ham fans has extra significance and that filters through to the players. That day in 1981 just meant an unbelievable amount to the fans and hopefully they can recreate it on Sunday."

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