Anniversary

James Tomkins
Born: 29 March 1989
Clubs: West Ham United, Derby County (loan)

Basildon-born Hammer James Tomkins is today celebrating his 25th birthday, some 18 years after joining West Ham United's famed Academy as a schoolboy.

The tall, stylish centre-half made his senior bow for the club exactly a week prior to his 19th birthday, in a 1-1 draw at Everton's Goodison Park under the stewardship of Alan Curbishley.

The following season saw him enjoy a five-week loan spell at Derby County, before returning to the Boleyn at the turn of the year. He would end the 2008/09 season with a flourish, opening his account in a 2-0 win over Sunderland and then putting pen to paper on a new deal with the club.

Tomkins has subsequently racked up a total of 179 appearances in claret and blue, as he became an almost permanent fixture in West Ham's promotion-winning side in 2011/12/

The England Under-21 international started all but four of the Hammers' 49 fixtures, with West Ham clinching their return to the top flight courtesy of a dramatic Play-off final victory over Blackpool at Wembley.

Though he still awaits a full international cap, Tomkins has represented his country at every level from Under-16s upwards, including Stuart Pearce's Great Britain side at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Classic match

Chelsea 0-4 West Ham United
Division One
29 March 1986

Twenty seven years ago today, West Ham United players and supporters alike were basking in the glory of a spectacular 4-0 triumph at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge, as John Lyall's side strode towards a club-record high finish of third in Division One.

It took the rampant Hammers' 23 minutes to hit the front, when Alan Devonshire made light of the treacherous playing surface to dispatch a 25-yard drive into the top corner.

While that set the tone, it was after the interval that West Ham would truly turn on the style. The prolific Tony Cottee netted twice in the space of nine minutes, first rounding off a sweeping counter-attack led by George Parris, before being teed up by strike partner Frank McAvennie to slot home from eight yards.

It was left to McAvennie himself to complete the rout as he pounced on Cottee's mis-hit shot, rifling high past Blues 'keeper Tony Godden. The irrepressible strike duo would finish the campaign with an amazing 54 goals between them, with the Scotsman notching 28 and Cottee 26.

Victory took West Ham up to sixth in the table, as they won an extraordinary eleven of their final 14 league outings to finish third, just four points behind eventual champions Liverpool.

Complete record - 29 March

2008 Sunderland 2-1 West Ham United (Premier League)
2006 Manchester United 1-0 West Ham United (Premier League)
1991 Oldham Athletic 1-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1986 Chelsea 0-4 West Ham United (Division One)
1980 Swansea City 2-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1975 West Ham United 0-1 Chelsea (Division One)
1969 West Ham United 0-0 Manchester United (Division One)
1968 West Ham United 1-1 Arsenal (Division One)
1958 Stoke City 1-4 West Ham United (Division Two)
1948 West Ham United 4-2 Cardiff City (Division Two)
1947 West Ham United 1-2 Coventry City (Division Two)
1937 Barnsley 0-0 West Ham United (Division Two)
1930 Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 West Ham United (Division One)
1929 West Ham United 4-0 Burnley (Division One)
1924 West Ham United 1-0 West Bromwich Albion (Division One)
1922 Notts County 1-1 West Ham United (Division Two

Played 16, Won 5, Drawn 5, Lost 6, Scored 24, Conceded 16