Dale Gordon reflects on West Ham's historic first Premier League goal
West Ham United’s first-ever Premier League goalscorer Dale Gordon still keeps an eye on the Hammers’ fortunes.
Michail Antonio hit the east Londoners' 1,000th Premier League goal in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Swansea City, nearly 25 years since winger Gordon netted the very first in a 1-1 draw at Coventry City on 21 August 1993.
Having been promoted from the old Division One, West Ham had lost their opening two matches, 2-0 at home to Wimbledon and 1-0 at Leeds United, to drop to the bottom of the 22-team table. In contrast, Coventry had won their first two games, 3-0 at Arsenal and 2-1 at home to Newcastle United.
The Hammers upset the form book, going ahead through Gordon’s scrambled effort on the stroke of half-time. Two-and-a-half decades on, the 51-year-old remembers the goal he scored in front of just 12,864 fans at Highfield Road clearly.
“I remember we had a really bad start against Wimbledon at home and that getting a result at Coventry was going to be difficult,” recalled Gordon, who had joined the Club from Rangers for £750,000 the previous month. “We started well and got the lead and showed good character.
“As for my goal, it wasn’t the 25-yard screamer I wanted to score! It was a tap-in from two yards, but they all count and goes down in history so I guess I can live with that.
“So, a 1-1 draw was a good response after the defeats against Wimbledon and Leeds.”
It was a tap-in from two yards, but they all count and goes down in history so I guess I can live with that
After injury ended his career at the age of 30 after a short spell with AFC Bournemouth, former Norwich City star Gordon returned to his native Norfolk to coach young footballers.
He is now based in Dubai, where he runs his own Academy and also works as a radio pundit.
“I have been in Dubai for six years now. I was director of football for an academy here and have now set up my own academy called DG PRO FC. I have age groups from U8s up to U12s and will be coming back to UK at the end of March with my U12s team for a tour, playing against my old club Norwich City, Ipswich Town and to take part in an international tournament.”
While Gordon is busy coaching young footballers in the United Arab Emirates, he still keeps up to date with how the Club he was part of for three seasons between 1993 and 1996 are faring, and believes David Moyes is the right manager to lead West Ham forward.
“I still keep an eye on all the teams I played for and their results, especially lately when Slaven Bilic was the manager, as I was at the Club as a player with him.
“Focusing on this season, even though they had a tough start and a change of manager, David Moyes has settled the team and brought back the confidence in the group, and players who have great ability have now showed their true potential to help them climb the table.
“I think they will survive this season and, with David Moyes and good summer in the transfer market, they do need to push on next season and a maybe a good cup run will give the west ham supporters some welcome cheer after a couple of inconsistent seasons.”