Close Connections

LEIGH Edwards takes a look back at the links between Hammers and this weekend's opponents Blackburn Rovers...


Goals by Paolo Di Canio and Jermain Defoe gave West Ham United a 2-1 Premiership victory on Blackburn Rovers last visit to Upton Park on 29th January 2003. Jermain Defoe's strike plus Martin Taylor's own goal had given the Hammers a 2-2 draw at Blackburn on 28th December 2002. Blackburn's last League victory here was 2-1 on 27th April 1994 with goals from Henning Berg and Ian Pearce.


Scotland international defender Christian Dailly has been capped at both Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United. Moving to Ewood Park from Derby County for £5,300,000 in August 1998, he featured in Blackburn's 2000-01 promotion campaign and netted four goals in 70 League games for today's opponents prior to joining West Ham for £1,750,000 in January 2001. He became captain and scored against Ipswich Town to take the Hammers to the 2003-04 First Division Play-Off Final, then came on as a substitute in last season's Championship Play-Off Final triumph.


Former Hammers defender Ian Pearce featured in Blackburn Rovers 1994-95 Premiership title campaign. Moving to Ewood Park from Chelsea for £300,000 in October 1993, he played alongside skipper Colin Hendry in Blackburn's defence and scored twice in 62 Premiership games prior to joining West Ham United for £1,600,000 in September 1997. He starred as the Hammers took Arsenal to an FA Cup Sixth Round replay in 1997-98 and finished fifth in the Premiership in 1998-99, netting nine times in 142 League outings before being sold to Fulham for £400,000 in January 2004.


One-time Blackburn Rovers central-defender Tony Gale was ever-present as West Ham United finished third in the top-flight in 1985-86. Moving to Upton Park from Fulham for £200,000 in July 1984, the England Under-21 international also starred as the Hammers won promotion in 1990-91 and 1992-93, netting five goals in 300 League games prior to joining Blackburn on a free transfer in August 1994. He featured in their 1994-95 Premiership title triumph and made 15 Premiership appearances for today's opponents before moving to Crystal Palace in September 1995.      

Hammers  former loan striker Mike Newell scored the penalty winner in Blackburn Rovers' 1991-92 Second Division Play-Off Final triumph at Wembley. Moving to Ewood Park from Everton for £1,100,000 in November 1991, the England Under-21 international starred alongside Alan Shearer as Blackburn were Premiership runners-up in 1993-94 and netted 28 goals in 130 League games before being sold to Birmingham City for £775,000 in July 1996. Joining West Ham on loan in December 1996, he made seven Premiership appearances while at Upton Park.


Northern Ireland international striker Jimmy Quinn was capped while at both Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United. Joining Blackburn from Swindon Town for £32,000 in August 1984, he scored on his international debut against Israel two months later and netted 17 goals in 71 Second Division games prior to rejoining Swindon £50,000 in December 1986. He reunited with Lou Macari at West Ham from Bradford City for £320,000 in December 1989 and featured in the 1990-91 promotion success, scoring 18 times in 47 League outings before being sold to AFC Bournemouth for £40,000 in August 1991.

Former Blackburn Rovers centre-forward Syd Puddefoot was West Ham United's leading marksman on four occasions. Signing professional at Upton Park in March 1913, he scored 112 times in 185 League games for West Ham before being sold to Falkirk for £5,000 in February 1922. The England international joined Blackburn for £4,000 in February 1925 and featured in their 1928 FA Cup final triumph, netting 79 goals in 250 First Division outings prior to rejoining West Ham in February 1932. He scored three times in a further 22 League games before moving to Fenerbahce in March 1933.


Australian international midfielder Robbie Slater played top-flight football with both Blackburn Rovers and West Ham. Moving to Ewood Park from French side Lens for £300,000 in August 1994, he featured in Blackburn's 1994-95 Premiership title triumph and made 18 Premiership appearances prior to joining West Ham for £600,000 in August 1995. He scored twice in 25 Premiership games while at Upton Park before being sold to Southampton for £250,000 in September 1996. Fellow midfielder Matty Holmes moved from West Ham to Blackburn for £1,200,000 in August 1995.


Ex-Blackburn Rovers inside-right Danny Shea had two spells at West Ham. Initially moving to Upton Park from Manor Park Albion in November 1907, he was top scorer in five successive seasons and netted 111 goals in 179 Southern League games prior to joining Blackburn for £2,000 in January 1913. He was leading marksman in their 1913-14 League Championship success and scored 61 times in 97 First Division outings before rejoining West Ham for £1,000 in May 1920. Netting once in a further 16 League games for the Hammers, the England international joined Fulham in November 1920.


David Speedie was a vital player in Blackburn Rovers 1991-92 promotion campaign. Moving to Blackburn from Liverpool for £400,000 in August 1991, the Scottish international netted 23 goals in 36 League games prior to joining Southampton as part of the Alan Shearer deal in July 1992. He was loaned to West Ham in March 1993 and helped to clinch promotion that season, scoring four times in 11 League outings while at Upton Park. The likes of Eyal Berkovic, Martin Britt, Tommy Hampson, Marc Keller, John Radford and Matt Smailes also played for both clubs