Close Connections

LEIGH EDWARDS looks at the close links between Hammers and this Saturday's visitors to Upton Park, Bolton Wanderers. 


Ian Pearce's goal gave West Ham United a 1-1 Premiership draw on Bolton Wanderers' last visit to Upton Park on 21st December 2002. Jay-Jay Okocha scored to give the Trotters a 1-0 victory in the return fixture on 19th April 2003. The Hammers' last League win at home to Bolton was 2-1 on 11th May 2002 with goals from Steve Lomas and Ian Pearce. Bolton's last League victory here was 3-2 on 4th April 1964 with strikes by Gordon Taylor, Francis Lee and Brian Bromley.


Former Bolton Wanderers striker David Cross was West Ham United's leading marksman in three successive seasons.  Moving to Upton Park from West Brom for £180,000 in December 1977, he starred as the Hammers won the FA Cup in 1980, then won the Second Division title and were League Cup finalists in 1980-81. He netted 77 goals in 179 League games for West Ham prior to joining Manchester City for £135,000 in August 1982. Moving to Bolton from West Brom in June 1985, he scored eight times in 20 Third Division outings before joining Blackpool in July 1986. 


West Ham United faced Bolton Wanderers in the 1923 FA Cup final, the first staged at Wembley Stadium. More than 250,000 people converged on a ground whose capacity was 127,000 and the press decided that the hero of the hour was PC George Scorey and his white horse Billy who helped to restore order. Goals by David Jack and John Smith gave the following Bolton team a 2-0 victory in the 'White horse final':  Dick Pym, Bob Haworth, Alex Finney, Harry Nuttall, Jimmy Seddon, Billy Jennings, Billy Butler, David Jack, John Smith, Joe Smith, Ted Vizard.  


Flying winger Franz Carr briefly played for both West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers. Moving to West Ham on loan from Nottingham Forest in March 1991, the England U-21 international made his debut in the Hammers' 2-1 defeat at Oxford United and also featured as a substitute in that month's matches against Sheffield Wednesday and Hull City. He joined struggling Bolton from Italian side Reggiana in October 1997 and made five substitute appearances as they battled vainly to avoid relegation from the Premiership, moving to West Brom in February 1998.


Two goals apiece by Viv Gibbins, Jimmy Ruffell and Vic Watson gave the following Hammers side a thrilling 6-0 First Division victory over Bolton Wanderers in front of 24,062 at Upton Park on 13th February 1926:  Ted Hufton, Billy Henderson, Alf Earl, Jim Barrett, George Kay, Jimmy Collins, Tommy Yews, Stan Earle, Viv Gibbins, Vic Watson, Jimmy Ruffell. The Hammers drew 4-4 against Bolton in the corresponding fixture the following season with two goals by Jimmy Ruffell plus others from Stan Earle and Vic Watson.


Former Bolton Wanderers centre-half George Kay skippered West Ham United to promotion to the top-flight for the first time in 1922-23. Moving to Burnden Park from Eccles in July 1910, he made three successive Second Division appearances in place of Sam Greenhalgh during their 1910-11 promotion campaign and joined Belfast Celtic in July 1912. He moved to West Ham in July 1919 and also captained the Hammers in the 1923 FA Cup final, netting 15 goals in 237 League outings while at Upton Park prior to joining Stockport County in June 1927.


Goalkeeper Steve Banks has played for both Hammers and Bolton Wanderers. Signing professional at Upton Park in March 1990, he understudied Ludo Miklosko and his solitary first-team appearance was in the Hammers' 2-2 draw in the 1992-93 Anglo-Italian Cup, moving to Gillingham in March 1993. He joined Bolton from Blackpool for £50,000 in March 1999 and appeared in that season's First Division play-off final, then featured in the 1999-2000 League Cup semi-finals and 2000-01 promotion campaign. Making 21 League appearances for Wanderers, he moved to Stoke City in December 2002.


Two goals by England international centre-forward Vic Watson plus others from Jim Barrett, Stan Earle and Jimmy Ruffell gave the following West Ham United side an exciting 5-3 First Division victory over Bolton Wanderers in front of 12,837 at Upton Park on 19th April 1930:  Bob Dixon, Alf Earl, Charlie Cox, Jimmy Collins, Jim Barrett, Albert Cadwell, Tommy Yews, Stan Earle, Vic Watson, Walter Pollard, Jimmy Ruffell. Bolton triumphed 5-1 at home to the Hammers on 12th September 1959 with two goals by Neville Bannister plus others from Tommy Banks, Freddie Hill and Dennis Stevens.    


One-time West Ham United left-back Harry Kinsell played top-flight football for Bolton Wanderers. Moving to Burnden Park from West Brom in June 1949, the England Victory international made 17 First Division appearances for Bolton before being displaced by Ralph Banks and joined Reading in May 1950. He moved to West Ham for £5,250 in January 1951 and formed an effective partnership with George Wright, scoring twice in 101 League outings while at Upton Park prior to joining Southern League giantkillers Bedford Town in July 1955.

John Smith's hat-trick plus two goals by Joe Cassidy gave the following Bolton Wanderers team an emphatic 5-0 First Division victory over West Ham United on 29th November 1924:  Dick Pym, Rob Haworth, Alex Finney, Harry Nuttall, Jimmy Seddon, Billy Jennings, Billy Butler, David Jack, Ted Vizard, Joe Cassidy, Tommy Eatock. The two sides drew 1-1 in the return fixture at Upton Park five months later and Bolton finished third in the top-flight that season, equalling their highest-ever final placing of 1891-92 and 1920-21. West Ham's highest-ever finish is also third in the top-flight.