BACK in 1980, when teams from outside the top division actually won the FA Cup, West Ham United and Aston Villa were involved in a sixth round cup tie at Upton Park which took its script from David and Goliath.

Aston Villa were one year away from their seventh Championship winning season while West Ham United were going to miss out on Promotion.

A massive 36,363 crammed into an electric Upton Park for a thrilling encounter which looked set to end in stalemate and a daunting replay back at Villa Park.

However, a disputed handball by Ken McNaught in injury time brought the Hammers a penalty and Ray Stewart held his nerve to send a throb of claret and blue hysteria all the way to a semi-final clash against Everton.

Suffice to say the programme from that encounter should be an integral part of any West Ham collection as this great old club of ours brought the famous old trophy back to the East End that year.

It can still be picked up for just a few pounds (The copy on display here would sell for a double figure amount largely on account of it being signed by the West Ham legends, Phil Parkes, Alvin Martin and the incomparable, Alan Devonshire).

Aston Villa have won the Championship seven times and added seven FA Cups to their list of  honours. Undoubtedly their greatest ever achievement was winning the European Cup in 1982, 1-0 over Bayern Munich. Remarkably the programme from that unforgettable night in Rotterdam can be purchased for five pounds.

We'll round off this instalment with a look at the programme from West Ham's greatest ever winning margin over the Villa. It came in 1958/59 when a rampant Hammers ran out 7-2 winners.

Despite the goalscoring feats of Vic Keeble (2) Malcolm Musgrove (2), John Dick and Bill Lansdowne on that August Saturday it is touching to note that the recently departed Noel Cantwell was in the line up for the Hammers. Noel played 263 games at full back for the club before moving to Manchester United in 1960 with whom he captained to FA Cup victory in 1963. His contribution to establishing the club's ethos was priceless.


















I'll leave you with one of the few trade cards depicting Noel in the club's colours with the hope that today's match will emulate the great man's attack minded approach to the game.