Hammers on the verge of making history

Should Hammers triumph over Bolton Wanderers in tomorrow's FA Cup fifth round tie, a new Club record will be created for successive victories in all competitions.

Following Monday night's Premiership win over Birmingham City, many supporters have questioned how near Alan Pardew's team are to making history and, when taking into account all competitive matches played, the answer is that victory at the Reebok Stadium will enable them to achieve just that.

The current record for successive victories is held by the 1985-86 side, who actually put together a run of nine straight league wins that season, between October 19 and December 14, 1985. However, after the first two triumphs in that sequence, against Aston Villa and Ipswich Town, John Lyall's team suffered a League Cup third round defeat at the hands of Manchester United, meaning that only the subsequent chain of seven league wins is recognised when taking all competitions into account.

Ironically, that seven-match winning run ended with a home victory against Birmingham City - giving Pards and his men another reason to go all out for the win against Bolton tomorrow.

Hammers did actually manage an eight-match winning run back in the record-breaking 1980-81 campaign, consisting of three League Cup victories and five Second Division wins in the early part of the season. The record didn't hold up in all competitions, though, as sandwiched in between was a 3-1 defeat to Spanish side Castilla in the first round of our European Cup Winners' Cup campaign that year.

The exploits of the our modern-day heroes are all the more impressive when you consider that the current winning run is taking place during the later stages of the season - when fatigue, injuries and suspensions are normally taking their toll and consistency on the field is generally harder to find.

However, Alan Pardew's men will still have to go some way to top the biggest winning run in our history. That honour is still held by the Thames Ironworks team of 1898-99, who managed a magnificent 15 successive victories on their way to the Southern League Division Two title, just a year before the Club's name changed to West Ham United.

If the Hammers boss is looking for an omen, though, that 15-match winning run included a 2-1 home win against Fulham - a feat already achieved during the current string of victories!