On This Day: 20 February

On This Day: 20 February


Name: Billy Jennings
Date of birth: 20 February 1952
Clubs: Watford, West Ham United, Leyton Orient, Luton Town

Born in Hackney on 20 February 1952, Billy Jennings started out his professional career at Watford in 1970, scoring more than 30 goals over the next four years and earning England youth international honours.

In the summer of 1974, speedy striker Jennings would make a £110,000 switch across London to West Ham United, making a goalscoring debut on 7 September in a 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield United in Division One. It was the start of a relatively brief yet successful career with the Hammers.

At the end of the 1974/75 season, Jennings would pick up an FA Cup winners medal, despite the embarrassment of scoring an own-goal in the semi-final replay victory over Ipswich Town at Stamford Bridge. The following campaign, 1975/76, he would score twice at the right end as West Ham fought back from 4-0 down at one stage to beat Den Haag on away goals to reach the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup.

Jennings would go on to make at total of 127 league and cup appearances for the club, scoring 41 goals. However, a serious achilles tendon injury suffered in September 1977 put him out of action for a year and, on his return, he would play just six matches before moving to Leyton Orient. Since his retirement, Jennings has forged a successful career as a football agent.

Classic Match

Liverpool 2-2 West Ham United
Premier League
20 February 1999

A crowd of 44,511 was on hand to see Harry Redknapp's entertainers secure a point at Anfield thanks to goals from Frank Lampard and Frenchman Marc Keller.

West Ham United arrived at Anfield having beaten Nottingham Forest in their previous Premier League outing and sitting eighth in the table. Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen were both on target for the Reds as they extended their unbeaten home record against the Hammers to 35 seasons.

Employing a 5-3-2 formation, Redknapp employed new signing Marc-Vivien Foe in front of his three central defenders - Ian Pearce, Rio Ferdinand and Steve Potts. The tactics earned West Ham a point as Lampard tucked away a 24th-minute penalty to cancel out Fowler's opener before Keller's late strike made it 2-2 following Owen's intervention.

West Ham would end the season in fifth position in the table, two places above Liverpool.