On this day - 15 March


Frank Neary
Date of birth: 6 March 1921
Died: 17 November 2004
Clubs: Queens Park Rangers, West Ham United, Leyton Orient, Queens Park Rangers, Millwall, Gravesend

Few, if any, players in the history of West Ham United have found the net as regularly as Frank Neary.

The Aldershot-born centre forward (pictured) scored an amazing 15 goals in just 17 appearances for the Hammers between February and September 1947, bagging one hat-trick and scoring twice in a match on no fewer than five occasions.

The aforementioned hat-trick came along on 15 March 1947 - 66 years ago today - in a 3-2 home Division Two victory over West Bromwich Albion. Neary had joined the Hammers from Queens Park Rangers for £4,000 in January of the same year, replacing Joe Payne, who had departed for Millwall.

Neary made an electric start to his career in claret and blue, scoring twice in 3-0 home wins over Newport County and Swansea Town before hitting his treble against the Baggies. The former Army PT instructor ended the 1946/47 campaign with 15 goals in 14 league starts.

After playing three times at the start of the following season, during which he failed to score, Neary departed for Division Three South club Leyton Orient for a fee of just £2,000. Rumours abounded of the reasons for his sudden exit, with one story that emerged following his death suggesting the forward had been allowed to leave after an on-field altercation with an opponent was spotted by Chairman WJ Cearns.

Whatever the truth of the matter, Neary departed, but the goals continued to flow - 44 in 78 league appearances for Leyton Orient, five in 19 for QPR and 50 in 123 games for Millwall. On dropping into the non-league ranks, he bagged 17 in the same number of matches for Gravesend before hanging up his boots in 1954.

Classic Match

West Ham United 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
FA Cup fifth-round replay
15 March 2006

West Ham United continued their march to the 2006 FA Cup final with a dramatic extra-time win over Bolton Wanderers in the sixth round on this date seven years ago.

Current Hammers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen put the home side in front when Nicky Hunt's clearance deflected off him and into the net, only for Kevin Davies to level matters 14 minutes before half-time with a swerving drive.

Jaaskelainen made amends for his earlier own-goal by making a good save from Yossi Benayoun to ensure the teams went in level at half-time. Into the second period and both teams had chances to win the game - Benayoun heading wide for West Ham and Kevin Nolan, substitute Henrik Pedersen and Davies all coming close to putting Bolton in front for the first time.

Marlon Harewood

The tie was finally settled in controversial fashion six minutes into extra-time. Benayoun got down the right and sent in a low cross to the near post, from where Harewood drove it across Jaaskelainen and into the net for his 14th goal of the season - despite the Trotters' appeals for offside. Despite being put under huge pressure from Sam Allardyce's side, West Ham held on to set up a sixth-round trip to Manchester City the following week.

Alan Pardew's newly-promoted side would, of course, go on to defeat City and Middlesbrough to reach the final, where they were held to a 3-3 draw by Liverpool before losing out on penalties.

Complete record - 15 March

2008 West Ham United 2-1 Blackburn Rovers (Premier League)
2006 West Ham United 2-1 Bolton Wanderers (FA Cup fifth-round replay)
2005 West Ham United 1-1 Crewe Alexandra (Championship)
2003 Everton 0-0 West Ham United (Premier League)
1997 Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham United (Premier League)
1995 Southampton 1-1 West Ham United (Premier League)
1986 Arsenal 1-0 West Ham United (Division One)
1985 West Ham United 2-2 Manchester United (Division One)
1980 Newcastle United 0-0 West Ham United (Division Two)
1975 West Ham United 2-1 Burnley (Division Two)
1958 Huddersfield Town 3-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1952 Leicester City 3-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1947 West Ham United 3-2 West Bromwich Albion (Division Two)
1930 Everton 1-2 West Ham United (Division One)
1924 West Ham United 2-1 Everton (Division One)

Played 15, Won 6, Drawn 6, Lost 3, Scored 19, Conceded 18