On this day - 5 April


John Hartson
Born: 5 April 1975
Clubs: Luton Town, Arsenal, West Ham United, Wimbledon, Coventry City, West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City.

Welsh hitman John Hartson is today celebrating his 40th birthday, over 18 years since he signed for West Ham United. The then-Arsenal forward joined the Hammers' ranks alongside Paul Kitson, as Harry Redknapp's side tried to scramble clear of the relegation scrap.

On 24 February 1997, Hartson announced his arrival at the Boleyn Ground in style, thumping home a header and then winning a decisive penalty as the Hammers moved out of the relegation zone with a 4-3 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Hartson scored a further four times in the final nine games of the season, as West Ham finished the season 14th, albeit just two points clear of the relegation places. In his first full campaign with the club, Hartson notched an impressive 24 times to help West Ham to a creditable eighth place finish.

His stint in east London was to end in January 1999, becoming Wimbledon's record signing following his £7.5 million move. Hartson departed having scored 33 times in 73 outings in claret and blue.

Classic match

Swansea City 1-5 West Ham United
5 April 1983
First Division

Alan Dickens and Geoff Pike were both at the double as John Lyall's side hit five at Swansea City's Vetch Field home. Alan Devonshire also popped up with a goal to see the Hammers - en route to an eighth-place top-flight finish - record their biggest away win of the campaign.

Dickens, in his first season at the club, continued his excellent start in claret and blue, with this brace making it five goals in his first nine appearances. For Pike, meanwhile, it proved to be a memorable day, as he scored twice for the first and only time in his 372 outings for the club.

Though this was the second of seven West Ham wins in their final ten fixtures, Swansea would end the campaign down in 22nd, as they were relegated to the second tier.

Complete record - 5 April

1920 Nottingham Forest 2-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1924 West Bromwich Albion 0-0 West Ham United (Division One)
1926 Leicester City 1-1 West Ham United (Division One)
1930 West Ham United 1-0 Burnley (Division One)
1947 Nottingham Forest 4-3 West Ham United (Division Two)
1952 West Ham United 3-3 Doncaster Rovers (Division Two)
1958 West Ham United 0-0 Charlton Athletic (Division Two)
1969 Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 West Ham United (Division One)
1980 West Ham United 2-0 Orient (Division Two)
1983 Swansea City 1-5 West Ham United (Division One)
1999 West Ham United 0-1 Charlton Athletic (Premier League)
2003 Southampton 1-1 West Ham United (Premier League)
2005 Burnley 0-1 West Ham United (Championship)

Played 13, Won 4, Drawn 6, Lost 3, Scored 19, Conceded 14