On this day - 29 May

Classic match

Crystal Palace 1-0 West Ham United
Division One Play-Off final
Saturday 29 May 2004, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

West Ham United were denied a return to the Premier League after a one-year absence as London rivals Crystal Palace edged the Hammers out in the Division One Play-Off final in Cardiff.

Alan Pardew's side had reached the Millennium Stadium showpiece by securing a 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic on the final day of the 2003/04 season to finish fourth, followed by a thrilling 2-1 aggregate Play-Off semi-final victory over Ipswich Town.

Sixth-placed Palace, meanwhile, had only reached the Play-Offs due to Wigan's inability to overcome the Hammers on the final day of the campaign. The Eagles, managed by former West Ham striker Iain Dowie, beat Sunderland on penalties in their semi-final following an action-packed 4-4 aggregate draw with the Black Cats.

The first half in Cardiff was a nervous affair, with Andrew Johnson heading over for Palace and West Ham forward Bobby Zamora seeing his shot blocked by goalkeeper Nico Vaesen. Nine minutes before the break, ex-Hammer Michael Hughes saw his shot half-stopped by Stephen Bywater before Tomas Repka cleared the ball off the line.

Steve Lomas was then denied a stunning volleyed opener by Vaesen before Neil Shipperley struck the decisive blow for Palace on 61 minutes. Bywater could only parry Johnson's shot and the Eagles captain was on hand to tuck the ball into the net.

Pardew's team responded strongly and twice had the ball in Vaesen's net, only for efforts from David Connolly and Zamora to be ruled out for offside. Nigel Reo-Coker, Don Hutchison and Brian Deane were all introduced late on, but to no avail as Dowie's Eagles won promotion to the top flight. For West Ham, the same achievement would have to wait another 12 months.


Ian Bishop
Born: 29 May 1965, Liverpool, England
Clubs: Everton, Crewe Alexandra (loan), Carlisle United, Bournemouth, Manchester City, West Ham United, Manchester City, Miami Fusion, Barry Town, Rochdale, Radcliffe Borough, New Orleans Shell Shockers

Popular midfielder Ian Bishop (pictured) enjoyed a productive decade with West Ham United, playing 304 times in claret and blue between 1989 and 1998 and starring in one of the most-entertaining Hammers sides in recent memory.

Bishop began his career with hometown club Everton before making his name in the lower divisions with Carlisle United and Bournemouth. Manchester City moved for Bishop in 1989 for £465,000. His first spell with City was highlighted by a 5-1 Division One victory over Manchester United.

Later the same year, Bishop was sold to West Ham, quickly becoming a cult figure at the Boleyn Ground due to both his long-haired appearance and superb passing ability. Over the next ten years, he would twice help the Hammers to gain promotion to the top flight.

After returning to Manchester City for a second spell in 1998, Bishop moved to the United States of America, where he played for then-MLS club Miami Fusion. The one-time midfielder has since made his home in Florida, where he has founded a successful coaching school for local youngsters.