On this day - 5 July

West Ham United was incorporated and came into being on this day in 1900!

Happy birthday West Ham United!

West Ham United were incorporated as a company on 5 July 1900 and began a 15-year association with the Southern League at the dawn of the Edwardian era.

Thames Ironworks owner Arnold Hills offered four thousand, ten-shilling (50p) shares in the new limited company, whose headquarters were based at 55 Barking Road, Canning Town. The philanthropic businessman also offered the use of the Memorial Grounds for a nominal rent for the next three years.

Anticipating the share offer would be under-subscribed, Hills promised to match the sale by buying one for himself for every other one purchased. There was no rush to buy, as a typical east London working man would have been hard-pressed to find the money for even a single share.

The minutes of the first Board meeting reveal that the pioneering board of directors who would supervise the fledgling football club were A. Brown, J.W. Cearns, G.C. Fundell, G.C. Handley, G.J. Hone and C.E. Osborn (chairman).

The directors’ first task was to recruit Abraham ‘Abe’ Norris as trainer at 35 shillings per week (£1.75p). A number of the existing players from the Thames Ironworks club were taken on, as most were still employed at the shipyard.

The former Ironworks players who would play a part over the coming season were goalkeeper Tommy Moore, defenders Syd King, Charlie Craig, Charlie Dove and George Neil, half-backs Robert Allan and Roderick McEachrane, and forwards Fred Corbett, Frank Taylor and Len Walker.

Walter Tranter, who appeared for the Ironworks between 1896 and 1899, spent one season with Chatham before returning to sign for the Irons.

The minutes also reveal that Scottish and northern recruits such as Hughie Monteith, Jimmy Reid, Luke Raisbeck, Frederick Fenton and William Grassam were each paid their rail fares to attend trial matches arranged for 16 and 23 August 1900, just days before their Southern League fixture kicked-off their new beginnings against Gravesend on 1 September.

The trialists must have impressed Norris as Grassam took just five minutes to score West Ham United’s first-ever goal, in front of a 2,000 crowd at the Memorial Grounds. The flying Scot went on to score four, while a Reid double and one from Fergus Hunt completed a 7-0 drubbing of the Kent side.

The line-up for West Ham United’s first match under their modern-day guise was: Monteith, Tranter, Craig, Dove, Raisbeck, McEachrane, Hunt, Grassam, Reid, Kaye and Fenton.

The Irons’ first competitive season saw them put together 14 victories against nine defeats, with five matches drawn, securing a sixth-place finish in a League of 15 clubs.


Legendary West Ham United duo Bobby Moore and Martin Peters were both capped for England on this day in 1966.

Just six days prior to the start of the FIFA World Cup, Sir Alf Ramsey's men jetted off to Chorzow, Poland, for the final of their warm-up fixtures.

Having seen off Denmark 2-0 in Copenhagen two days previously, England showed four changes, with fellow Hammer Geoff Hurst one of those to miss out.

In front of in excess of 70,000 at Stadion Slaski, Liverpool frontman Roger Hunt scored the game's only goal, bagging the winner after just 14 minutes.

Peters, who had only made his international debut a month earlier against Yugoslavia at Wembley, collected just his third cap, while skipper Moore made his 41st outing for the Three Lions.

England would head into their World Cup opener against Uruguay with four friendly wins out of four in the immediate build up to what became, of course, the most glorious of English summers.