On this day - 8 June

Classic match

West Ham United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers
Football League War Cup final
Saturday 8 June 1940, Wembley Stadium, London

West Ham United won their first Wembley final on this day in 1940, edging out Blackburn Rovers 1-0 to lift the inaugural Football League War Cup.

Sam Small was the hero of the day, following up after Alec George Foreman's shot had been parried by Blackburn goalkeeper James Barron to score the only goal of the game on 35 minutes.

A crowd of 42,300 braved the war-time bombing of London to attend the final at Wembley Stadium, but they were not rewarded with a classic match. West Ham began the game as favourites and they held the upper hand for much of what was described by The Times as a 'grim' game. When West Ham did get things right, they troubled Rovers, with Foreman, Len Goulden, Stanley Foxall and Archie Macaulay all heavily involved.

The best move of the match culminated in Small's all-important goal. Foxall and Goulden combined to find Foreman, whose shot looked certain to find the net until Barron flung out a hand to make the save. However, the Blackburn stopper was unable to recover quickly enough to prevent winger Small finishing into the net.

Both teams came close in the second half, but West Ham goalkeeper Herman Conway and his defenders were largely untroubled by their opponents and the Londoners held on to win.

The trophy was presented to the winning team by A.V.Alexander, First Lord of the Admiralty, while the crowd was made up in part by servicemen. Following the final, a number of players from both sides immediately returned to their service units in the various Armed Forces.


England 2-0 Soviet Union
UEFA European Championship third-place play-off
8 June 1968, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

While the 1966 and 1970 FIFA World Cup finals will live long in the memory of every West Ham United and England supporter, the 1968 UEFA European Championship finals tournament remains relatively unknown.

England had qualified for the four-team tournament by topping a qualifying group that included Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland before overcoming Spain 3-1 on aggregate in a two-legged tie.

EURO 1968 was held in Italy, with England joining the host nation, Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. As world champions, England were expected to do well, only to lose 1-0 to Yugoslavia in Florence in the semi-finals, with Dragan Džaji? scoring an 87th-minute winner. Italy and the Soviets drew 0-0 after extra-time, with the hosts going through to the final on a coin toss - no penalty shootouts in those days!

The third-place play-off was held in Rome on this day in 1968 and England boss Alf Ramsey named three West Ham players in his starting XI - captain Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst.

Fellow 1966 FIFA World Cup winner Bobby Charlton opened the scoring on 39 minutes before Hurst netted his tenth goal for England 18 minutes after half-time to ensure England would finish in third place. Moore and Hurst were later named in the Team of the Tournament.

Complete record

1940 West Ham United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers (Football League War Cup final)

Played 1, Won 1, Drawn 0, Lost 0, Scored 1, Conceded 0