On this day - 9 March


Lucas Neill
Date of birth: 9 March 1978
National team: Australia
Clubs: Millwall, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United, Everton, Galatasaray, Al Jazira, Al Wasl, Sydney FC, Omiya Ardija, Watford

Lucas Neill arrived at West Ham United in January 2007 and helped to inspire the Hammers to their now famous 'Great Escape' from relegation the same year.

An uncompromising right-back, Neill attended the Australian Institute of Sport on a football scholarship before moving to English football with Millwall in November 1995 at the age of 17. After nearly six years in south London, he moved north to join Blackburn Rovers.

In January 2007, Neill moved to east London, suffering a knee injury in his second game - a home Premier League defeat by Watford on 10 February. Neill returned to action as captain in the dramatic 4-3 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on 4 March, but then led the Hammers on a run of seven wins in their final nine matches to secure safety on the final day of the season at Manchester United.

Neill remained skipper for the next two seasons before leaving the club at the end of his contract in summer 2009. Since leaving the Boleyn Ground, the Australia national team captain has played for Everton, Turkish club Galatasaray and UAE Pro-League clubs Al Jazira and Al Wasl before returning to his homeland with A-League side Sydney FC in February 2013. After a spell with Sydney, the now 36-year-old had a nine-game stint at J-League side Omiya Ardija before returning to England to sign with Sky Bet Championship side Watford in February.

Classic Match

West Ham United 5-0 Wimbledon
Football League Division One
9 March 2004

Matty Etherington was West Ham United's hat-trick hero in a 5-0 Division One victory over struggling Wimbledon on this date in 2004.

The Hammers had drawn their previous two league matches at Burnley and at home to Walsall, leaving them in fifth position. However, the visit of the relegation-threatened Dons proved to be just the tonic Alan Pardew's side required to make a return to winning ways.

West Ham dominated from start to finish, but had to wait until the 37th minute for Etherington to tap them into the lead. Two minutes later, Bobby Zamora doubled the hosts' advantage from 25 yards. Into the second half and Etherington made it 3-0 on 49 minutes before former Wimbledon midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker added a fourth just after the hour-mark. The left winger completed a memorable personal performance by completing the first and only hat-trick of his West Ham career with 20 minutes remaining.

West Ham would finish the season fourth in the table, only to be beaten 1-0 by Crystal Palace in the Play-Off final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Wimbledon's misery was compounded as they finished bottom of the table, having collected just 29 points from 46 league games played.

Complete record - 9 March

1929 West Ham United 3-3 Blackburn Rovers (Division One)
1935 West Ham United 0-0 Manchester United (Division Two)
1957 Grimsby Town 2-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1960 West Bromwich Albion 3-2 West Ham United (Division One)
1963 Burnley 1-1 West Ham United (Division One)
1974 Derby County 1-1 West Ham United (Division One)
1976 Leeds United 1-1 West Ham United (Division One)
1993 West Ham United 2-1 Grimsby Town (Division One)
1996 West Ham United 2-0 Middlesbrough (Premier League)
2004 West Ham United 5-0 Wimbledon (Division One)
2008 Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 West Ham United (Premier League)

Played 11, Won 3, Drawn 5, Lost 3, Scored 18, Conceded 16