Marlon Harewood has revealed the role Teddy Sheringham played in his first Premier League hat-trick – scored on this day exactly 13 years ago.
The striker had netted just one top-flight goal prior to his £500,000 move to West Ham United in November 2003 – for Nottingham Forest at Middlesbrough five years before – and spent virtually his whole career playing in the second tier.
However, the Hammers’ promotion from the Championship gave Harewood a second crack at the top flight. Initially, it did not go too well for the forward as he failed to score in his opening three appearances, but things changed dramatically when Aston Villa visited the Boleyn Ground on 12 September 2005.
We had a great team around and having someone like Teddy, if you can’t learn of him, you can’t learn off anyone
“My first Premier League goals for West Ham came along like London busses as I scored a hat-trick against Aston Villa in September 2005,” recalled Harewood, who turned 39 last month. “I remember that game very well as Pards told me before: ‘Marlon, you’re an amazing lad and an amazing player, you work hard and, if you keep going, the goals will come’.”
While Pardew’s backing undoubtedly had a positive effect, it was the words of another then-39-year-old which gave Harewood the confidence he could find the net at the highest level.
“It was hard as I was a striker who wasn’t scoring and Teddy said to me: ‘You’re going to score tonight and, when the opportunity comes, I want you to take a deep breath and you’ll take it’,” he recalled, remembering the night his treble inspired the newly-promoted Hammers to a 4-0 win over David O’Leary’s Villa.
“It was then Teddy who put me in for my first goal and I chested it down, took my time and put it in the corner. I can remember it like it was yesterday!
“I had been thinking too much about stuff, but I kept going, listened to good advice and got my reward that night.
“We had a great team around and having someone like Teddy, if you can’t learn of him, you can’t learn off anyone. After what he had achieved, I couldn’t ask for any more and I want to thank him for playing a part in my success at West Ham.”
Harewood went on to score 56 goals in 170 appearances in Claret and Blue. He now runs a bespoke vehicle service provider and works as a matchday ambassador at London Stadium.