For the Record: Noble's notable Norwich goals

Mark Noble scores at Norwich in February 2016


Historian, author and lifelong Hammer Tim Crane takes an in-depth look back at the 72 competitive matches West Ham has played against Norwich City dating back to 1905...


Before we move onto Norwich City, for the record, West Ham’s 3-1 victory at Watford last weekend saw Mark Noble score his third career goal at Vicarage Road. It places him joint second on the all-time list of Hammers’ to have scored away at Watford, along with 1980s midfield supremo Alan Dickens. Clinging to top spot on four goals between 1908 and 1913 is Danny Shea, the much heralded ‘Wapping Whippet’.

Sebastien Haller’s brace in that match – his first competitive goals for the Club – puts him in the company of Tony Cottee, Frank McAvennie and Frank Piercy, all of whom enjoyed their away days in Hertfordshire. Still no Hammer has ever scored a hat-trick against The Hornets. 

Today, we welcome Norwich City to the London Stadium for their first visit and the Hammers have already produced three hat-trick heroes against The Canaries – Danny Shea (1912), David Mangnall (1935) and 1940 War Cup match-winner Sam Small (1939). It is a club that is always open to new members. 

The aforementioned Shea also tops the goalscoring charts against today’s opponents. He found the net on eight occasions between 1908-1912. Shea has a three-goal cushion over fellow strikers Harry Stapley, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson and Tony Cottee. Mark Noble has an opportunity today to add to his tally of two goals which would catapult him into the top ten Hammers scorers against the men from Norfolk.

Noble’s first goal against Norwich came on New Years Day 2013, while he added another at Carrow Road in our most-recent meeting in February 2016, which ended 2-2.

The record for time between goals is currently held by Geoff Pike on seven years and ten months (April 1977 and February 1985). Cottee is next on the list with seven years and five months (August 1987 and March 1995).

West Ham’s legendary goalkeeper Phil Parkes has kept the most number of clean sheets against Norwich. He kept his net unruffled on four occasions between 1982-1989 and remains two ahead of Joe Hughes (1911 and 1914), Herman Conway (1935 and 1938) and Ludek Miklosko (1992 and 1993).

Hopefully, Lukasz Fabianski will open his account today. Interestingly, no Hammers’ keeper has ever kept home and away clean sheets in a single season. It should be noted however, that Peter Grotier and Bobby Ferguson did share the achievement during 1972/73.

One remarkable goalkeeping feat centres on former Hammers goalkeeper George Kitchen. Not only did the Derbyshire man keep a clean sheet against The Canaries but he also managed to score against them, too. The goal, a penalty, came first, in 1906, before the clean sheet followed four years later!

Curiously, little is known about when  Kitchen passed away but some accounts suggest he could have been the longest living Hammer in the Club’s history by reaching the age of 95. Any information would be most appreciated.

The Hammers enjoy a good record against Norwich with 28 wins 22 draws and 22 defeats. With only one defeat in the last eleven encounters, confidence should be high.

*Tim Crane’s latest book; They Played for John Lyall – The West Ham years, is available on Amazon, Swan Books in Upminster and Newham Books on Barking Road. Interviews with the 77 Hammers who played for John Lyall between 1974-1989 provides the perfect gift.


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