Tuesday 07 Jul
Updated Tuesday 07 Jul 11:09
History

Malcolm Musgrove: West Ham United's goalscoring wing wizard

Malcolm Musgrove

 

One of the finest wingers in West Ham United history, Malcolm Musgrove, was born on this day in 1933.

A member of Ted Fenton’s 1958 Second Division title winning side, Musgrove was voted Hammer of the Year in 1960, and totalled an astounding 98 goals in 317 goals in Claret and Blue.

The left-sided player was raised in the Northumbria village of Lynemouth, 20 miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where he began his career with the local Lynemouth Colliery football team.

As a teenager, he was called up for National Service and stationed in north west Scotland in the RAF, and it was while playing for Scottish junior side Sunnybank in Aberdeen that he was scouted and signed by West Ham in December 1953.

 

1958 Second Division champions

 

Musgrove quickly established himself in Fenton’s team, debuting in a Second Division fixture at Brentford on 27 February 1954. His first goals arrived in December of the same year, when he netted two in a 3-3 draw with Bury at the Boleyn Ground.

Between 1956/57 and 1961/62, Musgrove’s outstanding wing play saw him reach double figures in six consecutive seasons, in addition to creating dozens of goals for his teammates. He played a starring role, for example, by setting up goal after goal in the record 8-0 thrashing of Rotherham United in March 1958.

In 1957/58, he played 39 times and found the net on nine occasions in the Second Division as the Irons ended their 26-year absence from the top flight in style, including a goal in the title-clinching 3-1 win at Middlesbrough on the final day of the season.

 

1958 promotion winners

 

After helping the Hammers to finish sixth in the First Division in 1958/59, Musgrove hit top form the following season, scoring 15 league goals and 19 in total on his way to being voted Hammer of the Year.

Musgrove finished as West Ham’s leading First Division scorer in 1960/61, with 17 goals in 40 appearances, and he added 13 more in 1961/62 following the appointment of Ron Greenwood as manager.

In 1962, he became chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, remaining in the post for four years.
December 1962 saw Musgrove depart the Boleyn Ground after nine years, as he moved the short distance to Leyton Orient, who had been promoted to the First Division for the first time in their history the previous season.

He remained at Brisbane Road for three years before taking up coaching roles at Charlton Athletic, Aston Villa and Leicester City, where he assisted former West Ham teammate Frank O’Farrell in guiding the Foxes to the First Division in 1970/71.

 

Malcolm Musgrove and Frank O'Farrell at Manchester United

 

He then joined O’Farrell at Manchester United before becoming a manager in his own right at Torquay United in 1973. After three years, he moved to the United States to coach the Connecticut Bicentennials and Chicago Sting in the NASL, before returning to Devon to manage Exeter City between 1981 and 1984.

A nomadic career saw him work as a physio in Qatar and for Plymouth Argyle, before he joined another former Hammers teammate, John Bond, and helped Shrewsbury Town win the Third Division title in 1993.

In later life, he retired to Torquay with his wife Jean, with whom he had three children, David, Martin and Allison.

Malcolm Musgrove passed away in September 2007, aged 74, but his mesmeric, prolific play in a West Ham United shirt will never be forgotten.

 

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