#50GreatestMatches - #35 West Ham United 10-0 Bury
West Ham United celebrates its 125th anniversary on 29 June – and as part of our celebrations we're counting down to the date with the Club’s #50GreatestMatches – brought to you by Monster Energy!
With your help and recommendations, we've whittled down that list of 5,500 matches to a top 50, featuring landmark goals, trophies held aloft, heroic individual performances and remarkable collective efforts.
We continue the #50GreatestMatches countdown with the Hammers' biggest-ever victory...
The Hammers had scored eleven goals against Crystal Palace in a London Wartime Combination fixture in April 1918 and a War League South fixture at home to Southend United in October 1940. In April 1940, they had bagged ten at Chelsea in a War League South win.
In the Football League and major knockout competitions, however, such an amazing haul had eluded the Irons, with 8-0 victories over Rotherham United in Division Two in March 1958 and Sunderland in Division One in October 1968 the Club’s joint-record wins at the time.
There was little warning that those eye-catching scorelines were in jeopardy when John Lyall’s Division One leaders edged the Milk Cup second-round first leg tie 2-1 at Fourth Division Bury.
Paul Goddard and substitute Neil Orr hit the target at Gigg Lane, where the hosts more than matched their illustrious visitors. Indeed, reports claimed Bury could and should have won the match, only for substitute Orr to race onto Goddard’s pass and fire past David Brown.
Three weeks later, on 25 October 1983, the two sides reconvened for the second leg at the Boleyn Ground, where Lyall named arguably his strongest available side for a tie many considered to be a mere formality.
In a far cry from the present-day squad rotation craze, the home manager made just one change to his starting XI, bringing in Paul Allen for Steve Whitton in midfield.
Just as had happened the first meeting, West Ham took an early lead when the poacher supreme Tony Cottee, then just 19, reacted quickest to poke the hosts into the lead with just 100 seconds on the clock.
Fortunately for Lyall’s men, defender John Bramhall slammed his spot-kick against the post and Entwistle blazed the rebound over the crossbar.
Having been given a giant let-off, West Ham produced a ‘gloriously entertaining performance’ that produced a further nine goals – including four for the teenage Cottee.
The second of the ten arrived on 17 minutes, when Ray Stewart lifted a cross to the far post for fellow defender Alvin Martin to meet with an accurate header.
On 23, it was 3-0 on the night courtesy of an accurate 15-yard shot from another long-serving Claret and Blue veteran, 36-year-old Trevor Brooking.
Brooking then turned provider eleven minutes before half-time when he crossed for Bonds, who headed the ball back for Cottee to bag his second of the game.
And the striker completed his hat-trick six minutes before the break when he timed his run into the penalty area perfectly to nod Allen’s right-wing cross past the luckless Brown.
At 5-0 up on the night and 7-1 up on aggregate one might have expected West Ham to take their collective foot off the pedal in the second half – particularly given their lofty league position and with an away trip to Watford to plan for three days later.
Not a bit of it.
Instead, the Hammers doubled their tally in the second 45 minutes, despite Brooking spending six minutes on the touchline receiving treatment for a fractured nose.
His return shortly after the hour-mark saw the floodgates reopen as Cottee made it 6-0 with his fourth.
Alan Devonshire then added the goal of the night with a run and scorching shot from 25 yards on 67 minutes before Stewart smashed home a penalty with typical aplomb via the same post that had denied Bramhall earlier.
With nine minutes left, Brooking’s deflected lob made it 9-0, before the midfielder’s one-two with Devonshire allowed the latter to round things off with a low shot four minutes from time.
Bury’s defeat was complete and West Ham’s record books had been re-written.
The winger, whose form saw some tipping him for an England recall, reflected on that feat and West Ham’s ten-goal with mixture of pride and surprise.
“Scoring two goals against Bury in the Milk Cup was a bit of a shock wasn’t it?” he wrote in the matchday programme. “It was nice though.
“People say we were playing a Fourth Division side but, whoever you are playing it is eleven against eleven and it is never easy.
“It was a hard game at Bury in the first leg, but on the night at Upton Park we played ever so well and everything went in for us.”
As a further postscript to West Ham’s ten-goal victory – and a story that has since gone down in the Club’s folklore in its own right – Lyall famously signed Bury’s centre-back Paul Hilton in February 1984 for a £100,000 fee.
The moustachioed defender would go on to make 79 appearances for the Hammers over five seasons before retiring at the age of 30. He would serve as a coach under Bonds and later served as assistant Academy manager under Tony Carr.
West Ham’s Milk Cup run continued with a 1-0 home win over Brighton & Hove Albion in the third round and a 2-2 draw with Everton in round four. The Toffees then proved too sticky in a replay, which they won 2-0 at Goodison Park to end the Hammers’ hopes of winning the competition for the first time.