#50GreatestMatches - #32 West Ham United 5-4 Bradford City
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!
Since the Hammers were formed as Thames Ironworks FC in 1895, we have played in excess of 5,500 matches – reaching five FA Cup finals - and one women's FA Cup final, lifting European silverware and competing across the globe and enjoying thousands of memorable moments.
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 a hugely dramatic nine-goal thriller at the Boleyn Ground...
Nine goals, stunning comebacks, stupendous strikes, dramatic injuries, Academy starlets and, at the end of the 90 minutes, three points; West Ham United's 5-4 victory over Bradford City on this day in 2000, simply put, had it all.
One of the most remarkable games in Premier League and Boleyn Ground history saw Harry Redknapp's Hammers trail 1-0, lead 2-1, slip to a 4-2 deficit, level the scores with 20 minutes to go and ultimately emerge 5-4 winners - settled by Frank Lampard's goal seven minutes from time - at various stages of a rollercoaster afternoon.
Teenage goalkeeper Stephen Bywater experienced a remarkable debut after Shaka Hislop suffered a broken leg five minutes in, while the game also saw Paolo Di Canio's dispute with Lampard over who should take a crucial penalty in the second half - the Italian winning out and then scoring.
“They come to be entertained and they certainly got their money's worth today. It was a magnificent game," Redknapp smiled afterwards.
Relegation-threatened Bradford gave their all in a see-saw contest, which began with Hammers goalkeeper Shaka Hislop being stretchered off with a broken leg after an accidental clash with Dean Saunders, to be replaced by young debutant Stephen Bywater.
On half-an-hour, the teenager was beaten by a Dean Windass header, before Trevor Sinclair levelled. John Moncur then put West Ham ahead with a long-range shot, only to concede a penalty a minute later, which Peter Beagrie netted to make it 2-2 before half-time.
Within six minutes of the second half starting, the Bantams were two goals ahead through Jamie Lawrence’s quickfire double.
Redknapp’s men looked to be down and out when they trailed Bradford 4-2 with 25 minutes left, but the attack-minded Hammers kept pushing forward and they were rewarded for their efforts with all three points.
On 65 minutes, substitute Paul Kitson was fouled inside the penalty area and Lampard prepared to take the spot-kick. However, Di Canio insisted he should take it instead, and an argument ensued before the Italian forward placed the ball and beat Aidan Davison from 12 yards.
Five minutes later, teenage midfielder Cole strengthened his claims for an England call-up when he levelled the scores 20 minutes from the end, firing home after a brilliant solo run before burying himself in the crowd in celebration.
It was left to another Academy product, Lampard, to have the final say, firing home a spectacular winner on 83 minutes to send the Boleyn Ground wild.