Brian Dear recalls scoring five goals in four days against Leicester!
West Ham United welcome Leicester City to London Stadium seeking to maintain their impressive form in the 2020/21 Premier League season.
With 26 goals in 15 home games so far this campaign, David Moyes’ team certainly know how to find the back of the net in East London, and the Irons will be looking to add to that tally against the Foxes on Sunday afternoon.
But should West Ham’s players look to the history books for inspiration, they could do worse than to emulate the example of Club legend Brian Dear – the forward whose record of scoring the quickest-ever five goals in an English game, against West Bromwich Albion in April 1965, still stands to this day.
For Dear was in his Claret and Blue pomp in the mid-1960s, and remains West Ham’s joint-highest scorer ever against Leicester.
His tally of eight goals in five appearances against Leicester – matched only by teammate and close friend Geoff Hurst – encompassed some memorable strikes for the 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup champion, including one particularly profitable spell over the festive period.
Having hosted Leicester City on Boxing Day 1967 – a game in which Dear scored a clinical hat-trick on the way to a convincing 4-2 win – the Irons were scheduled to travel to Filbert Street just four days later.
The then-24-year-old almost repeated the trick, but was forced to settle for a brace – a close-range header and a thumping left-footed finish – as Ron Greenwood’s side claimed another three points and another 4-2 win.
“Eight times in four games, I beat [Leicester goalkeeper] Peter Shilton!” Dear chuckled.
“I had that spell over Christmas 1967 where I scored five against them in the space of four days – a hat-trick, and two!
“Then, later in my career against them, I got a two [in a 4-0 home win in November 1968] and a one [in the reverse fixture, a 1-1 draw at Filbert Street in February 1969]. The last goal I scored against Leicester was my last one for West Ham.
“Peter Shilton didn’t like me! He was only young then, of course… well, people say ‘he was only young’ – but I say ‘so what? He won 125 caps for England, he can’t be too bad!’ It was always great, playing Leicester.
“I’m most proud of, in my career, scoring my five goals [against West Brom], which hasn’t been beaten yet! Sergio Aguero got five for Manchester City, but mine weren’t in added time. We never played added time – that’s my excuse anyway!”
Dear continues to watch and follow his beloved West Ham United, and, like many supporters, is delighted with Moyes’ team have performed so far this season.
Since retiring from football, Dear has continued to serve the Club he loves as a Matchday Ambassador at London Stadium, greeting supporters in Club London and sharing memories and anecdotes of his playing days.
“They’re doing fantastic – fourth in the league!” Dear smiled.
“I couldn’t watch the second half the other night [against Wolverhampton Wanderers]. After the last 3-3 draw [versus Arsenal], when we went 3-0 up again, I just couldn’t watch – I went upstairs and went to bed!
“Ten minutes from the end, I turned my phone on and had a look, and it was still 3-2 [to West Ham], and I thought ‘oh my goodness, please, please, please’! I was thinking ‘added time is always more than what they show – seven minutes instead of five!’ It was great.
“We scored some great goals, but we have got some tough boys in the side right now, and it’ll be a great game on Sunday against Leicester. That’ll be a tough game, but we beat them up there [at the King Power Stadium], so I’m quite happy right now!
“I’m always a Hammer, and I’m always going to be a Hammer – they’re my Club. I missed a lot of the games in the 70s and 80s when we had those really good sides, but before the pandemic, I came to the games every now and then and did a bit in the hospitality suite.
"Long may it last!”