On This Day: West Ham United leave Eintracht Frankfurt stuck in the mud


Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with Heineken...

Rain fell steadily all day on Wednesday 14 April 1976 – so much of it fell, in fact, that there was some doubt as to whether or not West Ham United's European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final second leg with Eintracht Frankfurt would go ahead.

As it was, the match officials deemed the sodden pitch playable and the tie was on, with the Hammers kicking-off trailing 2-1 from the first leg in West Germany.

Starved of success in the league and optimistic that their heroes could turn things around again, the West Ham fans braved the conditions in their droves, with 39,202 packing into the Boleyn Ground.

The Hammers started well but could not find a way through the Eintracht defence in the opening 45 minutes, while Day was again called into action to keep the Germans at bay at the other end.

Four minutes after the break, though, West Ham finally made the breakthrough they required. Lampard collected in the inside-left position before curling a cross into the box, where Brooking leapt and sent an inch-perfect header looping into the top right-hand corner.

The tie was level on the night and, as they had done against Den Haag, the hosts were set to go through on away goals - but the Hammers wanted more…

With a chorus of Bubbles floating across the dark east London sky, West Ham resisted Eintracht’s attempts at a comeback to score two iconic goals.

First, Brooking launched a perfect diagonal pass for Keith Robson, who was clean through on goal but initially appeared to run past the ball.

The midfielder steadied himself, however, controlling the ball on the muddy surface before swinging his trusty left boot at the ball and firing it high into the far top corner, giving Kunter no chance.

The noise which met Robson’s strike was deafening, but West Ham were not finished yet.

Billy Jennings in action against Eintracht Frankfurt


With 12 minutes remaining, Tommy Taylor’s quickly-taken throw was played back to him by Graham Paddon and the defender set Brooking away with a fantastic through ball.

The elegant No10 made light of the horrible, slippery conditions to cut inside his defender with one touch and curl effortlessly past Kunter with his second. Again, the roof came off the Boleyn.

“Brooking. Beautiful timing. Still Brooking. Yes, number three. Magnificent! What a smile, and what a goal!” roared television commentator Brian Moore.

“It’s a beautiful pass from Taylor, a perfectly timed run by Brooking. It’s here that he keeps his head, there that he shows his skill and there that he almost certainly makes it safe for West Ham.

“It’s three-nil now and so much for the Germans to do.”

To their credit, Eintracht did not give in and set up another nervous climax when Beverungen pulled one back with three minutes to go, but the Hammers would not be denied.

It may be 46 years ago, but the night Brooking and Robson danced through the East End mud will forever be known as one of the greatest nights in Boleyn Ground history.