West Ham United fans expect their players to give absolutely everything for the cause – and that is exactly what Bobby Gould did to secure West Ham United’s FA Cup third-round win at Southampton on this day in 1975.
The Hammers kicked-off their ultimately successful bid to win the world’s most-famous knockout competition exactly 46 years ago with a 2-1 victory at The Dell.
However, it came at a considerable cost to match-winner Gould, who suffered a broken leg in a challenge by Saints striker Peter Osgood moments after his header had put the Irons into a two-goal lead.
The pain seriously worsened on the train home to Bristol and I could barely drive my Volkswagen Beetle the final few miles home. I’d broken my leg!
“We kicked-off our 1975 FA Cup campaign at Southampton, where my diving header – five minutes ahead of the break – put us into a two-goal lead before I then got clattered by Peter Osgood, who did me like an absolute kipper,” recalled forward Gould, who had signed from Bristol City in late 1973.
“Patsy Holland replaced me for the second half and, after our eventual 2-1 victory, I got helped off the team-coach at Southampton station.
“The pain seriously worsened on the train home to Bristol and I could barely drive my Volkswagen Beetle the final few miles home. I’d broken my leg!”
The injured Gould did not know it at the time, nor did fellow goalscorer Frank Lampard or any of his Claret and Blue colleagues, that they would go on to lift the trophy at Wembley five months later.
While the former Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion favourite healed and worked his way back to fitness, the previously unheralded Alan Taylor made himself a hero, scoring twice in the sixth-round win over Arsenal and semi-final victory over Ipswich Town.
When it came to facing Bobby Moore’s Fulham in the final, Taylor and Holland got the nod from manager John Lyall, while Gould had to make do with a place on the substitutes’ bench.
“I returned for the semi-finals against Ipswich but was useless at both Villa Park and Stamford Bridge, so all I got for the final against Fulham was a No12 shirt, as Patsy got the nod,” he confirmed.
“I was really disappointed to be benched at Wembley, where I developed a terrible cough late on, hoping John would say: ‘Gouldie, you’re going on.’
“No substitution came but I never held it against John, who had his job to do. The more I got into management, the more I respected his decision. The on-fire Alan Taylor – nicknamed ‘Sparra’ because of his sparrow-like legs – scored twice to follow up his doubles against Arsenal and Ipswich in the two previous two rounds. God only knows how many wings he’d grown, Sparra was absolutely flying!
“I enjoyed our celebrations and still have the Claret and Blue police constable’s helmet that I wore on our lap of honour.
“Having also managed Wimbledon to victory in 1988, I reckon I’m the only bloke to receive two FA Cup winner’s medals without ever going onto the field of play!”