Our first home match of the season pits us up against West Ham United, in a fixture United have more often
than not had considerable success in. However, The Hammers last visit did not end in so well, with the ex-Toon trio of Sam Allardyce, Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll conspiring to inflict a 1-0 defeat last November. But the first recorded game between these two sides ended in more familiar fashion, with 15 stone striker Bill Appleyard bagging a brace in a 2-0 FA cup victory for The Magpies back in 1908.
In Premier League times we’ve dished out some hidings to the men from East London, most recently in January 2011 in one of Alan Pardew’s first games in the hot-seat when Leon Best led Newcastle to a 5-0 thrashing of The Hammers, scoring a hat trick in the process. Another convincing win occurred in the first game of the 2002/2003 season when a 25 minute Blitzkreig in the second half from Lomana Lua Lua (2), Alan Shearer and Nobby Solano got us off to the perfect start. We were perhaps aided that day by the mysterious absence of The Hammers star player, one Paolo Di Canio who always tended to pick up an “injury” whenever the annual visit to St. James Park came round.
Fans who reminisce over the KK era in the mid-90’s will recall a meeting with The Irons at the back end of the 95-96 season in which we absolutely battered them, with the recently signed ‘Tino Asprilla running the show, getting on the score sheet in the process alongside Phillipe Albert and Les Ferdinand.
United’s record against West Ham does not make for such good reading in the 1980s with only 2 wins
recorded in the 7 visits of the Londoners, the most memorable of which came in 1986 when The Magpies came out 4-0 winners with two goals from Andy Thomas, beating a West Ham side that containing Frank McAvennie (now of Gateshead) and Tony Cottee, with Paul Ince making his league debut as a substitute as United gained revenge over the 8-1 reverse at Upton Park a few months previously.
One encounter between the two sides many will remember for the wrong reasons was a league match in 1980. On the pitch spectators witnessed a drab 0-0 draw but the match became well known due to the crowd trouble which culminated in a petrol bomb being thrown into the away end, injuring a teenage boy.
As alluded to earlier, we’ve overall enjoyed a good home record over West Ham apart from a blip during the 1980s. In the 30 year period between 1947 and 1977, where The Hammers only won once on Tyneside in 16 meetings, teams including the likes of Trevor Brooking and the World Cup winning trio of Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst often coming unstuck at St. James Park. Over that period the most notable meeting came in 1970 when Wyn Davies and Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson were amongst the scorers in a 4-1 victory for The Magpies.