West Ham United quick review - season 2013/2014
West Ham United Football Club are an English professional football club based in Upton Park, Newham, London, currently playing in the Premier League, England's top tier of football. The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks FC and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United. In 1904 the club relocated to their current Boleyn Ground stadium. They initially competed in the Southern League and Western League before eventually joining the full Football League in 1919 and subsequently enjoyed promotion to the top flight for the 1923 season. 1923 also saw the club feature in the first FA Cup Final to be held at Wembley against Bolton Wanderers.
In 1940 the team won the inaugural Football League War Cup. The club have won the FA Cup three times: in 1964, 1975 and 1980 as well as being runners-up twice, in 1923 and 2006. In 1965, they won the European Cup Winners Cup, and in 1999 they won the Intertoto Cup. They are one of eight clubs existing today to never compete below the second tier of English football; however, unlike the other seven, West Ham has never won the league title. The club's best final league position is third place in the 1985–86 (old) First Division.
Three West Ham players were considered an important factor behind England's triumph in the 1966 World Cup. England's captain at the time was West Ham's Bobby Moore, and both goalscorers in the final were then current players Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters.
The team's supporters are famous for their rendition of the chorus of their team's anthem, "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" introduced to the club by former manager Charlie Paynter in the late 1920s. A Pears soap commercial featuring the curly haired child in the Millais "Bubbles" was well known at the time, The child resembled a player, Billy J. "Bubbles" Murray, from local schoolboy team, Park School, where the headmaster was Cornelius Beal. Beal was known locally for his music and rhyme and wrote special words to the tune of "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" whenever any player was having a good game.
Beal was a friend of Paynter, whilst Murray was a West Ham trialist and played football at schoolboy level with a number of West Ham players such as Jim Barrett. Through this contrivance of association the clubs fans took it upon themselves to begin singing the popular music hall tune before home games, sometimes reinforced by the presence of a house band requested to play the refrain by Charlie Paynter.
The 1975 FA Cup version – which contains the original lyrics, and features vocals from the team's then-current players – is always played before home games, with the home crowd joining in and carrying the song on after the music stops at the verse line "Fortune's always hiding". It is interesting from a musical point of view that the FA Cup version of Bubbles is played in 4/4 time, whereas during the game the crowd always sing it in its original 3/4 – Bubbles was published as a Waltz.
Like other teams the team also have a history of adopting or adapting popular songs of the day to fit particular events, themes, players or personas. These have included serious renditions of theatre and movie classics such as "The Bells are Ringing", along with more pun laden or humorous efforts such as chanting former player Paolo di Canio's name to the canzone La donna è mobile by Verdi, or D.I. Canio to the tune of Ottawan's D.I.S.C.O., or the chant of "Who Let The Pott's Out?" to the tune of "Who Let the Dogs Out?" when Potts could be seen warming up to come on as substitute late on in his career or That's Zamora, to the tune of Dean Martin's 1953 That's Amore in honour of former Iron striker Bobby Zamora. Other former players to be serenaded include Christian Dailly with vastly altered lyrics to Can't Take My Eyes Off You, and Ludek Miklosko.
Fans gained national attention after giving a torrid time to David Beckham in his first away match of 1998–99 the season after the England midfielder was sent off for a petulant foul on Diego Simeone. Coinciding with the game there were claims (and an image taken) that fans, organised by a hardcore, had hung an effigy of the player outside a local pub. Although it was later revealed that the pub was in South-East London, the heartland of West Ham's greatest rivals Millwall. The West Ham fans did boo Beckham's every touch of the ball during the game, however.
They have also displayed a particular zeal when it comes to abusing former players particularly those who are perceived to have abandoned the club, or performed some disservice. Famously Paul Ince, Frank Lampard, Jermain Defoe, Craig Bellamy and Nigel Reo-Coker have borne the brunt of verbal assaults and a guaranteed hostile reception at Upton Park. However, players such as Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Rio Ferdinand, Bobby Zamora and Carlos Tévez receive applause and even standing ovations in honour of their contributions during their time at the club.
12/13 West Ham United Home Shirt
12/13 West Ham United Away Shirt
West Ham United 12/13 team squad
West Ham United
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