Sunday 21 September 2014

West Haggis XI: West Ham Salute their Greatest Tartan Hammers

In the week that Scotland opted to forego independence and remain within the disUnited Kingdom, we reflect on the relationship East London’s finest have had with the men from far North, and consider the greatest tartan Hammers.

In goals, the ever dependable Bobby Ferguson, who arrived at the Boleyn for a world record transfer fee in 1967, and served up until Phil Parkes arrived in 1979. 240 appearances for the Hammers – including one as a winger! Top class Hammer.

The back four includes Ray Tonka Stewart, who also serves as chief penalty taker. A solid right back who is a true Hammers legend. Also from the boys of '86 is Neil Orr, while the centre back berths are filled by SuperChristian Dailly – a loyal servant indeed, and Malky ‘Oops did I press send!?’ Mackay, once an apparent shoe-in for the Hammers manager role but now very much an outside bet.

Midfield is ‘interesting’, with Dirty Don Hutchison alongside the pacey winger Jimmy Andrews of 1950s fame (who played 120 games with 21 goals between 1951-6) and Nigel Quashie – perhaps Alan Curbishley’s least impressive signing in 2007 and who struggled to break in to a Hammers side that was itself struggling. Injuries and the emergence of Collison et al ended his time at Upton Park and he returned to his beloved QPR. He is still active as player manager of Icelandic side Bolungarvik.

Up Front, first up there’s the volatile David Speedie, who had a short stint at the Boleyn but made a vital contribution to our 1993 promotion scoring 4 goals in 11 games whilst on trial. Then there’s the amusingly-named John Dick – considerably less amusing to opponents during his 364 game acreer for West Ham between 1953 and 1962 during which he notched 176 goals making him West Ham’s third highest scorer of all time! Finally, to top it off, Frank McAvennie. There is no need for any description of Macca’s exploits apart from to say that he is a massive Hammer’s legend of considerable scoring prowess both on and off the field of play!

How would such a team fare against the current Hammers? A decent defence, albeit seriously lacking pace, and a potent attack, but the midfield lacks bite and would struggle to hold any decent level of possession. Ferguson would undoubtedly be mighty busy!

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