5. In at number five at has to be the win over Tottenham Hotspur to stop them getting into the Champions League; after relegation from the Premier League in 02/03 Hammers up and down the land had to deal with seeing Not only Jermain Defoe but Michael Carrick in successive seasons make the short journey to White Hart Lane. After promotion was secured in the 04/05 season we met the Lilywhites in an end of season fixture that if they won they’ve have clinched Champions league footy…with Defoe and Carrick in their side nonetheless…however this did not come to pass as Yossi Benayoun struck an 80th minute winner in a game that had just about everything to condemn Spurs to the realms of the Europa League and restore pride and a little vengeance to the
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4. Has too be staying on the final day of the season at Old Trafford. After a season which Hollywood would reject as a script for a fear of seeming too unrealistic West Ham travelled to Old Trafford to face champions Manchester United on the last day of the 06/07 season needing at least a draw to be sure of survival; the intriguing sub-plot is that whole country was hoping we would go down as a perceived ‘justice’ for irregularities concerning the controversial transfer of Carlos Tevez…and in a twist worthy of the likes of Wilde and Shakespeare Carlos Tevez nicked a goal on the stroke of half-time which ended up being the winner, as Sheffield United (who couldn’t muster a home draw against Wigan Athletic which would’ve kept them up) went down instead.
3. It has to be the Saturday just gone at the home English football as we secured our glorious return to the Premier League. After a season of frustration, running battles between Big Sam and the traditionalists of Upton Park, the endless home draws etc. all of that was at last put the bed the very moment Ricardo Vaz Te fired the ball into the roof of the net in the 87th minute of a game that literally had everything riding on it for the victors. Failure and it would’ve been another season in the Championship with key players gone and facing a real fight just to get into the top 6, but with the win redemption at last and with that redemption the future now looks a whole lot brighter. The minute Vaz Te slammed the ball into the net the outpouring of frustration, bitterness and anger accrued during the last 2 season’s was released into the atmosphere. It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day.
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2. Sunday 23rd April 2006 Marvellous Marlon’s winner against Middlesbrough that sent us to our first FA Cup Final since 1980. In the run up to match West Ham’s iconic and legendary manager John Lyall sadly passed away and it seemed a fitting tribute for the great man’s legacy and memory that West Ham should reach the final as the last time we did it was under the management of Lyall. The moment Dean Ashton flicked the ball on and Marlon Harewood took a touch with his right before smashing it in with his left it could only be described as a fitting tribute to Lyall as well as a moment of pure ecstacy for Hammers fans.
1. My no.1 moment as a Hammer however has to be Bobby Zamora’s winner against Preston North End in 2005 final at Cardiff’s Millennium stadium. Back then we didn’t have owners like David Gold and David Sullivan willing to dig deep in their own pockets to subsidies the club, if we’d lost that game we could have easily have slipped through the leagues like Charlton, Southampton, Leeds and Leicester all have. Zamora’s winner that day however signaled an end to the sword of Damocles hovering above us and settled a tense and nervy game. Six years of Premier League football ensued after the triumph till that fateful day at the DW the season before last. The ecstasy and relief of Bobby Z’s winner in my humble opinion is unrivalled.
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