When I get depressed about the latest plans at the club I have supported since I was a child I think back to time gone by. I was lucky in that I was the youngest in a family of West Ham fans, meaning that I spent a lot of time following the club to strange places with my Dad and brother whilst they were in the old Second Division. In fact by the time I was 12 I had seen West Ham play in over 50 different grounds – I mean who would do that today (well apart from Lolly who had seen 64 by the time she was 10).
The 1979/80 season for the Hammers was a disappointing campaign in league terms. Having been relegated to the old Second Division in 1977, just a year after appearing in the European Cup Winners Cup Final the club invested hugely in the squad with the likes of Phil Parkes, the goalkeeper signed from QPR for a then world record £565,000 (worth about £2.1m today), virtually unknown Scottish teenager Ray Stewart for £430,000 and ex-Manchester United legend Stuart Pearson. Consequently this virtually unheard of level of spending for a second division club made them favourites for promotion. Continue reading