Back To The Eighties: 1980/81, Part Eight – West Ham United’s Revival Continues
“At a time when so many clubs are suffering from falling attendances West Ham can actually boast that average gates are higher at Upton Park this season,” says Match Of The Day’s commentator Alan Parry prior to West Ham United’s home Division Two match against struggling Grimsby Town on the eighth of November 1980, “and the loyalty of West Ham’s supporters is a reflection of the team’s success.” And well they might. The club had been relegated from the First Division at the end of the 1977/78 season, but despite not having been able to bounce straight back into the top flight, West Ham United won the FA Cup in 1980 against Arsenal thanks to a single headed goal from Trevor Brooking, and the club went into this match in second place in the table, just behind leaders Notts County.
Our other two matches feature somewhat briefer highlights of two matches from the First Division. The cameras of Southern Television were at The Dell to see Southampton play Ipswich Town in what was probably the most entertaining single match of the entire weekend, while finally we have the chance to see a few minutes filmed footage of the match between Leicester City and a Manchester City side that was starting to settle following the appointment of John Bond, who had come into the club a few weeks later to replace Malcolm Allison, whose dismissal from Maine Road after the club’s disastrous start to the season had been perhaps the biggest talking point of its first few weeks. Both Manchester City and West Ham United would end the season as losing cup finalists after a replay, West Ham to Liverpool in the League Cup and Manchester City to Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup.
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