Danny Shea was West Ham’s first ever cult hero. The pacey striker from Wapping plied his trade for the Hammers, between 1907 and 1913, before his sale to Blackburn Rovers, for £2000, made grown men cry. However, Danny left his mark and no Hammer has ever scored more goals against Southampton than the fleet footed Shea. He scored eight in total during that period and set a record that has survived two World Wars and the attentions of Bill Robinson who scored six against the Saints in the early 1950s and Sir Geoffrey Hurst who also scored six during the 1960s. It is one of the few striking records that holds a chance of being bettered in our lifetime. That is if an able striker sticks with the club for more than 5 minutes.
One record that is unlikely to be beaten is held by Bill Robinson who managed to score in five consecutive games against Southampton between 1949 and 1951. Frederic Kanoute got close with goals in three consecutive games between 2000 and 2002 but the cheque book once again scuppered the chances to rewrite history.
Only three Hammers have posted hat-tricks in games against our South Coast rivals – James Joyce in 1899-1900 when the club was known as the Thames Ironworks, Pop Robson during 1972-73 and Paul Goddard during 1981-82. 30 years since a Hammer scored three in a game against Southampton is a record that needs updating. Let’s hope Carroll shines today.
Mark Noble was the last West Ham midfielder to score against Southampton during last season and you have to go back to Jermain Defoe in 2003 to find the last time one of our strikers found the net. It should be noted that the teams did not meet after 2003 until last season. Stuart Pearce (Pictured) was the last West Ham defender to score against Southampton, during a 3-2 away victory in November 2000. When West Ham achieved the double over Southampton during season 2000-01 it was the first time since 1952-53 that such an achievement had been accomplished. Southampton are always a tough nut to crack and once registered a 6-2 mauling at The Dell in the season following West Ham’s victory in the World Cup.
It is almost 100 years since West Ham’s biggest margin of victory over The Saints. George ‘Gatling Gun’ Hilsdon, Herbert ‘Tiddler’ Ashton, Frank Burton and Jack Casey all contributed to a 5-1 spanking during 1913-14. Hilsdon also holds the record for the longest time between goals against Southampton. He scored in both season 1904-05 and 1912-13 to establish an eight year gap which is yet to be beaten.
So today we will be looking for a 5-0 victory with four goals from Carroll so that you can go home in the knowledge that you saw something that no other West Ham fan has seen in over 113 years of football between these two fine old clubs. Until the next time, always remember, the past matters.