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Essex Shield

Tales from the Boundary

Forever Blowing Bubbles


Following Liverpool winning the Premier League (that's a football competition by the way), after a 30 year 'drought', a mate of mine commented that West Ham won the World Cup (football, again) in 1966.   Of course, he was referring to the contribution of Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore and Martin Peters in that campaign.  As you will have surmised, said mate is an East Ender (a real one, not a TV 'star').   I reminded him that his heroes had the services of an Ipswich manager, Alf (later Sir Alfred) Ramsey, who was born in Dagenham.

Anyway, I also reminded said mate that Hurst played cricket for Essex.  In fact he played just once for the Firsts, against Lancashire at Aigburth, Liverpool in 1962, scoring 0 and 0*, so averaged 0, but caught Tommy Greenhough off the bowling of Jim Laker in the second innings, to help Essex win by 28 runs.  Luckily, Geoff scored 3 against Germany at Wembley, as, I expect, most of us will remember.

Hurst played 23 matches for Essex Seconds between 1962 and 1964 (if I've counted right), starting against Kent and catching A. B. Chivers off Brian Edmeades for four in Kent's first innings; clearly the first wicket of the match, which must have boosted his confidence.  He scored 20 and 2 and took another catch in the second innings.  Also playing in that match were Fletcher, Hobbsy and Eddie Presland who was with West Ham at the time, although he played football mainly with Crystal Palace.

I quite thought Bobby Moore played for Essex but it seems not.  He does, however, have a mention on Cricket Archive, playing for the 'Hammers' in a match on 10th August 1969; Belhus v West Ham United Football Club at Belhus Park, South Ockendon.  Apart from Hurst and Moore, other notable names are Frank Lampard, Trevor Brooking and Harry Redknapp.   Also playing was Stuart Morgan, who lived near me when he played for and captained Colchester United in the early 1970s.  Stuart scored 34 and took 3 for 25 off 10, despite being Welsh, and Bobby Moore took 5 for 16 off 7.

The footnotes to this match state: “The visit of West Ham United FC drew an estimated 1,500 spectators.  As West Ham had beaten Newcastle United the previous day (and won 1-0), they were in confident mood, and were highly competitive.   It was a memorable Sunday afternoon”.  From Belhus Park, WHU moved to Upton Park the following day - and won their league match against Chelsea F.C. (2-0).

Andrew Appleby