Farewell Boleyn: Banks v Hurst showdown

STOKE SENTINEL.......Picture shows the Geoff Hurst Penalty  against Gordon Banks....

STOKE SENTINEL…….Picture shows the Geoff Hurst Penalty against Gordon Banks….

If Ron Greenwood hadn’t been such a honourable man, England legend Gordon Banks may have been keeping goal for the Hammers in the early 70s. The story goes that Ron shakes hands with the Kilmarnock manager to sign Bobby Ferguson, at the same time England World Cup winning keeper was available on transfer from Leicester City and was offered to West Ham.

Greenwood though has shaken hands on the deal and as such would not go back on it. As a result Banks would join Stoke City and in 1972 faced the Hammers with both teams one step from Wembley Final in the League Cup.

The tie was possibly the most drawn out in that competition, played out over the 2 original legs and then 2 replays. West Ham won the first leg at Stoke’s Victoria Ground 2-1 and a week later the return at the Boleyn was played, just 10 days before Christmas Day.

Stoke had taken the lead on the night, levelling the tie at 2-2, when the Hammers won a penalty. Geoff Hurst, Banks’ England team mate, stepped up to smash West Ham into the final.

The Hurst trademark penalty action was to blast the ball as hard as he could and tonight would be no different, except, as if to further prove his status as the world’s best keeper Banks dived to his right to push the ball over the bar onto the roof of the goal in front of a stunned North Bank.

The first replay took place at Hillsborough and ended equal at 0-0 and so onto Old Trafford for the second go and in a dramatic night, Bobby Ferguson takes a blow to the head and leaves the field.

Bobby Moore not only took over in goal but managed to save a penalty, only for the rebound to be netted as The Potters secured a 3-2 victory.

Stoke would go on to beat Chelsea in the final while it would take the Hammers nine more years to reach their first and only Wembley League Cup Final.

Words and pictures from CandH historian Nigel Kahn

Follow Nige on Twitter @mywhufc



About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

2 comments on “Farewell Boleyn: Banks v Hurst showdown

  1. I went to every game and will never forget thatdirty little cheat terry conner who kicked Ferguson in the head and didn’t even get booked !!!!!
    There were a few in the stoke side who liked to dish it out , horrible side ,
    I hated conner ever after !!!!!
    Bad memory for me !!!

  2. I was right behind the goal on the North Bank when Banks made that save. As a ‘keeper myself, I admired the save, but as a West Ham fan it was a terrible blow, particularly as, if memory serves me right, I had tickets for the final. Those were the days when it was relatively easy to get such tickets. I remember taking a day off school to queue up at the Boleyn to get tickets for 1975 FA Cup Final. Now of course if you’re not a season ticket holder, you’re unlikely to get Cup Final tickets. There seems to be an assumption that those with season tickets are the most loyal fans and so should get precedence. It would be nice though if there was some way where loyal fans who now live overseas could be included in the ticketing system for finals.

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