August 20, 1966, Division One

WHUvChelsea6627 August ~ The 1966-67 season kicked off just three weeks after the World Cup final, and there was no break for West Ham's medal-winning trio of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, who took to the field ahead of the other players on a hot afternoon to be greeted by a widely bare-chested crowd. Not only did they play 90 minutes against Chelsea, but they had played through against Kaiserslautern seven days after the 4-2 win against West Germany, and in subsequent tour games at Lausanne and Karlsruhe. Across the three pre-season games, the Hammers used a single sub.

The programme has a fatherly, condescending tone, offering patient explanations to the reader as to why, for example, the team had been quiet in the summer transfer market – because "it is usually better to be patient than too hasty in such dealings". Want to speed up everyone's journey home through Upton Park station? "Much time can be saved if return rail tickets are purchased before coming to the match." Solid advice.

Analysis of the visiting Chelsea team is limited to pointing out that "they will be keen to get off to a good start, so we can expect a hard match". Feeling "reasonably confident" about the coming season, though, was not enough to achieve the club's stated goal of a place in Europe. Not only did the all-English West Ham lose this opening-day fixture, they finished 16th in the 22-team division, seven places behind Chelsea (seven Englishmen, four Scots), who went on to lose the 1967 FA Cup final 2-1 to Tottenham.

Targeting the fan demographic There is not a single advert of any description in this programme.

Result West Ham 1 (Boyce) Chelsea 2 (Cooke, Hollins)

Crowd 36,122

West Ham Standen, Burnett, Charles, Bovington, Moore, Peters, Brabrook, Boyce, Byrne, Hurst, Sissons. 

Chelsea Bonetti, Kirkup, McCreadie, Hollins, Hinton, Harris, Boyle, Graham, Osgood, Cooke, Tambling

Ian Plenderleith

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