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Our tiny squad in 1991/92

An important season for me, as this was the first season when I became a regular. More relevantly, this was a very good season, finishing 7th with a small squad which got me thinking as to whether the size of our current squad is actually the problem, when it's actually the quality, durability and lack of British experience that's the issue. Topped up by couple of loanees (notably Jon Hendry who scored the winner against Millwall, and David Whyte) the 1991/92 squad was basically

GK Bolder and Salmon, 2 experienced keepers
LB Minto and Barness, both home grown, both later sold to Chelsea!
CB Webster, Gatting and Balmer, plus the injured Brown and Caton (RIP)
RB Pitcher (who later moved into midfield)
CM Bumstead and Peake, the latter replaced by Pardew when the left, with Curbishley and Bacon as cover
LM Walsh
RM Lee
FW Leaburn and Nelson, with cover from the youngsters Grant and Gorman and the injured Alex Dyer
Utility Cover Gritt

A tiny squad, no larger than our current squad, but one in which the same core of about 14 players played virtually every game. A really good 1st eleven, but looking back there was no cover for Colin Walsh, Robert Lee or indeed Leaburn, but somehow these players managed to keep playing whereas their modern replacements have none of their durability. Happy memories of this team, and standing on the Upton Park North Bank!

GK Bolder
LB Minto
RB Pitcher
CB Webster
CB Gatting or Balmer
LM Walsh
RM Lee
CM Bumstead
CM Peake then Pardew
FW Leaburn
FW Nelson
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Comments

  • I became a regular that season too. I think that's the year we beat Brighton early on, played brilliantly, Walsh scored a 25 yarder and I felt a true affinity with the team and all was well with the world. When we lost to Tranmere late on to miss out on the play offs I was so gutted but at the same time proud of what we had achieved. Thanks Killerflash, a memory lane moment!!
  • I think I only missed 3 games that season (which was my best attendance record ever). So many highlights both at Upton Park and especially on the road.

    Some blinding away wins at: (wikipedia helped my memory with some of these!)
    Newcastle 3-4
    Blackburn 0-2
    Bristol City 1-2
    Leicester 0-2
    Sunderland 1-2
    Portsmouth 1-2 (a night game I think with David Whyte getting the winner)
    Swindon 1-2 (If I remember rightly.....Webbo in the last minute!)

    Amazing times......and only 24 years ago :(
  • Leicester away was a great win and the starting 11 was not are best Bacon played and a few other reserve players
  • We also won at Derby that season Carl Leaburn chipped Peter Shilton
  • Those were the days :-)
  • With some exception, they weren't the most naturally talented bunch - what did Chelsea and Man City have squad wise that year.

    Shows how things have progressed / worsened in that time
  • Pretty sure I went to every game that season. Used to turn up early doors in some Northern hell hole, find a pub, settle in, get tanked up, go and watch the boys win away again and then get the chuff home, sometimes stopping off somewhere random on the way back for a celebratory jar or three. Happy days!
  • That team would murder our current lot......mind you given their age now we might have call it a day after an hour or so :-)

    Jeez where have those years gone..?
  • @dandavis I remember spending a few afternoons in your company at Upton Park that year. Millwall and bristol City were great. Webster and Walsh belted against bristol
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  • The level of commitment shown by those players was like a team of Jacksons nor Kinsellas, there was something about the cause that inspired them to give 100% every game, even when tired and with minor knocks. And in front of tiny crowds at Upton Park, assuming everyone could get through the Blackwall Tunnel :smile:

    We were broke, and had a rookie joint manager duo, everybody tipped us to struggle.

    The Leicester game at Upton Park has to be my highlight, seeing all those away fans down to celebrate promotion, being escorted ACROSS the pitch to the chicken run side because the South bank was completely full, then us winning 2-0 thanks to that brilliant goal by David Whyte.
  • Great call that was a superb day. Bobby bolder saved a pen too if I remember rightly. Robert Lee was unplayable at that point and at the start of the following year when we won 4 on the spin I think? Including beating the ammers
  • One of my favourite seasons After soulless Selhurst, Upton Park had some character and we knew it was only temporary.

    I loved the Wakefield pub around the corner from the ground. I will be sad to see the Boleyn disappear.
  • DanDavis said:

    I think I only missed 3 games that season (which was my best attendance record ever). So many highlights both at Upton Park and especially on the road.

    Some blinding away wins at: (wikipedia helped my memory with some of these!)
    Newcastle 3-4
    Blackburn 0-2
    Bristol City 1-2
    Leicester 0-2
    Sunderland 1-2
    Portsmouth 1-2 (a night game I think with David Whyte getting the winner)
    Swindon 1-2 (If I remember rightly.....Webbo in the last minute!)

    Amazing times......and only 24 years ago :(

    Saw all of those apart from Portsmouth away. We were superb away from home that season.
  • What a comeback and up there of all places

  • Swindon 1-2 Charlton even a clip of the away end celebrating, not many of em there probably notice yourself.

    The irony was the free kick was awarded after a bad challenge on Pardew.

    These days, we'd ask the defender to hit him a bit harder :smiley:
  • What a comeback and up there of all places

    Gavin Peacock and Andy Hunt in that Newcastle team!
  • What a comeback and up there of all places

    There were only about 15,000 in St James Park that day.

    Some of that goalkeeping/defending (from both teams) was khazi but it was a great game to be at. I hadn't realised that there was an amazing goal-line clearance just before Pardew's shot and deflection off Liam O'Brien.

    Goal from Andy Hunt too. Quick teaser....name players (apart from Hunt) later to play for Charlton, who scored against us for at least two other clubs.
  • Mark Bright and Deon Burton?
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  • Remember we were a bit lacking up front, and were scoring from set pieces. Had a home game at Upton Park. Went with my mate and we said Webster only chance of scoring from a free kick or corner. We had couple of pound each at 40/1 . Behold, corner and Webster scores, we kept up and bugger me half the stadium had thought the same, every one had Webbo at 40/1 . Ladbrokes had to send out for money to pay people.
  • I still hate Tranmere and John Aldridge for that...
  • One of the great seasons. After the years of Selhurst, Upton Park wad so much better for so many reasons.

    A small squad but one that had talent, if only we had not got the injuries we would have made the play offs with ease
  • Southend was the 40/1 Webbo header, never mind the Bristol City and Swindon goals he scored. One of my favourite seasons ever, could take genuine pride from it. Would love to watch the video with RD and KM and wait to see which one first says how different The Valley looked then...
  • Simonsen said:


    Goal from Andy Hunt too. Quick teaser....name players (apart from Hunt) later to play for Charlton, who scored against us for at least two other clubs.

    Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink?

    Paul Kitson?

    Did Jacko ever score against us when at Colchester, know he scored for Spurs?


  • Paulo Di Canio
    Marcus Bent
    Garth Crooks
    Mark Bright
    Andy Reid
    Keith Gillespie
  • Went to every game that season. As has been said earlier, some great away days.
  • Brilliant season. After the depression of the Selhurst Park years moving to Upton Park gave the club a new lease of life. I actually looked forward to going to "home" games then. New players came in such as Nelson, Bumstead, Gatting and the team surprised everyone. Some great results and days out that season.
  • That team is streets ahead of our current one on ability.

  • This was my first season, my first game was 3-0 against Portsmouth then I think I did the rest of the home matches. That was the team that indoctrinated me, we had less success afterwards ('96 excepted) but it was always a squad full of characters and people you could look up to. Junior Reds' parties were great back then as well.
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Roland Out!