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Charlie Paynter : West Ham United

Charlie Paynter : West Ham United



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Charlie Paynter was born in Swindon in 1879. When he was a child his family moved to Plaistow. He left Grange School at the age of 14 and started an apprenticeship as an electrician at the City of London Electric Light Company.

He played for Victoria Swifts and West Norwood but while still a teenager he developed an interest in physiotherapy and helped Tom Robinson who worked as a trainer at the Memorial Grounds.

As Brian Belton pointed out in his book, The Lads of 1923 (2006): "From an early age Payner was an all-round sportsman and when the home of Thames Ironworks FC, the Memorial Grounds, was opened in 1897 he began to spend most of his free time there, competing in athletic events and coaching."

Paynter gave up his career as an electrician when he was offered a contract to join West Ham United at the beginning of the 1900-01 season. However, he never played for the first-team and in a match against Woolwich Arsenal he sustained a knee injury which ended his career. The club now appointed him reserve-team trainer.

Syd King promoted Paynter to first-team trainer when Tom Robinson retired in 1911. The two men developed a very good partnership. According to Jimmy Ruffell, it was trainer Charlie Paynter who decided on the team's tactics: "Syd King was a good manager. But he left a lot of the day-to-day stuff to our trainer Charlie Paynter. It was Charlie that most of us talked to about anything. Syd King was more about doing deals to get players to play for West Ham."

Ruffell also pointed out that Paynter talked a great deal to George Kay and Jack Tresadern about tactics. "A lot of the time we, the players, would decide what we were going to do. George and Jack kept an eye on other players and came up with ways of playing them. But anything anyone had to say Charlie Paynter chatted about."

In the 1922-23 season West Ham United finished in second place and were promoted to the First Division. They also reached the final of the FA Cup but were beaten 2-0.

West Ham did very well in the 1926-27 season. This included a 7-0 victory over Arsenal and two 5-1 wins against Aston Villa. At the end of the season they were in 6th place scoring an impressive 86 goals.

The 1927-28 season was a great disappointment with West Ham finishing in 17th place. The forwards remained in good form but the 81 goals scored was cancelled out by 88 against.

West Ham's defensive problems were not sorted out and in the 1931-32 season they finished in bottom place with only 31 points and were relegated to the Second Division. That season the Hammers conceded 107 goals.

At a board meeting on 7th November, 1932, Syd King insulted one of the West Ham directors. At an emergency board meeting the following night, it was decided that King had been drunk and insubordinate and that he should be "suspended for three calendar months from November, 9, 1932, without salary". Charlie Paynter became the temporary manager.

At another board meeting on 3rd January, 1933, doubts were expressed about King's honesty in the day-to-day business of running the club. It was decided that King should be sacked from the post of manager. However, he was granted an ex-gratia payment of £3 per week. King was devastated by the news and a few weeks later he committed suicide by drinking a corrosive liquid.

Paynter did not have a very good start to his managerial career and West Ham came close to being relegated to the Third Division in the 1932-33 season. Paynter stablized the team and with the development of players like John Morton, Stan Foxall, James Marshall and Len Goulden, West Ham finished in 7th (1933-34), 3rd (1934-35), 4th (1935-36), 6th (1936-37), 9th (1937-38) and 11th (1938-39).

Paynter remained the manager of West Ham United until 1950.

Paynter was to have a long association with West Ham and King. Charlie, who was six years younger than King, was brought to London when his family moved to the capital. By the age of 12 he was a fully-fledged East Ender living and going to school in Plaistow. From an early age Payner was an all-round sportsman and when the home of Thames Ironworks FC, the Memorial Grounds, was opened in 1897 he began to spend most of his free time there, competing in athletic events and coaching. Such was his devotion that his apprenticeship as an electrician was cancelled (something of a scandalous event at the time) but he responded by developing his skills in athletics and knowledge of the arts of coaching.

Whilst doing your ordinary training, you had, however, always played football, and must have been thought well of to have come under the notice of West Ham's able and discerning secretary-manager, Mr Syd King. In the August of 1901 you played in a trial game, I believe, and then signed amateur forms, whilst practically at the same time also signing for West Norwood, the then crack amateur side. You deputised that season for the "great Tommy Fitchie" as he was known, in Norwood's English Cup-tie, and you performed well, too, from all accounts.

They badly wanted you to play for them regularly, but the lure of the Memorial Grounds was too strong on you, for you still had your "stable" of runners and cyclists to look after. Later in the season, when the evenings drew in, one saw you helping Abe Morris, the then West Ham trainer, in his work, and all after your own day's training, which just showed your love of the work.

Once again it will be seen, in football, as in other sports, you preferred to have something to do with the training of the players instead of indulging in the game yourself. Was it because a football trainer's job is a remunerative one, and there is a life berth if one, like yourself, proves capable, or was it rather the love of training others that kept you off the track and the green square? Anyway, your directors eventually saw your keenness for the position, and you were offered the assistant trainership under Jack Ratcliffe, who followed Abe Morris, and your last season 1903-04, on the old ground, you spent under Will Johnson, who had trained two teams to win the English Cup - the Spurs and Sheffield Wednesday.

It was in the season 1904-05 that West Ham trekked to Boleyn Castle, and you became associated in work with, although you had known him for years previously with - to use your own words - "the dearest and kindliest old soul in sport," Tommy Robinson, who was appointed trainer. It is quite true I mentioned a few weeks back that he "fathered" you, and I am delighted to see that you wholeheartedly endorse that statement. You were together for eight years, and, during that time, as I have heard you say, you "learned to love the old-chap as much as he loved his cigar." It is only human that there should be times when one is dissatisfied and feel that they would like to do better themselves. But your affection for the West Ham Club, its kindly officials, and Tommy Robinson, always won you over, and so you remained to become what you are today - trainer of the final Cup team! And you have also had the pleasure of seeing two of your men, Victor Watson and Jack Tresadern, for the second time in one year, chosen to represent England in international matches, although he could not be spared because of the Cup-tie on the first occasion.

When Tommy retired at the end of the season 1911-12, your true sporting spirit obtained its proper reward. You were appointed first team trainer, and now you have reached the last hurdle in another great ambition - to train a team to win the Cup, and what is equally important - a team that may gain promotion. May these ideals both be realised. You and your directors richly deserve all the blue ribbons of the football field. The sporting fraternity locally, and in London and the South of England generally believe fervently that success will be yours all the way.

Syd King was a good manager. Syd King was more about doing deals to get players to play for West Ham. But he was good at that. He got us to the Cup final and got West Ham promoted in 1923 so you can't ask for much more than that can you...

A lot of the time we, the players, would decide what we were going to do. George (Kay) and Jack (Tresadern) kept an eye on other players and came up with ways of playing them. But anything anyone had to say Charlie Paynter chatted about. That's how it was done then, by the team, which included the trainer and manager; but it was the player's job to play... that's what you got paid for. And then, if things didn't go well it was down to the players. There wasn't always a set plan but you knew what was expected.

Syd King was a Mason, I think a few of the West Ham board were. He played a bit of golf and he liked a drink. A lot of people did. But like Paynter some of the players were Temperance or teetotal.


Ron Greenwood on the tube with the FA Cup under his arm!

A legendary photo of the legend

Geoff Hurst cleaning his boots

Martin Peters part of that great trio


Paynter Charlie Image 1 West Ham United 1923

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Swindon born Charlie Paynter played for junior clubs Victoria Swifts in 1899 and South West Ham in 1900, but while still a teenager he also developed an interest in physiotherapy. Paynter first became involved with West Ham as unpaid help from 1897. In the 1900-01 season Paynter joined West Ham United’s playing staff. However, he never played for the first-team and in a reserve match against Woolwich Arsenal he sustained a knee injury which ended his career. The club appointed him reserve team trainer in 1902. He was then promoted to first team trainer when Syd King, the previous holder of the position, was appointed as the first team manager. When King was sacked in November 1932, Paynter was chosen as his replacement. Paynter guided the team through the rest of the 1930’s and remained manager of West Ham either side of the Second World War, until his retirement in August 1950.


1950-51 Friendlies

Against this strong Kent League club our youngsters showed up really well, and the home followers were full of praise for their efforts, especially when the Hammers were 3-0 up at half-time. Unfortunately for us Peter Chiswick sustained a shoulder injury that kept him off the field for nearly half-an-hour and although Freddy Kearns made a gallant deputy, the homesters' made it 3-2 before Peter returned.

The Town went further ahead to lead by 4-3, but a last rally by our lads brought an equaliser from Ken Burks who had also been absent at the same time a Chiswick and returned to limp along the wing. Our other goals were scored by Don Wade, Stan Johns (making his first appearance since transferring from South Liverpool) and Alf Noakes.

3 - 1 (Gazzard, Robinson, Johns)

Charlie Paynter was told he could have a Testimonial game on his retirement after 50 years with West Ham United. During his career at Upton Park Charlie had done virtually every job at the Club and almost single-handed kept football alive during the dark days of the Second World War. Known throughout the game for his firm, but fair handling of players, Charlie gained international recognition when he was selected to take charge of the England team for their match against Scotland in 1924. It was the first time the two countries had met at the new Wembley Stadium and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Charlie was no stranger to Wembley having been West Ham's trainer a year earlier in the famous "White Horse Final" against Bolton Wanderers. Then in 1940 Charlie was back at Wembley as manager of the West Ham side that won the Football League War Cup. Charlie's Testimonial against Arsenal attracted a crowd of 18,000 and saw the Hammers win 3-1.

LEYTON ORIENT : Wally Pullen Benefit

3 - 3 (Barrett, Chapman, Betts)

PENZANCE A.F.C. & DISTRICT XI

ROYAL STANDARD CLUB LIEGEOIS (Belgium)

3 - 2 (Barrett, Moroney, Woodgate)

CLAPTON : Festival of Britain

LONDON BOYS v. GLASGOW BOYS

WEST HAM BOYS v. SHEFFIELD BOYS

Diamond Jubilee Celebration Match

WEST HAM BOYS v. ILFORD BOYS

Charlie Paynter with the West Ham United and Arsenal players

Paynter, Woodgate, McGowan, Devlin, Gazzard, Paker, Gregory, Kearns, Walker, Forde, Moroney, Andrews, Moore

6 - 0 (Gazzard 2, Barrett 2, Robinson, Hooper)

Image courtesy of Nigel Turner

Image courtesy of Nigel Turner

The friendly match gave us the opportunity to experiment, for with no League points at stake we were able to re-arrange our XI that met Charlton Athletic’s full First XI in an interesting friendly that was played under conditions that were not really conducive to skilful play. But, despite these adverse circumstances, the 15,500 present were fully entertained and, in addition to some good soccer, they saw half-a-dozen goals. To ourselves it was a disappointment that of these tallies only one was credited to the Hammers, but although our side were prepared to admit that victory went to the team that earned it.

As usual, the entire receipts of the Practice Matches will be devoted to a number of charities, both local and national, so your admission fees are indeed in a very good cause

Once more the gates of Upton Park have been opened for the preliminary public “pipe-opener” of another soccer season, and as usual we are pleased to welcome our patrons to view some of the players at our disposal at the commencement of another campaign. These practice matches are, of course, but the termination of a period of intensive training which has taken place during the past couple of weeks or so in order to get our XI’s fighting fit. From now on the training will follow the more usual week-by-week routine, with next week’s efforts culminating in our opening League game.

For our Second Practice Match we field somewhat different sides from those which played here on Thursday, and have thus given the opportunity for the majority of our professional staff to appear before our patrons prior to the opening League fixtures. We again anticipate an interesting afternoon, which although not containing the incentive of point-collecting should nevertheless have exciting periods – for a goal always brings forth the most interesting part of any game from the viewpoint of the general onlooker, even though it be in a practice game. True, goals count for little in a match such as is played here this afternoon, but at the same time they prove that keenness to score is ever-present at any game.

Proceeds of Practice Matches

Image courtesy of Nigel Turner

The game was played at Mennaye Fields, Penzance (now the home of Penzance & Newlyn R.F.C.) to raise funds for the Penlee Ground appeal.

West Ham United played a Penzance & District XI as opposed to just Penzance A.F.C. the host side being made up of players from every Senior Club from St. Just to Falmouth. Former Penzance player and now Mayor (Ald. Thurstan T. Lane, J.P.) will kick-off the match

At the invitation of Leyton Orient we met them in a match for the benefit of Wally Pullen at Osborne Road and opposed an Orient side that was of League strength. After Jimmy Barrett had put us ahead, Eric Betts converted a penalty to make the score 2-0 in our favour at the interval. The Orient rallied, leveled the score and then took the lead, but Eddie Chapman again leveled it up at 3-3 with a header four minutes from time to bring honours even in a pleasing display of soccer. The fact that Wally Pullen scored one of the Orient’s goals could have been small consolation to him for the small attendance which numbered approximately 2,500

Image courtesy of Nigel Turner

alt="SLUG Programme" />

Taylor, Bond, Kearns, Jackman, Nelson, Noakes, Hooper, Johns, Chapman, Petchey, Betts


Soccer - Football League Division Two - West Ham United Photocall

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West Ham connection [ edit source  |  edit beta ] [ edit | edit source ]

The song is now better known in the UK as the club anthem of West Ham United, a London-based football club.

"I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" was introduced to the club by former manager Charlie Paynter in the late twenties. A player, Billy J. "Bubbles" Murray who played for the local Park School had an almost uncanny resemblance to the boy in the famous "Bubbles" painting by Millais used in a Pears soap commercial of the time. Headmaster Cornelius Beal began singing the tune "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" with amended lyrics when Park players played well. [4]

Beal was a friend of Paynter, while Murray was a West Ham trialist and played football at schoolboy level with a number of West Ham players such as Jim Barrett. Through this contrivance of association the club's fans took it upon themselves to begin singing the popular music hall tune before home games, sometimes reinforced by the presence of a house band requested to play the refrain by Charlie Paynter. [4]

In 2002 there was speculation that "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" was sung at the Boleyn Ground by visiting Swansea City supporters during an FA Cup-tie in 1921-22. After a goalless draw away at Vetch Field the two teams met at Upton Park only to share two goals in the replay which resulted in a further replay at Ashton Gate, Bristol, which the Welshmen won by a solitary goal. After such a marathon it is perhaps not surprising that a number of Hammers fans remembered the distinctive refrains and took the words as their own, if indeed the song had been sung by the opposing supporters.

To perhaps add some substance to that theory, David Farmer in his history of Swansea City FC does state, when recounting the period between 1920 to 1926, that in match reports "Bubbles" was sung at all home games. In one particular newspaper report of a match versus Bury on 8 January 1921 the comment is made : "At 2.20 pm came the ever popular singing of "Bubbles" from the main bank with one tremendous sway."

Some West Ham fans sing alternative lyrics. The second line's "nearly reach the sky" is changed to "they reach the sky", "Then like my dreams" is also changed to "And like my dreams". In addition the fans begin a chant of "United, United!" to cap it off. [4]  There is a tradition amongst West Ham United fans whereby they blow bubbles at matches to accompany the singing of the song.

These touchline songs were a form of predecessor to the terrace chants that have since become a trademark of the game. It was adopted by West Ham's supporters in the late 1920s and is now one of the most recognisable club anthems in English football along with "You'll Never Walk Alone".

As a tribute to West Ham, the punk rock band the Cockney Rejects covered the song in 1980. The song is also distinctly heard in the movie Green Street, [5]  starring Elijah Wood, and at the end of episode 3.6 of Ashes to Ashes which took place in 1983 and featured the death of a West Ham supporter.

In 2006 at the final match at Arsenal F.C.'s Highbury stadium, Arsenal supporters broke into song to celebrate West Ham's defeat of Tottenham which secured Arsenal's spot in the UEFA Champions League on the last day. Similarly,Blackburn Rovers were heard singing 'Bubbles' in their dressing room after West Ham assisted them winning the Premiership in 1995 having held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw on the final day of the Premier League season, led byTony Gale (an eleven-year West Ham veteran who had moved to Blackburn earlier in the season).

On May 16, 1999, prior to a home game against Middlesbrough, 23,680 fans in the Boleyn Ground blew bubbles for a minute, setting a new world record. [6]  At the Olympic Stadium, London on 27 July 2012, as part of the� Summer Olympics opening ceremony, I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles was used as part of the soundtrack to the event. [7]


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Football League Division Two - West Ham United Photocall.

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Charlie Paynter Manager Statistics

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Charlie Paynter -->

Charlie Paynter (28 July 1879 in Swindon – 1 December 1971) was the manager of West Ham United from 1932 to 1950.

He moved to Plaistow with his family as a child. [1] He played for the local teams Victoria Swifts and South West Ham, [2] but while still a teenager he also developed an interest in physiotherapy. Paynter first became involved with West Ham United in 1897 as unpaid help. In the 1900� season Paynter joined the club as a player although he never played for the first-team. He sustained a knee injury in a match against Woolwich Arsenal which ended his career and the club appointed him reserve-team trainer in 1902. He was then promoted to first-team trainer, replacing Syd King, who was appointed first team manager.

When King was sacked in 1933, Paynter replaced him. At the time of his appointment the club were near the foot of the Second Division table and in serious danger of a second successive relegation, which was avoided by just one point at the end of the season, with the club finishing 20th, which remains their lowest-ever finish in the league. Their form improved over the seasons that followed, resulting in them finishing third in 1934-35 and only missing out on promotion due to goal average, and finishing fourth the following year. The team&aposs form tailed off in the years ahead, though they still generally finished safely in mid-table. However, his final season in charge, 1949-50 saw another relegation struggle, after which Paynter decided to retire and allow his assistant manager, Ted Fenton to take over. [3]


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