Football: The Ex-Files - Rare trade in Owls and Hammers

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The Independent Online
The players who have moved between West Ham and Sheffield Wednesday, who meet at Upton Park today, can be counted on the fingers of one hand. They are a select band in more ways than one, however, three of their number having carved a niche in football history.

Joe Cockroft made 217 consecutive appearances at wing-half for West Ham and won a War League Cup medal before his home was destroyed in the Blitz. Returning to his native South Yorkshire, he joined Wednesday, who eventually sold him to Sheffield United. There he became the oldest First Division debutant at 371/2.

In contrast, John Sissons was the youngest to score in the FA Cup final when, as a 17-year-old winger, he helped West Ham beat Preston in 1964. Having failed to fulfil his promise, he was sold to Wednesday and later emigrated to South Africa. Bobby Ferguson, Britain's most expensive goalkeeper when West Ham paid Kilmarnock pounds 65,000 in 1967, also sampled life at Hillsborough en route to Australia.

Peter Eustace was a pounds 90,000 signing by West Ham from Wednesday in 1969 who was transferred back for pounds 12,000 and later managed the Owls. Lee Chapman, Steve Whitton and John Harkes also had spells with both clubs, who have another, unsung link. Sid Binks was a forward for Wednesday in the 1920s who tended to get his goals in twos. To a tune that lives on as the Hammers' anthem, the terraces echoed to: "Binks is always scoring doubles."

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