When Sam Allardyce was appointed manager at Upton Park many fans were concerned about the style of football the Hammers would serve up in their bid to get back in the Premier League. But the doubters are being won over by the sight of West Ham United in one of the top two automatic promotion spots as we approach the season’s half way mark.

It is 25 years since Frank McAvennie and Tony Cottee scored the goals that earned the Hammers a top three finish in the old First Division – and fans can enjoy the feelgood factor this Christmas by treating themselves to a copy of the Boys of 86 DVD.

Frank McAvennie and Tony Cottee star in the Boys of 86 DVD
Frank McAvennie and Tony Cottee star in the Boys of 86 DVD

The Boys of 86 were the stars of a glorious decade for the Hammers when Upton Park lived up to its reputation as the Academy of Football.

In 1985/86 the Hammers enjoyed their best ever League campaign when John Lyall’s team finished third in the race to be Champions of England. Frank McAvennie and Tony Cottee formed a prolific partnership with 54 goals in a thrilling season . . . Alan Devonshire made a spectacular return from a career threatening injury . . . and Alvin Martin was the inspirational skipper.