Top 10 Tottenham-West Ham tear-ups: Mud baths, brilliant Bale and ravishing Ravel

Adam Powers picks out the best games from 50 years of a tasty London rivalry...

Spurs 3-3 West Ham, March 1956

Tottenham were in the hunt for their first FA Cup in 25 years ahead of this quarter-final; West Ham were still searching for their first triumph in the competition.

Just under 70,000 passed through the gates at White Hart Lane to see this gripping encounter, and they weren’t left disappointed.

West Ham forward John 'Major' Dick sent rattles swirling with a hat-trick to give the east Londoners a 3-1 lead, only for Spurs to come back via goals from Len Duquemin and George Robb on a mud-caked pitch. Tottenham won the replay 2-1, but would go on to lose to eventual winners Manchester City.

West Ham 5-3 Spurs, November 1976

The 1976/77 season remains an infamous one for Tottenham Hotspur, as it was the last time the north London club were relegated from the top flight of English football. Both teams were in dreadful form heading into the game, and yet defending was sacrificed in the search for goals here.

West Ham were languishing at the bottom of the league with only one win before the arrival of their London counterparts. In a team boasting the talents of Pop Robson, Trevor Brooking and Alan Curbishley, the home side assumed a 5-1 lead with each of the aforementioned marksmen scoring. Glenn Hoddle and Keith Osgood offered a late reply for the visitors, but they left Upton Park pointless.

West Ham survived the drop that year, despite being only three points better off than bottom side Spurs. 

Spurs 0-4 West Ham, September 1981

In a season where Spurs prevailed to win the FA Cup, their domestic campaign began disappointingly. The Hammers were a newly-promoted side looking for a win in their first away game, and they got exactly that as they left White Hart Lane with three points and four goals.

David Cross came to the fore on a cold Wednesday night, netting all four for the Hammers. The Lancastrian striker was purchased for a handsome £180,000 from West Brom four years before, but his exploits didn't even earn him the matchball.

Instead West Ham keeper Phil Parkes took it. Why? “I promised him I’d give him the next I got,” explained Cross, after his team-mate had complained he would never get the chance to score a hat-trick. A true gent.