Roy Stroud

Greensnet Editor
Sun 27 Sep 2015, 14:02

The club has recently heard that the player now believed to be the club's leading goalscorer with 212 goals, Roy Stroud, passed away on 4 June this year. He turned professional for West Ham United in November 1953, and was their oldest surviving first team player. The figure of 212 goals comes from the data entered to our online club archives.

From making his debut as a 14-year-old in 1940 to turning professional with West Ham United in November 1953, at the age of 28, Roy Stroud was the mainstay of Hendon’s attack. He started his career as a right-winger, but later moved to centre forward.

He was born in West Ham, but at the age of two moved with his family to Hounslow. He was a schoolboy with Arsenal, played for London and Middlesex Boys before joining Golders Green. He was also capped as a youngster by the England Boys team. According to his son Gary, he was an apprentice printer when he left school. He was also a successful athlete and was an All-England sprinting champion.

He played regularly during the war, despite being called up in 1943. He was top scorer in 1942–43 with 22 goals. In 1945–46 he played four matches for the Brentford first team in the Football League South. International honours soon came his way, and he made his debut for the England amateur team on 24 January 1948, scoring in a 7–2 win over Wales in Bangor. He won nine England caps, scoring four goals. He played 18 times for the Athenian League representative side, including matches on tour in 1952 in Hong Kong and Singapore. He also played for the Middlesex County team.

For Hendon, he was captain, and top goalscorer, with 29, of the 1952–53 team which won the Athenian League. He played in two Middlesex Charity Cup winning teams, and was a runner-up in the Middlesex Senior Cup three times.

He made his West Ham first team debut while still a Hendon player on Easter Monday 1952, in a 1–0 win over Notts County. He then played in some floodlit friendlies, including a 7–0 win over Hearts. He turned professional with West Ham in November 1953, and Hendon struggled to replace his goal-scoring power for the rest of the season. His career at Upton Park was blighted by injury, and he made 13 appearances for the first team, scoring four goals. He left West Ham in 1957 to join Southern League Chelmsford City, but after breaking his ankle retired from football. He subsequently worked as a buyer for Liptons and Safeway.

Former West Ham player and Manchester United manager Frank O'Farrell recalls that Roy "made the transformation from amateur to professional very comfortably… the amateur clubs back then played to a very high standard and Roy continued that at West Ham."

Peter Lush – with thanks to Ex Magazine – The West Ham Retro magazine.