Iron in the Blood

The Story of Thames Ironworks FC 1895 - 1900,

the club that became West Ham United

By John Powles


The Thames Ironworks was a major employer in the Canning Town area of East London until 1912.  Its products included ships for the Royal Navy, linings for the Blackwall Tunnel and iron bridges.  Some of the employees, such as boilermakers and ship’s platers, began to play organised football in the 1890s.  As ambitions grew for the football club, professional players were employed.  This eventually led to the Works withdrawing its support and the club we know today as West Ham United was then formed.

            John Powles’ book tells the story of these formative years.  Full statistical details of the games played by Thames Ironworks are included, with pen pictures of the principal players.  His account of the club is interwoven with events of the time in the Works and in East London generally.

            The book is an A4 sized paperback book of 100 pages with b/w illustrations and a full colour cover.  The price is £10.  Copies are available from specialist sports booksellers, Newham bookshops and by post from Tony Brown.  If ordering by post, please send a cheque or postal order for £12 (which includes postage and packing) payable to Tony Brown, to 4 Adrian Close, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 6FL.


You will find some pages of the book by following the links below. Please note your browser needs Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these pages. Free downloads are available at or you will find a copy on many magazine cover discs. Please be patient whilst the sample pages load!

Sample Pages


Chapter 1

Charlie Dove

Soccer Data Publications can be ordered from Tony Brown at 4 Adrian Close, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 6FL.  E-mail address: