Late rush to get West Ham’s Larkins on board

Hammers youth team goalkeeper Jake Larkins found out at the last minute that he was in the squad for the trip to Blackburn last Saturday.

WEST HAM youth team keeper Jake Larkins faced a mad dash to get to Chadwell Heath on Friday as the Hammers found themselves with a host of injured goalkeepers.

Robert Green pulled out of the trip to Blackburn after training on Friday morning, following what was supposed to be routine keyhole surgery on an old hip injury.

That meant Ruud Boffin was the new number one for the trip to Ewood Park, but with Marek Stech, Peter Kurucz and Deniz Mehmet all on the treatment table too, it was 16-year-old Larkins (pictured above) who got the call to rush to Stansted in time to catch the plane to go north.

Such was the rush, the youngster did not have a first-team shirt with his name on, and so one had to be hastily made up and taken on the train on Saturday morning.


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Larkins, who has not even played a reserve team game for the Hammers, didn’t get into the action, but if he had, he would have been the youngest player ever to play for West Ham.

The current holder of that prize is another goalkeeper – Neil Finn – who made his one and only appearance against Manchester City on New Year’s Day, 1997, just three days after his 17th birthday.

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