WHO Poll
Q: 2022/23 You are the Chairman what do you do with Moyes?
a. Stick with him obviously, he's delivered two good seasons back to back and will see us out of this dip in form
b. If we're still lingering around the bottom three by the start of the WC then that's the time to get rid
c. What are we waiting for 2 wins in the last 20 PL games is reason enough to sack him, go now
d. I've just got my new Orange & White 3rd Kit with Moyesinho on the back, I can't wait to wear it down to the supermarket, they call me Mr West Ham around here

Irish Hammer 2:43 Fri May 20
Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero
Enjoy lads, Eddie B himself would have been proud of this one ⚒️⚒️⚒️

“Oh my God, England caps. Easily.

“If he had stayed at West Ham and done at least two of those years that he signed for, he would have been an international footballer. He was just unbelievable. He could go both ways, he scored goals from outside the box, his crossing was ridiculous.”

Late on Monday evening, in the hotel where Oxford United’s players used to meet for their pre-match meal more than 30 years ago, Chris Allen is reminiscing about Joey Beauchamp — his friend, his former team-mate and a footballer who could have been whatever he wanted to be.

What Beauchamp wanted to be more than anything, though, was an Oxford United player. That he was far too good for them didn’t make a blind bit of difference to Beauchamp. It was his team, his city and his home, and he loved it there.

Beauchamp made 428 appearances for the club and scored 80 goals across two spells that spanned three decades, from 1989 to 2002, yet outside of Oxford it was the 58 days he spent at West Ham United, where he never played a competitive game, that defined him as a footballer and, sadly, became a stick to beat him with for years to come.

A decade later, and two years after he had been forced to retire from playing through injury, Beauchamp was being asked to respond to fresh criticism of his failure to settle at West Ham and, specifically, how it felt to be branded “a total wimp”.

He was the mummy’s boy who became homesick. Or the 23-year-old who was naive to think that he could commute from Oxford to east London and was brave enough to walk through the door on day one and admit that he had made a mistake. Perhaps the truth was somewhere in between all of that, but sympathy, much like West Ham’s training ground on that first morning of pre-season in July 1994, was hard for Beauchamp to find.

In a reflective interview three years ago, Beauchamp made some interesting comments about the whole West Ham experience. “I didn’t really have anyone to turn to when things were going wrong,” he told Sky Sports. “I’ve been through depression twice, so I know what it’s like. This day and age, they look after you — everything is completely different from when I played.”

Beauchamp suffered with depression again and again once his playing career was over and, tragically, it became too much for him. On a Saturday afternoon in February, Beauchamp was found dead at his home in Kidlington, in Oxfordshire, at the age of 50.

A coroner concluded this week that Beauchamp, after struggling with mental health, alcohol addiction and financial problems, had taken his own life.

“That was his trademark,” Malcolm Elias says, the unmistakable sense of sadness in his voice giving way to the hint of a smile at the other end of the phone as the memories come flooding back.

He is thinking about Beauchamp darting down the flank, cutting inside on his left foot, feinting to shoot and chopping the ball back onto his right, leaving the full-back sitting on his backside as he scampered clear. “Joey would embarrass defenders,” Elias says. “And he was almost embarrassed at how good he was, because he never wanted to be the centre of attention. But he naturally was, because he was so gifted.

“Since I started, I’ve been involved with lots and lots of top players — the Gareth Bales of this world, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Theo Walcott and Luke Shaw. Joey Beauchamp, to me, ranks among those young players.”

Beauchamp was a gifted winger who loved playing for his hometown club (Photo: Adam Davy/EMPICS via Getty Images)
Now working for Fulham after spells with Southampton and Liverpool, Elias was the youth development officer at the Manor Ground when Oxford won promotion to the top flight in 1985. Twelve months later, Oxford beat Queens Park Rangers to win the League Cup, or the Milk Cup as it was known then, and Beauchamp, aged 15, was a ball boy at Wembley.

Heroes would later become team-mates as Beauchamp, a local boy, came through the ranks at Oxford and created a stir. “I remember playing pre-season friendlies and all the opposition managers would say, ‘God, who’s that kid on the right?’,” says David Moss, who was Oxford’s youth and reserve team manager and later assistant manager to Brian Horton during Beauchamp’s time at the club.

The kid on the left was Allen, who played in the same youth team as Beauchamp. Together, they wreaked havoc on the pitch. “I was direct and explosive and wanted to get from A to B as quickly as I could,” says Allen, who went on to play in the Premier League for Nottingham Forest. “Joey would go the scenic route, zig-zagging around people.”

Peter Rhoades-Brown, who played alongside Beauchamp and later became a good friend, can still picture “the Joey shimmy” that left a couple of defenders in his wake. “He was one of the most complete footballers I’ve seen and played with,” Rhoades-Brown adds. “I played with Dean Saunders, Ray Houghton and John Aldridge, but for sheer ability and excitement the crowd used to be on the edge of their seats with Joey — you don’t get that any more.”

In Allen’s words, Beauchamp “did all his talking on the pitch”. He describes his former team-mate as “the quietest boy ever” off the field and laughs at how difficult our interview would be if it was Beauchamp sitting opposite rather than him. “He’d happily sit there and not say anything to you!” Allen adds, laughing.

Allen’s remarks brings to mind a comment that Elias made, with a chuckle, about his last meeting with Beauchamp, which was back in October. “It was the same Joey Beauchamp,” Elias said. “You have to tease conversation out of him. But he could be quite funny, Joey, as well.”

Quietly spoken, Beauchamp enjoyed a night out but he was never the sort to follow the crowd. “He wouldn’t buy clothes or a nice car, or do all the extravagant things that footballers are seen to be doing. He didn’t care,” Allen says. “I was trying to get the best car I could get, asking the club secretary for an advance. He used to bike in from Summertown (where he lived) to the Manor Ground. Then he had a Rover Vitesse for years and he upgraded it to get another Rover.”

Beauchamp did have a vice, though, and it involved gambling. He could often be found in the bookmakers after training or watching the greyhound racing at Sandy Lane, in Oxford, on an evening. In his second spell at Oxford he owned two greyhounds, and admitted in an interview in 1998 that Ladbrokes had put a ceiling on how much he was allowed to bet because of his winnings. “It’s probably a good thing because it stops me betting so much,” he said.

As a footballer, he felt like a free spirt. Allen smiles as he thinks back to how Beauchamp would occasionally say to him before a match that he “didn’t fancy it” – and then be totally unplayable for the next 90 minutes. The goals started to come — two, memorably, against Swindon, Oxford’s bitter rivals, in a thrilling 5-3 victory in 1992 — and so did the scouts. “I turned down an offer from Wolves for him,” Horton, Oxford’s manager at the time, says. “It was a lot of money. But I wanted to build a team.”

Oxford’s dependence on Beauchamp grew and so did his love for them. The goal he scored at Tranmere Rovers on the final day of the 1991-92 season kept Oxford in the second tier. Unfortunately, a goal on the final day two years later — and that left-footed shot against Notts County really is a thing of beauty, especially the exquisite first touch with his right — wasn’t enough to do the same.

Oxford were relegated and Beauchamp, against his better judgement, would be moving on.

“We’d only just signed him,” Harry Redknapp tells The Athletic. “You’re looking forward to getting him in the club, you say ‘Good morning’ to him, ‘Welcome to West Ham’. He says, ‘I should have gone to Swindon. I made a mistake’. And you think, ‘Oh my God, what’s happened here?’.

“That was it. From that minute on, he just didn’t want to be at West Ham. Pre-season, we went away to Eastbourne, he wanted to come home every minute of the day. He didn’t want to train, he didn’t want to run.”

Redknapp, who started that pre-season as No 2 to Billy Bonds but took over as manager before the first league game, pauses for a moment as he stops to think about life then and now. “It was a scary time looking back on it,” he adds. “Obviously there were issues there with the boy, unfortunately. Maybe you don’t realise at that time what he was going through.”

Beauchamp’s £1.2 million move to West Ham in 1994 — a club-record fee at the time — should have been the making of him as a Premier League footballer. Instead, it went horribly wrong. Beauchamp’s West Ham career lasted 58 days. The transfer, however, stayed in people’s minds for a lot longer. A decade later, Bonds described Beauchamp as “a total wimp”.

“God, that was 10 years ago!” Beauchamp said to the Oxford Mail when asked to respond to the comments. “I can’t believe he said I’m a wimp. I’d just bought a house in Oxford and was told when I signed that I’d be able to live here and travel up every day. But when I got there, they insisted I move up. The transfer was done so quickly and half the problem was that I wasn’t really involved in all the talks. But he (Bonds) paid a lot of money for me, so I can understand him being upset.”

Beauchamp’s move to West Ham is a complex story and even now there are conflicting accounts of exactly what went on before and afterwards. What is clear is that Beauchamp felt under considerable pressure to leave Oxford that summer because of the club’s dire financial position.

“Oxford United told me that if I didn’t join West Ham, then Oxford would be over; they had no money,” Beauchamp said in 2010. “What was I supposed to do? I could never have lived with myself if I refused to join West Ham and then Oxford did go under.”

Beauchamp signed his West Ham contract, worth a reported £2,000 a week, near Heathrow airport, which was less than an hour from his home in Oxford. It was only after his first day travelling into West Ham’s training ground that he realised the length of the journey.

Martin Allen, the former West Ham midfielder, started to car-share with Beauchamp. “Because I lived west of London, out near a place called Gerrards Cross, which is just off the M40 where it meets the M25, Harry had said to me, ‘Speak to Joey. If he drives from Oxford to your house, then you can bring him in from Gerrards Cross.’ I thought that was quite plausible,” Allen tells The Athletic.

“But it quickly became apparent that Joey wasn’t really happy. Joey was certainly different. And Joey didn’t seem as though he was there because he wanted to be there. He seemed as though he had signed for West Ham because he probably had to sign for West Ham because it was such a lot of money for Oxford.”

Allen elaborates on that comment about Beauchamp being “different” by recalling a conversation that the two of them had one Monday morning about what they did on the weekend. Beauchamp told Allen that he had been “banger car racing”.

On another occasion, Allen asked if he could look at the brochures in the footwell in Beauchamp’s car and was baffled as to why he was interested in properties that were so cheap. “I said, ‘Joey, if you don’t mind, and with all due respect, is this where you’re going to live?’ He said, ‘Yeah. I don’t want a mortgage. I can just buy that and not have to worry about any bills.’”

Although Beauchamp came across as someone who didn’t conform to all the usual footballer stereotypes — something that was guaranteed to arouse suspicion in a game that has long been insular in its outlook, but especially so all those years ago — he never had to win anyone over at West Ham with his football ability.

In fact, it is the first thing that Allen mentions about Beauchamp when he is asked about him. “Joey had magic,” he replies, before recalling a West Ham game at the Manor Ground in 1993 when, he says, Beauchamp was the best player on the pitch. “We could not get near him.”

Redknapp talks along similar lines. “Oh my god, absolutely brilliant. I didn’t sign him, I wasn’t the manager. But I was part of wanting to sign him because I thought he had fantastic talent. When he was dancing with that ball and going at full-backs, you couldn’t stop him. I remember going to the Manor Ground one night and he absolutely murdered Julian Dicks, and not many people did that to Dicksy.”

Off the field, though, it was a different story and it was hard to imagine Beauchamp, who had been such a reserved figure in the dressing room at Oxford, fitting in at West Ham. “From what he told me, he had a tough time,” Elias, the former Oxford youth development officer, says.

Allen insists that the West Ham players were welcoming when Beauchamp arrived because, he says, they knew that the club had signed an outstanding footballer. But he also admits that Beauchamp was “out of his comfort zone in the dressing room with the banter”.

“What I would say is that there was a lot of banter, and personalities and characters who had a wicked sense of humour. But I can honestly say that Joey was not bullied or intimidated by that. He was just left on his own because he would sit in the corner rather than join in the banter. He always used to smile, he used to like the banter, but never take part. The players, including myself, who had a wicked sense of humour — Joey was not the brunt of it. That did not fall into our characters.

“He was different. We all knew he was different. But we all knew he was good. I wouldn’t say he was disliked. But I don’t think, probably, that I can say that he was a well-liked character. Joey just said hello to everyone, nodded his head and got on with his day.

“But in the car journeys on that M25, coming back around past Watford towards Heathrow and then back out on the M40 towards Oxford, it was a long journey. It was too much for him and he regretted making the move. He told me he didn’t like it and he wished he hadn’t gone.

“I tried to encourage him just to take his time and tried to persuade him to move towards the training ground. But he didn’t want the money, he didn’t want the contract, he didn’t want the travel, he didn’t want the big stage of Upton Park — he didn’t want to be part of all that.

“It. Just. Was. Not. His. Character,” Allen adds, pausing in between each word to reinforce his point. “He wanted to be loved — like he was, rightly so — at Oxford United, where he had his normal routines in what you could say was a simple life. And there is nothing wrong with that.”

Beauchamp never played a competitive game for West Ham, and even an appearance in a pre-season friendly, at the home of non-League Oxford City in July 1994, was overshadowed in bizarre circumstances. It was the night that Redknapp brought on a West Ham supporter, who had been moaning behind the dug-out, to play up front.

Chris Allen went to watch his friend that evening and can still remember his conversation with Beauchamp afterwards. “He had been doing his stuff, beating everyone,” Allen recalls. “I said, ‘Joe, you were unbelievable!’. But his face was so down. It was the worst I’d seen him. I said, ‘Joe, what’s up?’. He said, ‘It’s not for me. I don’t want to be here.’

“I said, ‘Joey, you’ve just signed a four-year contract, you’re playing for West Ham, you’re playing in the Premier League, you were flying tonight, you should be absolutely buzzing!’.

“He said, ‘It’s not for me, Chris. I want to come back home’. I was like, ‘What the hell are you on about, Joe? I’ll swap with you!’. He just wanted to stay at Oxford. He had his house, he had his girlfriend, he was smitten with her, and he didn’t want to move anywhere.”

Beauchamp’s West Ham career was over 22 days later. By that point, the homesickness was consuming him and the fans had turned. Redknapp tells a story in his book about the supporters singing “Mummy’s boy” and “What a waste of money” during a pre-season game. More worryingly, Beauchamp received death threats. “It was quite shocking really,” Beauchamp told Sky Sports. “This was supposed to be my big move to the Premier League and it just turned quite horrifically sour.”

A lot of the noise around Beauchamp at the time — and, to be clear, that includes the media coverage — was unsympathetic. The sort of language used, including Bonds’ description of Beauchamp a decade later, was largely a product of the time, which is not to excuse it, but to try to place it into some sort of context.

Clearly, Beauchamp had to take some responsibility for his actions too. It was a leap of faith to think that he could commute every day from Oxford to east London in the morning rush hour and, as he acknowledged himself, understandable that Bonds was frustrated that a major signing had decided that he didn’t want to play for West Ham.

Although Chris Allen says that he never saw any of this coming when the West Ham deal was agreed, some of Beauchamp’s former coaches were concerned from day one. “I was at Man City at the time (as assistant to Horton),” David Moss adds. “We loved Joey as a player. But I don’t think taking him to Man City would have been a great move either. He’s one of those players, I think, who should have spent his whole career at Oxford United.

“Knowing how he was off the field — he was completely content with his family around him — I just didn’t see him going to a London club and settling in there at all. And I was quite worried when he went there. Actually, I was really worried for the kid.”

Times change and you can’t help but think that the experience would be nothing like the same for Beauchamp if he was making the same move now. Mental health is no longer a taboo subject in English football and clubs have player liaison officers to help with all manner of things when a new signing arrives. Perhaps the players would be more empathetic today too.

“Yeah, very much so,” Martin Allen replies, when asked whether he thinks that Beauchamp would be treated differently. “I think everybody in my generation, their eyes are open wider and there’s a much better understanding of mental health, and help and support and guidance in all aspects of life, not just in sport. And that would have definitely helped Joey at the time.”

It was a marriage of convenience. Or maybe the word should be inconvenience. West Ham desperately needed to find a buyer for Beauchamp and, realistically, the club needed to be close to Oxford. Swindon Town, Oxford’s bitter rivals, had shown interest in Beauchamp earlier in the summer and were the only viable option.

The deal between West Ham and Swindon, who had been relegated from the Premier League at the end of the previous season, was messy. Adrian Whitbread was used as a makeweight (the central defender moved from Swindon to Upton Park) and the Professional Footballers’ Association had to get involved because relations between Beauchamp and West Ham were so strained.

Beauchamp celebrating a goal for Oxford with Nigel Jemson in 2000 (Photo: Tony O’Brien /Allsport)
Curiously, Malcolm Elias, who was still working for Oxford at the time, told The Athletic that he had a role in the transfer too. According to Elias, Oxford had concerns about being paid by West Ham because of how badly everything had unravelled.

“The Oxford chief executive at the time (Keith Cox) said, ‘You’ve got the best relationship with Joey. We don’t know if we can persuade him to go to Swindon’,” Elias explains. “So I actually took Joey from Wood Farm, where he used to live by the Manor (Ground), to meet John Gorman, who was the manager of Swindon at the time, at the County Ground. And, I suppose, between us we sold the idea of Joey going to Swindon.”

At the time that task felt like “a poisoned chalice” for Elias, whose affection for Beauchamp can be felt in almost every word that he says about him. But it troubles him even more today. “I look back on it now, particularly since Joey’s death and, when I reflect on it, it doesn’t make me feel very comfortable.”

Asked why he feels that way, Elias replies, “It wasn’t the right move for Joey Beauchamp.”

Beauchamp was playing for the enemy as far as Oxford’s supporters were concerned and that was only going to lead to him receiving more stick. If there was a comfort of sorts for Elias, it was that Gorman, who would later go on to become England’s assistant manager under Glenn Hoddle, thought the world of Beauchamp and would give him the support that he badly needed.

“Joey was special to me. I loved him as a player and I think the feeling was mutual, because I remember how he responded to me,” Gorman says, recalling how Beauchamp jumped into his arms after scoring his first goal for Swindon. “He knew that I rated him and I would love to have worked with him longer and maybe helped him with his life. But I was sacked and out of the club.”

Steve McMahon replaced Gorman at the County Ground in November 1994, three months after Beauchamp signed, and that relationship was never going to work. McMahon ruled with an iron fist and Beauchamp needed to be treated with kid gloves. He begged McMahon to allow him to return to Oxford and eventually, in November 1995, got his way for a knockdown fee of about £75,000.

As a player, Beauchamp showed only flashes of brilliance at Swindon. As a person, he seemed lost. Andy Mutch, who was a team-mate at the time, describes Beauchamp as a “tremendous footballer” but “a man of no words in many ways”.

“I’m only surmising here,” continues Mutch. “There are many people that don’t embrace change at all and find it very, very difficult. I think that was Joey. He wanted almost a straight path and never to deviate.”

Beauchamp was back at the Manor Ground — his Manor — and playing with a smile on his face again. His first season in that second spell, in 1995-96, coincided with Oxford winning promotion to the second tier and Beauchamp scoring arguably his best goal for the club — an outrageous 35-yard looping shot against Sam Allardyce’s Blackpool.

Denis Smith, his manager at the time, tells The Athletic: “He’s possibly one of the most talented lads I’ve worked with and I’ve been in the game 50 years. He had pace, power, two good feet, he could go past people. You name it, Joey could do it. He was international standard. You say what you want from a wide attacking player… Joey had the lot. He just lit the place up. When he got on the ball, everyone was on the edge of their seats.”

Mark Edwards, who was sports editor of the Oxford Mail for 14 years, adds: “Everyone in Oxford idolised him. A lot of people in football circles know Joey for the West Ham move and that’s very unfair because he was one of the best wingers in English football at the time. I’m not totally convinced he really knew how good he was. He could have played for England.”

It quickly felt like he had never been away — and in more ways than one. Beauchamp was flying and Oxford were struggling. Inevitably, Beauchamp’s stellar performances attracted interest. Just as inevitably, Beauchamp stayed put.

Beauchamp, pictured playing against Nottingham Forest in 1996, is a hero to Oxford United supporters (Photo: Mike Egerton/EMPICS via Getty Images)
There was a bid from West Brom, where Smith was now in charge. Southampton and Nottingham Forest came in for Beauchamp too. He also met with Kevin Keegan, who was manager of Fulham at a time when they were full of ambition. “They were three teams I could certainly have joined,” Beauchamp said many years later, alluding to Southampton, Forest and Fulham.

“But I always felt that loyalty to Oxford and I knew what had happened before. I would have gladly moved, I had no problem with moving at that time, but it had to be right in every way. It just never happened and that was it.”

But would Beauchamp really have gladly moved?

It seems difficult to think so. Looking back, Moss was probably right when he said that Beauchamp should have stayed at Oxford for his entire career. The one problem with that, though, was that Beauchamp ended up playing at a level that was well beneath himself.

“That’s true,” Moss says. “We never discussed it obviously, but I would imagine that Joey lacked a bit of ambition, if you know what I mean, and I’m putting that in a kind way, not a critical way. He was happy and content. After matches, we would wander over to the social club for a drink before going home and Joey would be in there with his family and friends, quite happy. He didn’t need all the glamour or anything like that. He didn’t crave the hero worship. But, having said that, when he was on the field I think he thrived on it.”

Beauchamp’s career ended prematurely, in 2002, at the age of 31, because of a toe injury that was still giving him serious discomfort later in life. Fittingly, he scored on his final appearance for the club, against Exeter at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford’s new ground. Typically, it was a goal of the highest quality.

In truth, it is hard to know where to start when it comes to the next chapter of his life. The easy bit to write is that Beauchamp never lost either his love of playing or his affection for Oxford United, where he would often watch games as a supporter. Despite the problems with his toe, he turned out for non-League Abingdon Town for a while and was still playing for a pub team well into his forties. “I’ve got 36 goals this season. I’m their top scorer!” he told the Guardian in 2013.

The much more difficult bit to write is that Beauchamp went through some really difficult times away from football and contemplated taking his life on more than one occasion since first suffering from depression in 2008.

When he appeared before magistrates in 2009 to admit a drink driving charge, Beauchamp was unemployed, taking antidepressants and seeking psychiatric help. His legal representative told the court that Beauchamp had been earning £200,000 a year as a professional gambler at one point but said that his life had “slowly gone downhill”.

The following year, Beauchamp gave an interview to the Oxford Mail together with Millie, his wife at the time, in which he talked about his battle with alcoholism and depression, and described that court appearance as a turning point in his life.

Sadly, the gambling never went away. When the Guardian caught up with Beauchamp three years later, to tell the story of the West Ham fan who had played alongside him in that pre-season friendly in 1994, he was in a betting shop in Oxford, celebrating winning £40 on a greyhound race.

In September 2019, Beauchamp gave an in-depth interview to Sky Sports in which he talked about “going through a spell of pretty bad depression” and spending some time at the Sporting Chance clinic. “But I’ve come through it,” he said.

“Now, I’m enjoying life. It couldn’t be much better. I look back on my life with great pride. Would I have changed things? Yes, I could possibly go back and wish I’d gone to London, put everything into it, gone on to be a Premier League star and played for England. That is a massive regret I will always have. But then I’ve got the status and I’ve played all those games for Oxford.”

Aged 48, Beauchamp had remarried after splitting with Millie, with whom he had two daughters, and was working in a betting shop in Oxford. He still had close links with the football club and accepted an invitation from Karl Robinson, the Oxford manager, to train with the first team one morning. Perhaps that was where Beauchamp needed to be every day.

Those that knew him well say that he found lockdown particularly tough — a view that tallies with the timeline that was presented at the inquest into his death on Tuesday, when the court heard that he had been sectioned at Warneford Hospital in April 2020 after expressing suicidal thoughts.

Although he was discharged the following month, Beauchamp’s mental health deteriorated again at the end of last year, when he contacted his GP, on the back of breaking up with his second wife, to say that his mood was low. He had money worries, the court heard, and was drinking excessively. Tragically, two months later, he was gone.

The picture that emerged in court was that there was no shortage of support for Beauchamp from friends and family, in particular from his younger brother Luke, who made regular checks on him as well as calls to the NHS 111 service to express his concerns. An anonymous email led to Beauchamp speaking to a psychiatric nurse in late January, three weeks before his death, but that conversation was positive and there was no sense of what was to come.

“When I found out on that Saturday, I cried my eyes out,” adds Rhoades-Brown, who delivered a moving eulogy at Oxford’s first home game after Beauchamp’s death and also spoke at the funeral. “I just said (to myself), ‘Why didn’t he call me?’. Because, in between times, he used to message me. He’d say, ‘Rosie, I’m struggling’. I’d ring him and he’d pick up. And my first words to him always were, ‘Thanks for picking up, because if you’re going to reach out, don’t ever not pick up’.”

“I’m still… I get upset now,” David Moss adds, his voice cracking with emotion.

“Devastating for that to happen to anyone, but particularly devastating when you know the individual concerned and the family,” Malcolm Elias says. “I hope that when they relocate the stadium, they name one of the stands after Joey Beauchamp. I would really love that to be the case.”

Whether that happens or not, Joey Beauchamp deserves to be remembered for much more than his 58 days at West Ham United.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Tomshardware 9:41 Tue May 24
Re: Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero
Very sad how things turned out for him and that he couldn't get his life back on track, remember being really excited when we signed him.

jim@chickenrun 11:26 Mon May 23
Re: Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero
well said wd40

Council Scum 3:30 Mon May 23
Re: Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero
I had no idea he had taken his life. Well worth the read. I remember him at Oxford before he signed for us, he was a great talent.

Tragic end.

Moncurs Putting Iron 1:02 Mon May 23
Re: Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero

Manuel 9:10 Sun May 22

Very well said.

Manuel 9:10 Sun May 22
Re: Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero
I read this obscenely long article as his death struck a chord with me. The poor sod was at rock bottom, everywhere he looked he could only see pure misery. Every man has his limits, some obviously can take more pain than others.

It's doubly sad for me as he did have chances in life to really make something of himself and his family, not everyone gets those opportunities.

Hope the poor sods at peace now. Was clearly a big talent, if not a genius.

Alfs 6:11 Sun May 22
Re: Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero
He must have had the shortest West Ham career who became a legend. Marco Boogers, aside.

Jasnik 5:49 Sun May 22
Re: Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero
He would never have player for England.

gph 1:15 Sun May 22
Re: Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero
Don't call him a genius.

Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% inspiration, as Thomas Edison said.

Joey was missing a big chunk of the 99% (for whatever reason).

That's not saying much against him. There aren't many geniuses.

eusebiovic 1:01 Sun May 22
Re: Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero
It's a tragic story

I can't help thinking if he had some undiagnosed form of autism or asperger's syndrome - it certainly sounds as if he was somewhere on the scale

wd40 5:07 Fri May 20
Re: Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero
Leave Billy Bonds out of it as he is untouchable when it comes to anything negative in this world.

It's the law.

El Scorchio 3:22 Fri May 20
Re: Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero
Tragic story, really.

Pagey 3:20 Fri May 20
Re: Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero
I think we were all guilty of mocking Beauchamp and being pissed off at him wanting to leave, just after signing for us. We’d paid a lot of money for him, it was an exciting signing and naturally it was a kick in the teeth to have him not wanting to be at West Ham. How dare he, basically.

The sad thing is that he was clearly totally content with playing for his local team in Oxford and keeping the family life he had at that time. It’s great loyalty but is also met with comments of ‘a lack of ambition’ and so on. In reality it should be applauded and respected.

He was naive in thinking he could commute every day, but the whole move probably had a huge impact on him and the way his life panned out. A lot of people would love to have had the career and life he had, but it’s not always that simple. Really sad the way it all ended.

Takashi Miike 3:10 Fri May 20
Re: Article : The life and death of Joey Beauchamp, the footballing genius who didn’t want to be a hero

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