FORMER West Ham full back Ray Stewart has one good reason not to be too disappointed about seeing his phenomenal penalty record overtaken by Graham Alexander – but he hopes the Burnley veteran is not spot on once more on Monday.

Alexander passed Stewart’s milestone of 76 converted penalties when he scored from 12 yards in the FA Cup third round win against Port Vale last month, and will hope to be involved in another cup success when the Clarets travel to Upton Park to face West Ham in the last 16.

If definitive records for penalty kicks are hard to come by, Stewart was always regarded by many as the standard bearer in that field – but he insists he does not mind losing that honour to Alexander.

“He’s a Scotsman so I’m not bothered,” laughed the 51-year-old, who hails from Perthshire.

“If it had been an Englishman it might have been different.

“Obviously against West Ham I hope he doesn’t score, but at any other time I wish him well because it’s good for people to achieve things in life.

“He has done very well, although he’s copied me!”

Inspired by a miss in Scunth-orpe’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Blackpool in the Fourth Division play-off final at Wembley in 1992, Alexander has since scored a remarkable 77 of his 83 penalties.

Matt Le Tissier may have missed only once during his career, but his tally of 48 falls well short – with prolific penalty taker Alan Shearer also shy of the totals held by Alexander and Stewart.

Typically modest, Alexander always seem a little reluctant to talk about his penalty feats, even though it is usually one of the topics of conversation when the 39-year-old meets the media.

Stewart, who converted 76 of his 86 spot kicks, knows from experience that the questions will continue long into his retirement.

It may get a little repetitive, but he admits he is glad to be reminded of something he can be proud of.

“I do a few question and answer sessions and people still ask me about it a lot,” said the former Scotland international, who represented West Ham between 1979 and 1991.

“It’s something I have to live with, like Gordon Smith always gets asked about missing for Brighton in the FA Cup final.

“But I don’t get fed up of it. It’s nice to be remembered for achieving somethings.

“People always used to say that I was catching up Phil Neal’s record and then that I’d gone past it, but it was only from them telling me how many I’d scored that I knew.

“People think I just used to blast it but I practised a lot, taking penalties in front of a goal with a cone towards one side.

“I took penalties because I liked to take responsibility as a leader and I think people did appreciate that.

“They knew that nine times out of 10 I would score.

“I only missed about one a season, which I think was pretty decent.”

Stewart, now living back in Scotland and working for Volvo Trucks, often travels to Upton Park to do corporate hospitality work but will be unable to attend Monday’s match.

“It has been mixed fortunes for West Ham this season,” he said.

“Burnley will be motivated and will have nothing to lose.

“West Ham had a good Carling Cup run and hopefully they can have a good FA Cup run.

“But the most important thing for them is to stay in the Premier League.”