West Ham United F.C.

West Ham United
Full name West Ham United Football Club
Nickname(s) The Irons
The Hammers
The Academy of Football
Short name WHU
Founded 29 June 1895 (1895-06-29), as Thames Ironworks
5 July 1900 (1900-07-05), as West Ham United
Ground London Stadium
Ground Capacity 60,000
Owner(s) David Sullivan (51.1%)
David Gold (35.1%)
Other Investors (13.8%)[1]
Manager Slaven Bilić
League Premier League
2015–16 Premier League, 7th
Website Club home page

West Ham United Football Club is a professional football club based in Stratford, East London, England, that competes in the Premier League, England's top tier of football. They played home games at the Boleyn Ground from 1904 until the end of the 2015–16 season when they moved to the London Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United. The club has traditionally played in a claret and blue home strip with white shorts. West Ham competed in the Southern League and Western League before joining the Football League in 1919; they were promoted to the top flight in 1923, when they also played in the first FA Cup Final at Wembley. In 1940, the club won the inaugural Football League War Cup.

West Ham have been winners of the FA Cup three times, in 1964, 1975, and 1980, and have also been runners-up twice, in 1923, and 2006. The club have reached two major European finals, winning the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965 and finishing runners up in the same competition in 1976. West Ham also won the Intertoto Cup in 1999. They are one of eight clubs never to have fallen below the second tier of English football, spending 59 of 91 league seasons in the top flight, up to and including the 2016–17 season. The club's highest league position to date came in 1985–86 when they achieved third place in the then First Division.

Three West Ham players were members of the 1966 World Cup final-winning England team: captain Bobby Moore and goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters.



Main article: Thames Ironworks F.C.
Earliest club shot, during its founding year as Thames Ironworks in 1895

The earliest generally accepted incarnation of West Ham United was founded in 1895 as the Thames Ironworks team by foreman and local league referee Dave Taylor and owner Arnold Hills[2] and was announced in the Thames Ironworks Gazette of June 1895.

The team played on a strictly amateur basis for 1895 at least, with a team featuring a number of works employees including Thomas Freeman (ships fireman), Walter Parks (clerk), Tom Mundy, Walter Tranter and James Lindsay (all boilermakers), William Chapman, George Sage, and William Chamberlain and apprentice riveter Charlie Dove.[2]

1895–96: First kit[3]

The club, Thames Ironworks[4] were the first ever winners of the West Ham Charity Cup in 1895 contested by clubs in the West Ham locality, then won the London League in 1897. They turned professional in 1898 upon entering the Southern League Second Division, and were promoted to the First Division at the first attempt.[5] The following year they came second from bottom, but had established themselves as a fully fledged competitive team. They comfortably fended off the challenge of local rivals Fulham in a relegation play-off, 5–1 in late April 1900 and retained their First Division status.[5]

The team initially played in full dark blue kits, as inspired by Mr. Hills, who had been an Oxford University "Blue," but changed the following season by adopting the sky blue shirts and white shorts combination worn through 1897 to 1899. In 1899, they acquired their now-traditional home kit combination of claret shirts and sky blue sleeves in a wager involving Aston Villa players, who were League Champions at the time.[6][7]

Following growing disputes over the running and financing of the club, in June 1900 Thames Ironworks F.C. was disbanded,[4] then almost immediately relaunched on 5 July 1900 as West Ham United F.C. with Syd King[4] as their manager and future manager Charlie Paynter as his assistant. Because of the original "works team" roots and links (still represented upon the club badge), they are still known as "the Irons" or "the Hammers" amongst fans and the media.[4][8][9]

Birth of West Ham United

West Ham Utd joined the Western League for the 1901 season[10] while also continuing to play in the Southern Division 1. In 1907, West Ham were crowned the Western League Division 1B Champions, and then defeated 1A champions Fulham 1–0 to become the Western League Overall Champions.[10] The reborn club continued to play their games at the Memorial Grounds in Plaistow (funded by Arnold Hills) but moved to a pitch in the Upton Park area in the guise of the Boleyn Ground stadium in 1904. West Ham's first game in their new home was against fierce rivals Millwall[4] (themselves an Ironworks team, albeit for a rival company) drawing a crowd of 10,000 and with West Ham running out 3–0 winners,[11] and as the Daily Mirror wrote on 2 September 1904, "Favoured by the weather turning fine after heavy rains of the morning, West Ham United began their season most auspiciously yesterday evening; when they beat Millwall by 3 goals to 0 on their new enclosure at Upton Park."

Billie the White Horse, saviour of the 1923 FA Cup Final

In 1919, still under King's leadership, West Ham gained entrance to the Football League Second Division, their first game being a 1–1 draw with Lincoln City, and were promoted to Division One in 1923, also making it to the first ever FA Cup Final to be held at the old Wembley stadium. Their opponents were Bolton Wanderers. This was also known as the White Horse Final, so named because an estimated 200,000 people came to see the match; spilling out on to the pitch, which had to be cleared prior to kick-off, by "Billie," a giant white horse (actually grey) being ridden by PC George Scorey. The Cup Final match itself ended 2–0 to Bolton. The team enjoyed mixed success in Division 1 but retained their status for ten years and reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1933.[12]

In 1932, the club was relegated to Division Two[13] and long term custodian Syd King was sacked after serving the club in the role of manager for 32 years, and as a player from 1899 to 1903. Following relegation, King had mental health problems. He appeared drunk at a board meeting and soon after committed suicide.[14] He was replaced with his assistant manager Charlie Paynter, who himself had been with West Ham in a number of roles since 1897 and who went on to serve the team in this role until 1950 for a total of 480 games. The club spent most of the next 30 years in this division, first under Paynter and then later under the leadership of former player Ted Fenton. Fenton succeeded in getting the club once again promoted to the top level of English football in 1958, and, with the considerable input of player Malcolm Allison, helped develop both the initial batch of future West Ham stars and West Ham's approach to the game.[15][16][17][18]

Glory years

Ron Greenwood was appointed as Fenton's successor in 1961 and soon led the club to two major trophies, winning the FA Cup in 1964. The team was led by the young Bobby Moore.[19] They also won the European Cup Winners' Cup.[20][21] During the 1966 FIFA World Cup, key members of the tournament winners England were West Ham players, including the captain, Bobby Moore; Martin Peters (who scored in the final); and Geoff Hurst, who scored the first, and only, hat-trick in a men's World Cup final.[21][22] All three players had come through the youth team at West Ham.[23]

Champions statue on Barking Road

There is a "Champions" statue in Barking Road, opposite The Boleyn Tavern, commemorating West Ham's "three sons" who helped win the 1966 World Cup: Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. Also included on the statue is Everton's Ray Wilson.[24]
They also won the FA Cup in 1975 by defeating Fulham 2–0. The Fulham team had former England captains Alan Mullery and West Ham legend Bobby Moore.[25]

After a difficult start to the 1974–75 season, Greenwood moved himself "upstairs" to become general manager and, without informing the board, appointed his assistant John Lyall as team manager.[26] The result was instant success – the team scored 20 goals in their first four games combined and won the FA Cup, becoming the last team to win the FA Cup with an all-English side when they beat Fulham 2–0 in the 1975 final.[27] Lyall then guided West Ham to another European Cup Winners' Cup final in 1976, though the team lost the match 4–2 to Belgian side Anderlecht.[28] Greenwood's tenure as general manager lasted less than three years, as he was appointed to manage England in the wake of Don Revie's resignation in 1977.[29]

Ups and downs

In 1978, West Ham were again relegated to Division Two, but Lyall was retained as manager and led the team to an FA Cup Final win against Arsenal in 1980, their last major honour. They reached the final by defeating Everton in the semi-final.[30] The Hammers won 1–0, with a goal scored from a header by Trevor Brooking in the 13th minute.[31] This is notable as no team outside the top division has won the trophy since. West Ham were promoted to Division One in 1981, and finished in the top ten of the first division for the next three seasons before achieving their highest-ever league finish of third in 1985–86; a group of players which came to be known as The Boys of 86. However, they suffered relegation again in 1989, which resulted in Lyall's sacking.[32] He was awarded an ex gratia payment of but left the club in what Lyall described as "upsetting" circumstances, meriting only 73 words in a terse acknowledgement of his service in the club programme. Lyall left West Ham after 34 years service.[33]

Yearly performance of West Ham since joining the Football League

After Lyall, Lou Macari briefly led the team, though he resigned after less than a single season in order to clear his name of allegations of illegal betting while manager of Swindon Town.[34] He was replaced by former player Billy Bonds.[35] In Bonds' first full season, 1990–91, West Ham again secured promotion to Division One. Now back in the top flight, Bonds saw West Ham through one of their most controversial seasons. With the club planning to introduce a bond scheme, there was crowd unrest. West Ham finished last and were relegated back to Division Two after only one season.[36][37][38][39] However, they rebounded strongly in 1992–93. With Trevor Morley and Clive Allen scoring 40 goals, they guaranteed themselves second place on the last day of the season with a 2–0 home win against Cambridge United, and with it promotion to the Premier League.[40][41]

West Ham players on open-top bus near Upton Park celebrate winning the 2005 play-off final in Cardiff. From L-R Shaun Newton (crouching), Back row, Matthew Etherington, Jimmy Walker, Teddy Sheringham, Marlon Harewood, Front row Don Hutchison, Carl Fletcher, Elliott Ward and Mark Noble (with flag)

With the team in the Premier League, there was a need to rebuild the team. Oxford United player Joey Beauchamp was recruited for a fee of  million. Shortly after arriving at the club, however, he became unhappy, citing homesickness from his native Oxford as the reason. Bonds in particular found this attitude hard to understand compared to his own committed, never-say-die approach; providing for Bonds' further evidence of the decay in the modern game and modern player.[42] Fifty-eight days later, Beauchamp was signed by Swindon Town for a club-record combined fee of which included defender Adrian Whitbread going in the opposite direction. Whitbread was valued at in the deal.[43]

Assistant manager Harry Redknapp was also now taking a bigger role in the transfer of players, with the club's approval. With rumours of his old club AFC Bournemouth being prepared to offer him a position,[44] the West Ham board and their managing director, Peter Storrie, made a controversial move. The board were anxious not to lose Redknapp's services and offered Bonds a place away from the day-to-day affairs of the club—on the West Ham board. This would have allowed them to appoint Redknapp as manager. Bonds refused the post offered and walked away from the club.[45] His accusations of deceit and manipulation by the board and by Redknapp have continued to cause ill-feeling.[45] Peter Storrie claimed they that they had handled the situation correctly, saying, "If Harry had gone to Bournemouth, there was a good chance Bill would have resigned anyway, so we were in a no-win situation. We're sad that Bill is going, and it's a big blow but it's time to move on and we have appointed a great manager."[46] Redknapp became manager on 10 August 1994.[47]

Redknapp's time at West Ham was notable for the turnover of players during his tenure and for the level of attractive football and success which had not been seen since the managership of John Lyall. Over 134 players passed through the club while he was manager, producing a net transfer fee deficit of  million, despite the  million sale of Rio Ferdinand to Leeds United.[48] Some were notably successful, such as the signings of Stuart Pearce,[49] Trevor Sinclair,[49] Paolo Di Canio,[49] John Hartson,[49] Eyal Berkovic[49] and Ian Wright.[50] Meanwhile, some were expensive, international players who failed at West Ham, such as Florin Raducioiu;[49] Davor Šuker, who earned as much in wages as the revenue gained from one entire stand and yet made only eight appearances;[48] Christian Bassila, who cost and played only 86 minutes of football;[48] Titi Camara; Gary Charles, whose wages amounted to  million but made only three starts for the club;[48] Rigobert Song; Paulo Futre;[49] and Marco Boogers,[49] a player often quoted as one of the biggest failures in the Premier League.[51] His first season in charge saw West Ham fighting the threat of relegation until the last few weeks,[52] while his third season would also see another relegation battle. Always willing to enter the transfer market, Redknapp bought in the winter transfer window John Hartson and Paul Kitson who added the impetus needed at the season's end.[53][54]

In 1999, West Ham finished fifth, their highest position in the top flight since 1986.[49] They also won the Intertoto Cup beating French club Metz to qualify for the 1999–2000 UEFA Cup.[49][55] Things began to falter for Redknapp with the sale for  million to Leeds of Rio Ferdinand in November 2000. Redknapp used the transfer money poorly with purchases such as Ragnvald Soma, who cost and played only seven league games, Camera and Song. Redknapp felt he needed more funds with which to deal in the transfer market.[56] Chairman Brown lost patience with Redknapp due to his demands for further transfer funds. In June 2001, called to a meeting with Brown expecting to discuss contracts, he was fired.[56] His assistant Frank Lampard left too, making the sale of his son Frank Lampard, Jr., inevitable;[56] in the summer of 2001, he joined Chelsea for million.[57]

With several names, such as former player Alan Curbishley, now linked with the job, Chairman Brown recruited from within the club,[56] appointing reserve team coach Glenn Roeder as manager on 9 May 2001.[47] He had already failed in management with Gillingham, where he lost 22 of the 35 games he managed, and Watford.[58] His first big signings were the return of Don Hutchison for million[59] and Czech centre back Tomáš Řepka.[60] Finishing 7th in his first season[61] Roeder, in his office at Upton Park, suffered a blocked blood vessel in his brain.[58][62] Now needing medical help and recuperation, former stalwart Trevor Brooking stood in as caretaker manager.[62] Despite not losing another game, the Hammers were relegated on the last day of the season at Birmingham City with a record for a relegated club of 42 points. Ten seasons of top tier football were over.[63] Many top players including Joe Cole, Di Canio and Kanoute all left the club.

The next season, now in the second tier, Roeder resumed his stint as manager. Results were still poor, however, and after an away defeat to Rotherham United, he was sacked on 24 August 2003.[58] Brooking again took over as caretaker.[64] He lost only one game, a 2–0 away defeat to Gillingham[65] and is known as "the best manager West Ham never had."[66] Former Crystal Palace player and manager of Reading Alan Pardew was lined up to be the next bench boss. Reading and their chairman, John Madejski, however, were reluctant to let him leave.[67] After serving a period of notice and gardening leave, and with West Ham paying Reading in compensation, he was appointed manager on 18 October 2003, their tenth manager.[68] Pardew set out to rebuild the side bringing in Nigel Reo-Coker,[69] Marlon Harewood[70] and Brian Deane.[71] In his first season in charge, they made the playoff final only to lose to Crystal Palace.[72] His signings of Bobby Zamora, Matthew Etherington and veterans Chris Powell and Teddy Sheringham saw West Ham finishing sixth and subsequently beat Preston North End 1–0 thanks to a Zamora goal in the 2005 playoff final, securing a return to the Premier League.[73] After ensuring promotion, Pardew said, "It's a team effort. We defended well and we're back where we belong."[74]

Post-2005 seasons

On their return to the top division, West Ham finished in ninth place,[75] The highlight of the 2005–06 season, however, was reaching the FA Cup final and taking favourites Liverpool to a penalty shootout after a 3–3 draw. West Ham lost the shootout, but nonetheless gained entry to the following season's UEFA Cup as Liverpool had already qualified for the Champions League. In August 2006, West Ham completed a major coup on the last day of the transfer window after completing the signings of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano.[76] The club was eventually bought by an Icelandic consortium, led by Eggert Magnússon, in November 2006.[77] Manager Alan Pardew was sacked after poor form during the season[78] and was replaced by former Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley.[79]

The signings of Mascherano and Tevez were investigated by the Premier League, who were concerned that details of the transfers had been omitted from official records. The club was found guilty and fined  million in April 2007.[80] However, West Ham avoided a points deduction which ultimately became critical in their avoidance of relegation at the end of the 2006–07 season. Following on from this event, Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan, supported by other sides facing possible relegation, including Fulham and Sheffield United, threatened legal action.[81] West Ham escaped relegation by winning seven of their last nine games, including a 1–0 win over Arsenal, and on the last day of the season defeated newly crowned League Champions Manchester United 1–0 with a goal by Tevez to finish 15th.[82]

In the 2007–08 season, West Ham remained reasonably consistently in the top half of the league table, with Fredrik Ljungberg in the team, despite a slew of injuries; new signing Craig Bellamy missed most of the campaign, while Kieron Dyer was out from August 2007.[83][84] The last game of the season, at the Boleyn Ground, saw West Ham draw 2–2 against Aston Villa, ensuring a tenth-place finish three points ahead of rivals Tottenham Hotspur. It was a five-place improvement on the previous season, and most importantly West Ham were never under any realistic threat of relegation.

After a row with the board over the sale of defenders Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney to Sunderland, manager Alan Curbishley resigned on 3 September 2008.[85] His successor was former Chelsea striker Gianfranco Zola, who took over on 11 September 2008 to become the club's first non-British manager.[86] In the 2008–09 season, West Ham finished ninth, a single place improvement.

In the 2009–10 season, West Ham started strongly with a 2–0 win over newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers with goals from Mark Noble and newly appointed captain Matthew Upson.[87] A League Cup match against old rivals Millwall brought about violent riots outside the ground as well as pitch invasions and crowd trouble inside Upton Park.[88][89] In August 2009, the financial concerns of Icelandic owners parent companies left the current owners unable to provide any funds until a new owner was found. The club's shirt sponsor SBOBET provided the club with help purchase a much needed striker, the Italian Alessandro Diamanti.[90]

West Ham had a poor season which involved a prolonged battle against relegation.[91] They finally secured their survival with two games remaining by defeating Wigan 3–2.[92] The club managed to take 35 points from 38 games, seven fewer than the total they had when relegated seven years prior.[91] On 11 May 2010, two days after the end of the 2009–10 season, West Ham announced the termination of Zola's contract with immediate effect.[93] On 3 June 2010, Avram Grant signed a four-year deal to become the next manager of West Ham subject to a work permit.[94] West Ham's form continued to be poor with the team seldom outside the relegation zone,[95] placing Grant's future as manager under serious doubt.[96] A 4–0 Football League Cup quarter-final win over Manchester United was an otherwise bright spot in a disappointing season.[97] West Ham's form in the Premier League did not affect their form in the two domestic cups. The Hammers reached the semi-final of the League Cup before being eliminated by eventual winners Birmingham City as well as the quarter final of the FA cup before a 2–1 defeat at Stoke City.[98][99]

On 15 May 2011, West Ham's relegation to the Championship was confirmed after a comeback from Wigan at the DW Stadium. With West Ham leading 0–2 at half-time through two Demba Ba goals, Wigan battled back to win 3–2 thanks to an added-time strike from Charles N'Zogbia. Following the loss, West Ham announced the sacking of manager Avram Grant just one season into his tenure.[100] On 1 June 2011, Sam Allardyce was appointed as manager as Grant's replacement.[101]

The club finished third in the 2011–12 Football League Championship with 86 points and took part in the play-offs. They beat Cardiff City in the play off semi-final 5–0 on aggregate to reach the final against Blackpool at Wembley on 19 May 2012. Carlton Cole opened the scoring, and although Blackpool equalised early in the second half, Ricardo Vaz Tê scored the winner for West Ham in the 87th minute.[102]

André Ayew, West Ham's record signing

West Ham, on their return to the Premier League, signed former players James Colllins and George McCartney on permanent deals, as well as record signing Matt Jarvis and Andy Carroll on loan.[103][104][105][106] They won their first game of the season, on 18 August 2012, 1–0 against Aston Villa thanks to a Kevin Nolan goal.[107] The highlight of the first half of the season was a 3–1 home win against reigning European champions Chelsea on 1 December 2012 which saw them in eighth position[108] and 12th at the end of the year.[109] On 22 March 2013, West Ham secured a 99-year lease deal on the Olympic Stadium, with it planned to be used as their home ground from the 2016–17 season.[110] Tenth place was secured at the end of the season with nine home wins and only three away from home. Only 11 away goals were scored, the lowest of the entire league.[111]

In 2013–14, West Ham finished 13th in the Premier League.[112] They also reached the semi-finals of the League Cup before losing 9–0 on aggregate to eventual cup-winners Manchester City.[113] A feature of the season were the criticisms of manager Sam Allardyce by supporters relating to his perceived negative playing tactics.[114][115][116] West Ham finished 12th in the 2014–15 Premier League, one place higher than the previous season. Minutes after the last game of the season, on 24 May 2015, the club announced that Allardyce's contract would not be renewed and that they were seeking a new manager.[117] By winning the Premier League Fair Play table for 2014–15, West Ham qualified for the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League, entering at the first qualifying round.[118] On 9 June 2015, former West Ham player Slaven Bilić was appointed as manager on a three-year contract.[119] In Bilić's fourth game in charge, the team won at Anfield for the first time in 52 years, beating Liverpool 0–3, with goals from Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho.[120] In Bilić's first season as manager, West Ham finished seventh in the Premier League. The team broke several records for the club in the Premier League era, including the highest number of points (62), the highest number of goals in a season (65), the least number of games lost in a season (8) and the lowest number of away defeats (5).[121] Following Manchester United's win in the 2016 FA Cup Final, West Ham took their Europa League place and qualified for the third qualifying round of the 2016–17 edition.[122] In August 2016, André Ayew became the club's most expensive signing after joining for a fee of €20.5 million from Swansea City.[123]

Crest and colours


The previous club crest 1987–1998
The previous club crest 1998–2016

The original club crest was a crossed pair of rivet hammers; tools commonly used in the iron and shipbuilding industry. A castle was later (circa 1903–04) added to the crest and represents a prominent local building, Green Street House, which was known as "Boleyn Castle" through an association with Anne Boleyn. The manor was reportedly one of the sites at which Henry VIII courted his second queen, though in truth there is no factual evidence other than the tradition of rumour.[124]

The castle may have also been added as a result of the contribution made to the club by players of Old Castle Swifts, or even the adoption (in 1904) of Boleyn Castle FC[125] as their reserve side when they took over their grounds on the site.

The crest was redesigned and updated by London design agency Springett Associates in the late 1990s, featuring a wider yellow castle with fewer cruciform "windows" along with the peaked roofs being removed; the tops of the towers had previously made the castle appear more akin to Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty's Castle than a functioning fortress. The designer also altered other details to give a more substantial feel to the iconography.[126]

When the club redesigned the facade of the stadium (construction finished 2001–02) the "castle" from the later badge was incorporated into the structure at the main entrance to the ground. A pair of towers were prominent features of the ground's appearance, both bearing the club's modern insignia (which was also located in the foyer and other strategic locations).[127]

A new badge was approved by supporters in July 2014 and was introduced following the end of the 2015–16 season, when the club moved into the Olympic Stadium.[128] It removes the Boleyn Castle due to the club moving away, leaving just the crossed hammers, which the club says is inspired by the crest during the career of Bobby Moore. The word "London" will be introduced below to "establish the club firmly on the international stage", and the more minimalist approach is to give a "strong statement that is instantly West Ham United". The shape of the crest is that of the hull of HMS Warrior, the first ironclad warship in the Royal Navy, which was built by Thames Ironworks.[129]


The original colours of the team were dark blue, due to Thames Ironworks chairman Arnold Hills being a former student of Oxford University. However, the team used a variety of kits including the claret and sky blue house colours of Thames Ironworks, as well as sky blue or white kit.[130][131]

The Irons permanently adopted claret and blue for home colours in the summer of 1899. Thames Ironworks right-half Charlie Dove received the Aston Villa kit from his father William Dove, who was a professional sprinter of national repute, as well as being involved with the coaching at Thames Ironworks. Bill Dove had been at a fair in Birmingham, close to Villa Park, the home ground of Aston Villa and was challenged to a race against four Villa players, who wagered money that one of them would win.[132]

Bill Dove defeated them and, when they were unable to pay the bet, one of the Villa players who was responsible for washing the team's kit offered a complete team's "football kits" to Dove in payment. The Aston Villa player subsequently reported to his club that the kit was "missing."[133] This, however, is often disputed. The predecessors of Thames Ironworks, Old Castle Swifts FC, played in pale blue shirts, white shorts and claret socks as early as 1892, around the same time Aston Villa played in said same colours.

Thames Ironworks, and later West Ham United, retained the claret yoke/blue sleeves design, but also continued to use their previously favoured colours for their away kits.

Shirt sponsors and kit suppliers

Since January 2015 West Ham's shirts have been sponsored by Betway.[134] Previous sponsors have included AVCO Trust (1983–89), BAC Windows (1989–93), Dagenham Motors (1993–97), Dr. Martens (1998–2003), JobServe (2003–07), XL.com (2007–08), SBOBET (2008–13), and Alpari FX (2013–15).[135] The deal with XL ended early due to the XL Leisure Group being placed in administration in September 2008.[136][137] During this period, players had their squad numbers ironed over the existing sponsorship logo, before a deal with SBOBET was finalised.[138] The deal with Alpari also ended early, because of the sponsor entering liquidation.[139]

The current kit manufacturers, Umbro, have made West Ham's kit from 2007 to 2010, and from 2015 to the present. Previous manufacturers have been Admiral (1976–80), Adidas (1980–87, 2013–15),[140] Scoreline (1987–89), Bukta (1989–93), Pony (1993–99), Fila (1999–2003), Reebok (2003–07) and Macron (2010–13).

Supporters, hooliganism and rivalries


I'm forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air.
They fly so high, nearly reach the sky,
Then like my dreams they fade and die.
Fortune's always hiding,
I've looked everywhere ...
I'm forever blowing bubbles,
pretty bubbles in the air.

 original lyrics to "Bubbles", from John Helliar[141]

The team's supporters are famous for their rendition of the chorus of their team's anthem, "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" introduced to the club by former manager Charlie Paynter in the late 1920s. A Pears soap commercial featuring the curly haired child in the Millais' "Bubbles" was well known at the time. The child resembled a player, Billy J. "Bubbles" Murray, from local schoolboy team, Park School, where the headmaster was Cornelius Beal. Beal was known locally for his music and rhyme and wrote special words to the tune of "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" whenever any player was having a good game.[142]

Beal was a friend of Paynter, while Murray was a West Ham trialist and played football at schoolboy level with a number of West Ham players such as Jim Barrett. Through this contrivance of association the club's fans took it upon themselves to begin singing the popular music hall tune before home games, sometimes reinforced by the presence of a house band requested to play the refrain by Charlie Paynter.[141]

There is a slight change to the lyrics sung by the Upton Park faithful. The second line's "nearly reach the sky" is changed to "they reach the sky", "Then like my dreams" is also changed to "And like my dreams". In addition the fans begin a chant of "United, United!" to cap it off.[143]

Bow Bells are ringing, for the Claret and Blue,
Bow Bells are ringing, for the Claret and Blue,
When the Hammers are scoring, and the South Bank are roaring,
And the money is pouring, for the Claret and Blue,
Claret and Blue,
No relegation for the Claret and Blue,
Just celebration for the Claret and Blue,
One day we'll win a cup or two, or three,
Or four or more, for West Ham and the Claret and Blue.

 Supporters song to the tune of 'The Bells are Ringing', circa 1960[144]

The 1975 FA Cup version – which contains the original lyrics, and features vocals from the team's then-current players – is always played before home games, with the home crowd joining in and carrying the song on after the music stops at the verse line "Fortune's always hiding".[145] Bubbles was published as a waltz whereas during the game the crowd sing it in common time.[145][146]

Like other teams, the team also have a history of adopting or adapting popular songs of the day to fit particular events, themes, players or personas. These have included serious renditions of theatre and movie classics such as "The Bells are Ringing," along with more pun-laden or humorous efforts, such as chanting former player Paolo Di Canio's name to the canzone "La donna è mobile" by Giuseppe Verdi,[147] or D.I. Canio to the tune of Ottawan's "D.I.S.C.O.", or the chant of "Who Let The Potts Out?" to the tune of Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out?" when Steve Potts could be seen warming up to come on as substitute late on in his career, or "That's Zamora" to the tune of Dean Martin's 1953 "That's Amore" in honour of former striker Bobby Zamora. Other former players to be serenaded include Christian Dailly with vastly-altered lyrics to Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You",[148] Joe Cole with Spandau Ballet's "Gold" song title sung as "Cole"[149] and Luděk Mikloško. A song for West Ham favourite Bobby Moore, "Viva Bobby Moore", is also sung based on The Business's "Oi!" rendition of the song, based on The Equals' 1969 release "Viva Bobby Joe".[150] In 2016, supporters adapted the lyrics of Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart" in honour of Dimitri Payet.[151]

Fans gained national attention after giving a torrid time to David Beckham in his first away match of 1998–99 the season after the England midfielder was sent off for a petulant foul on Diego Simeone.[152] Coinciding with the game, there were claims (and an image taken) that fans, organised by a hardcore, had hung an effigy of the player outside a local pub. Although it was later revealed that the pub was in South-East London, the heartland of West Ham's greatest rivals Millwall. The West Ham fans did, however, boo Beckham's every touch of the ball during the game.[153]

They have also displayed a particular zeal when it comes to abusing former players particularly those who are perceived to have abandoned the club, or performed some disservice. Famously Paul Ince,[154][155] Frank Lampard,[156] Jermain Defoe,[157] and Nigel Reo-Coker[158] have borne the brunt of verbal assaults and a guaranteed hostile reception at Upton Park. However, players such as Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Rio Ferdinand, Bobby Zamora and Carlos Tevez receive applause and even standing ovations in honour of their contributions during their time at the club. Joe Cole subsequently rejoined West Ham from Liverpool midway through the 2012–13 season.[159]

West Ham fans display their rosettes, scarves and novelty hammers at an FA Cup match in 1933


The origins of West Ham's links with organised football-related violence starts in the 1960s with the establishment of The Mile End Mob (named after an area of the East End of London).[160] During the 1970s and '80s (the main era for organised football-related violence), West Ham gained further notoriety for the levels of hooliganism in their fan base and antagonistic behaviour towards both their own and rival fans, and the police. During the '70s in particular, rival groups of West Ham fans from neighbouring areas often did battle with each other at games, most often groups from the neighbouring districts of Barking and Dagenham.[161]

The Inter City Firm were one of the first "casuals", so called because they avoided police supervision by not wearing football-related clothing and travelled to away matches on regular InterCity trains, rather than on the cheap and more tightly policed "football special" charter trains. The group were an infamous West Ham-aligned gang. As the firm's moniker "inter city" suggests violent activities were not confined to local derbies – the hooligans were content to cause trouble at any game, though nearby teams often bore the brunt.[161]

The 2005 independent film Green Street starring Elijah Wood and Charlie Hunnam focuses on a firm of West Ham hooligans.[162]


West Ham have strong rivalries with several other clubs. Most of these are with other London clubs, especially with Tottenham Hotspur in an East versus North London derby[163] and with Chelsea in an East versus West London rivalry. The rivalry between West Ham and Tottenham has been fuelled by players such as Michael Carrick, Martin Peters, Paul Allen, Jermain Defoe and Scott Parker leaving the Hammers to join Tottenham.[164] The rivalry deepened with the appointment of former Hammers manager Harry Redknapp as Tottenham's manager.[165] Since the 2006–07 Premier League season, West Ham have developed a strong rivalry with Yorkshire club Sheffield United due to the dubious circumstances surrounding the transfer of Carlos Tevez, who helped West Ham avoid relegation at Sheffield United's expense.[166][167]

Champions statue boarded up for Millwall visit
Champions statue boarded up for Tottenham visit
The "Champions" statue, of Moore, with the World Cup, Hurst, Peters and Ray Wilson, boarded-up for protection before the visits of Millwall on 25 August 2009 and Tottenham Hotspur in March 2016

The oldest and fiercest rivalry is with Millwall. The two sides are local rivals, having both formed originally around local companies, with players living in the same localities. The early history of both clubs are intertwined, with West Ham proving to be the more successful in a number of meetings between the two teams at the time, resulting in West Ham being promoted at the expense of Millwall. Millwall later declined to join the fledgling Football League while West Ham went on to the top division and an FA Cup final. Later in the 1920s, the rivalry was intensified during strike action which Isle of Dogs-based companies (i.e., Millwall fans) refused to support, breeding ill will between the two camps, the bitterness of this betrayal enduring for years. In 1972, a Millwall supporter died at New Cross station after falling out of a train during a fight with West Ham fans. [168]

The rivalry between West Ham and Millwall has involved considerable violence and is one of the most notorious within the world of football hooliganism. The teams were drawn against each other in the second round of the 2009–10 League Cup and met on 25 August 2009 at Upton Park. This was the first time in four years that the two clubs had played each other, and the first ever in the League Cup. Clashes between fans occurred outside the ground, resulting in violence erupting up to half a mile away from the stadium, with serious injuries, include the stabbing of a Millwall supporter, damage to property and several arrests reported by police. There were also several pitch invasions by West Ham supporters which brought a temporary halt to the game.[169] In January 2010, West Ham were fined after being found guilty of violent, threatening, obscene and provocative behaviour and of failing to prevent their fans entering the field of play. Millwall were cleared of all charges.[170]


The team and supporters are known as The Hammers, in part because of the club's origins as Thames Ironworks.[171] They are also known as The Irons[171] and The Cockney Boys.[172] Other nicknames are The Academy of Football, or just The Academy.[173]


The East Stand at the London Stadium

Until 2016, West Ham were based at the Boleyn Ground, commonly known as Upton Park, in Newham, East London. The capacity of the Boleyn Ground was 35,016,[174] and had been West Ham's ground since 1904. Prior to this, in their previous incarnation of Thames Ironworks, they played at Hermit Road in Canning Town and briefly at Browning Road in East Ham, before moving to the Memorial Grounds in Plaistow in 1897. They retained the stadium during their transition to becoming West Ham United and were there for a further four seasons before moving to the Boleyn Ground in 1904.

Former chairman Eggert Magnússon made clear his ambition for West Ham to move to the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Summer Olympics, a desire reiterated by current chairmen Gold and Sullivan when they assumed control of the club stating that they felt it was a logical move for the Government as it was in the borough of Newham.

In February 2010, however, the British Olympic Minister stated that West Ham would not get the stadium, and it would instead be used for track and field.[175] On 17 May 2010, West Ham and Newham London Borough Council submitted a formal plan to the Olympic Park Legacy Company for the use of the Olympic Stadium following the 2012 Olympic Games. The proposal was for a stadium with a capacity of 60,000 which would retain a competition athletics track. The proposal was welcomed by the chairman of UK athletics, Ed Warner, who said, "I think it will feel great as a football stadium and I speak as a football fan as well the chairman of UK Athletics. I think you'd find West Ham would cover the track in the winter season so it wouldn't look like you had a track between you and the pitch."[176][177]

On 30 September 2010, the club formally submitted its bid for the Olympic Stadium with a presentation at 10 Downing Street,[178] and on 8 October 2010 the world's largest live entertainment company, Live Nation, endorsed the club's Olympic Stadium plans.[179] Three days after Live Nation's endorsement, UK Athletics confirmed its formal support for West Ham United and Newham Council in their joint bid to take over the Olympic Stadium in legacy mode.[180] In November 2010, West Ham commenced a search for potential developers for "informal discussions" about what would happen to the ground if it were to win its bid to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games. According to the club, the site could be vacated and open to redevelopment by the summer of 2014.[181] On 11 February 2011, the Olympic Park Legacy Committee selected West Ham as the preferred club to move into the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.[182][183]

The decision in favour of West Ham's bid was unanimous,[184] although controversial as local rivals Tottenham Hotspur had also been bidding for the venue.[185] Hopes of moving to the stadium, however, were since placed under doubt following a legal challenge by Tottenham and Leyton Orient, with Leyton Orient fearful that having West Ham playing less than a mile away from their Brisbane Road ground could steal support from the club and put them out of business.[186] Both clubs' appeal for a judicial review, however, were rejected on 23 June 2011.[187] On 3 March 2011, West Ham's proposed move to the Olympic Stadium was formally approved by the British government and Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

West Ham moved into the Olympic Stadium in 2016

On 8 June 2011, it was confirmed that the Westfield Shopping Centre had been in detailed talks with West Ham for naming rights of the new Olympic stadium which could be called the Westfield Stadium.[188] West Ham announced plans to move from the Boleyn Ground from the 2014–15 season.[189] In August 2011, an independent investigation initiated by the Olympic Park Legacy Company upheld the decision to award West Ham the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.[190] On 29 June 2011, however, Tottenham announced that they were returning to the High Court again to fight the decision to award West Ham the stadium, in an oral hearing, to try and overturn the original high court appeal being rejected.[191] On 25 August 2011, Tottenham and Leyton Orient were in fact granted a judicial review by the High Court into the Olympic Stadium bidding process.[192] On 11 October 2011, the deal to award West Ham the Olympic Stadium collapsed over concerns of legal pressure, with the government deciding that the stadium will stay in public ownership.[193] Six days later, Tottenham and Leyton Orient announced they had ended their legal challenge after the deal collapsed.[194]

West Ham and Domžale enter the pitch for first ever game at the London Stadium

Once the original deal collapsed, a new process to select a tenant was begun. West Ham immediately announced plans to become tenants of the stadium.[195] By March 2012, West Ham was one of the four bidders for the Stadium. With a decision due by the Olympic Park Legacy Company in May 2012, Mayor of London Boris Johnson delayed the final selection of future tenants until completion of the 2012 Summer Olympics, stating that it was "overwhelmingly likely" that the tenants would be West Ham.[196][197]

It was announced on 22 March 2013 that West Ham had signed a 99-year lease for the Olympic Stadium after the government agreed to put in an extra million towards the costs of converting the site. The club's plan was to move into the stadium prior to the start of the 2016–17 season.[198] Supporters of rival clubs had pressed for an inquiry into the granting of West Ham's tenancy, arguing that West Ham were being given an unfair advantage by the arrangement. In September 2015, however, the government rejected holding such an inquiry.[199]

The Academy of Football

"Academy of Football"

The club promotes the popular idea of West Ham being "The Academy of Football", with the moniker adorning the ground's new stadium façade. The comment predominantly refers to the club's youth development system which was established by manager Ted Fenton during the 1950s, that has seen a number of international players emerge through the ranks.[200] Most notably, the club contributed three players to the World Cup-winning England side of 1966, including club icon Bobby Moore, as well as Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst who between them scored all of England's goals in the eventual 4–2 victory. Other academy players that have gone on to play for England have included Trevor Brooking, Alvin Martin, Tony Cottee and Paul Ince.

Since the late 1990s, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and Glen Johnson began their careers at West Ham and all went on to play for much bigger clubs. Most recently, the likes of first teamers Mark Noble and James Tomkins, as well as Welsh international Jack Collison, have emerged through the Academy. Frustratingly for fans and managers alike,[201] the club has struggled to retain many of these players due to (predominantly) financial reasons.[202] West Ham, during the 2007–08 season, had an average of 6.61 English players in the starting line up, higher than any other Premier League club,[203] which cemented their status as one of the few Premier League clubs left that were recognised to be bringing through young English talent and were recognised as having "homegrown players." Between 2000 and 2011, the club produced eight England players, as many as Manchester United and one fewer than Arsenal.[204] Much of the success of The Academy has been attributed to Tony Carr, who has been West Ham youth coach since 1973.[205]

Current players

As of 31 August 2016.[206][207][208]

First-team squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Republic of Ireland GK Darren Randolph
2 New Zealand DF Winston Reid (vice-captain)
3 England DF Aaron Cresswell
4 Norway MF Håvard Nordtveit
5 Spain DF Álvaro Arbeloa
7 Algeria MF Sofiane Feghouli
8 Senegal MF Cheikhou Kouyaté
9 England FW Andy Carroll
10 Argentina MF Manuel Lanzini
11 Italy FW Simone Zaza (on loan from Juventus)
13 Spain GK Adrián
14 Spain MF Pedro Obiang
15 Senegal FW Diafra Sakho
16 England MF Mark Noble (captain)
No. Position Player
17 Turkey MF Gökhan Töre (on loan from Beşiktaş)
19 Wales DF James Collins
20 Ghana FW André Ayew
21 Italy DF Angelo Ogbonna
22 England DF Sam Byram
24 England FW Ashley Fletcher
26 France DF Arthur Masuaku
27 France MF Dimitri Payet
28 Argentina FW Jonathan Calleri (on loan from Deportivo Maldonado)
30 England MF Michail Antonio
31 Switzerland MF Edimilson Fernandes
34 Switzerland GK Raphael Spiegel
35 England DF Reece Oxford

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
25 Canada DF Doneil Henry (on loan to Horsens until 30 June 2017)
32 England DF Reece Burke (on loan to Wigan Athletic until 30 June 2017)
33 Scotland DF Stephen Hendrie (on loan to Blackburn Rovers until 30 June 2017)
37 England DF Lewis Page (on loan to Coventry City until 9 January 2017)
39 Republic of Ireland MF Josh Cullen (on loan to Bradford City until 8 January 2017)
42 Norway MF Martin Samuelsen (on loan to Blackburn Rovers until 30 June 2017)
44 England MF George Dobson (on loan to Walsall until 30 June 2017)
45 England DF Kyle Knoyle (on loan to Wigan Athletic until 30 June 2017)
65 England DF Josh Pask (on loan to Gillingham until 30 June 2017)
Ecuador FW Enner Valencia (on loan to Everton until 30 June 2017)
Serbia FW Luka Belić (on loan to Motherwell until 31 January 2017)

PL2 squad

Players (excluding scholars) who will qualify as U23s in season 2016–17 (i.e. born on or after 1 January 1993) and who are outside the first team squad.

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
29 Spain FW Antonio Martínez
36 Portugal MF Domingos Quina
40 Bermuda FW Djair Parfitt-Williams
41 Republic of Ireland DF Declan Rice
43 England MF Marcus Browne
46 England MF Moses Makasi
No. Position Player
47 England GK Sam Howes
52 England DF Sam Westley
55 England MF Grady Diangana
57 England FW Jahmal Hector-Ingram
58 Switzerland MF Noha Sylvestre
59 England FW Sam Ford

Former players

Retired numbers

Club captains

Dates Name Notes
1895–97 Scotland Bob Stevenson
1897–99 England Walter Tranter
1899 England Tom Bradshaw Bradshaw died on Christmas Day following an accidental kick to the head in a game against Millwall.
1899–01 England Charlie Dove
1901–03 Unknown
c.1903–04 England Ernest Watts
1904–07 Scotland David Gardner
1907–11 England Frank Piercy
1911–14 England Tommy Randall
1914–15 England Dick Leafe
1915–22 England Billy Cope Also captained fixtures during World War I.
1922–25 England George Kay
1925–26 England Billy Moore
1926–28 England Jack Hebden
1928–32 England Stanley Earle
1932–37 England Jim Barrett
1937–46 England Charles Bicknell Remained captain for fixtures during World War II.
1946–51 England Dick Walker Following his retirement, he helped to clean the boots of younger players
1951–57 England Malcolm Allison Fell ill with tuberculosis after a game in 1957 and consequently had a lung removed
1957–60 Republic of Ireland Noel Cantwell First captain not from the United Kingdom
1960–62 Wales Phil Woosnam
1962–74 England Bobby Moore
1974–84 England Billy Bonds
1984–90 England Alvin Martin
1990–92 England Ian Bishop
1992–93 England Julian Dicks
1993–96 England Steve Potts
1996–97 England Julian Dicks
1997–2001 Northern Ireland Steve Lomas
2001–03 Italy Paolo Di Canio First captain not from the British Isles
2003 England Joe Cole
2003–05 Scotland Christian Dailly
2005–07 England Nigel Reo-Coker
2007–09 Australia Lucas Neill First captain from outside Europe
2009–11 England Matthew Upson
2011–15 England Kevin Nolan
2015– England Mark Noble

West Ham dream team

In the 2003 book The Official West Ham United Dream Team, 500 fans were quizzed for who would be in their all time Hammers Eleven. The voting was restricted to players from the modern era.

1 England GK Phil Parkes
2 Scotland DF Ray Stewart
3 England DF Julian Dicks
4 England MF Billy Bonds
5 England DF Alvin Martin
6 England DF Bobby Moore (captain)
7 England MF Martin Peters
8 England MF Trevor Brooking
9 England FW Geoff Hurst
10 Italy FW Paolo Di Canio
11 England MF Alan Devonshire

Hammer of the Year

The following is a list of the "Hammer of the Year award" won by West Ham United players.[211] Trevor Brooking was the first player for West Ham United to have been honoured with the title of Hammer of the Year three times in a row in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Scott Parker repeated this feat between 2009–2011.[212] Brooking has won the award the most times, on five occasions: 1972, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1984. Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds and Julian Dicks have each won it four times.

Bobby Moore has been runner-up four times, while Billy Bonds and Tony Cottee have both been runners-up three times.

Billy Bonds and Trevor Brooking's wins are notable in the amount of time between first and last Hammer of the Year award. Bonds has 16 years separating his wins whilst Brooking has 12.

Year Winner Runner-Up
1958England Andy Malcolm
1959England Ken Brown
1960England Malcolm Musgrove
1961England Bobby Moore
1962Scotland Lawrie LeslieScotland John Dick
1963England Bobby MooreEngland Jim Standen
1964England Johnny ByrneEngland Bobby Moore
1965England Martin PetersEngland Bobby Moore
1966England Geoff HurstEngland Martin Peters
1967England Geoff HurstEngland Bobby Moore
1968England Bobby MooreEngland Trevor Brooking
1969England Geoff HurstEngland Billy Bonds
1970England Bobby MooreEngland Billy Bonds
1971England Billy BondsEngland Bobby Moore
1972England Trevor BrookingScotland Bobby Ferguson
1973England Pop RobsonEngland Trevor Brooking
1974England Billy BondsEngland Mervyn Day
1975England Billy BondsEngland Mervyn Day
1976England Trevor BrookingEngland Graham Paddon
1977England Trevor BrookingEngland Alan Devonshire
1978England Trevor Brooking
1979England Alan DevonshireEngland Pop Robson
1980England Alvin MartinScotland Ray Stewart
1981England Phil ParkesEngland Geoff Pike
1982England Alvin MartinEngland Trevor Brooking
1983England Alvin MartinEngland Phil Parkes
1984England Trevor BrookingEngland Tony Cottee
1985England Paul AllenEngland Tony Cottee
1986England Tony CotteeScotland Frank McAvennie
1987England Billy BondsEngland Mark Ward
Year Winner Runner-Up
1988England Stewart RobsonEngland Billy Bonds
1989England Paul InceEngland Julian Dicks
1990England Julian DicksEngland Stuart Slater
1991Czechoslovakia Luděk MikloškoEngland George Parris
1992England Julian DicksEngland Steve Potts
1993England Steve PottsEngland Kevin Keen
1994England Trevor MorleyEngland Steve Potts
1995England Steve PottsEngland Tony Cottee
1996England Julian DicksNorthern Ireland Iain Dowie
1997England Julian DicksCroatia Slaven Bilić
1998England Rio FerdinandNorthern Ireland Steve Lomas
1999Trinidad and Tobago Shaka HislopEngland Ian Pearce
2000Italy Paolo Di CanioEngland Trevor Sinclair
2001England Stuart PearceItaly Paolo Di Canio
2002France Sébastien SchemmelEngland Joe Cole
2003England Joe ColeEngland Jermain Defoe
2004England Matthew EtheringtonEngland Michael Carrick
2005England Teddy SheringhamEngland Mark Noble
2006Wales Danny GabbidonEngland Marlon Harewood
2007Argentina Carlos TevezEngland Bobby Zamora
2008England Robert GreenNorthern Ireland George McCartney
2009England Scott ParkerEngland Robert Green
2010England Scott ParkerItaly Alessandro Diamanti
2011England Scott ParkerEngland Robert Green
2012England Mark NobleEngland James Tomkins
2013New Zealand Winston ReidFinland Jussi Jääskeläinen
2014England Mark NobleSpain Adrián
2015England Aaron CresswellSpain Adrián
2016France Dimitri PayetEngland Michail Antonio

Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2013, West Ham United introduced a new annual award, the West Ham United Lifetime Achievement Award.

The first award was presented to club-record appearance maker Billy Bonds, who picked up the award on the pitch at Upton Park before kick-off against Cardiff City on the opening day of the 2013–14 season.[213]

The 2014 award was presented to Sir Trevor Brooking, a record five-time winner of the Hammer of the Year award. Brooking received the award before the 2014–15 season curtain-raiser against Tottenham Hotspur on 16 August 2014.[214] Brooking had already had the Centenary Stand at the Boleyn ground named after him in 2009.

The 2015 award was awarded to Martin Peters.[215]

On 3 May 2016, it was announced via the club's official website that the fourth recipient of the award would be Sir Geoff Hurst, the club's second all-time leading goalscorer, and scorer of a hat-trick in the 1966 World Cup Final. Hurst would be honoured at the club's 2015/16 Player Awards Ceremony.[216]

Year Winner
2013England Billy Bonds
2014England Trevor Brooking
2015England Martin Peters
2016England Geoff Hurst

Current staff

As of 10 July 2015.[217]
Staff and directors
Position Name
Co-chairman David Sullivan
Co-chairman David Gold
Vice-chairman Karren Brady CBE
Non-executive directorDaniel Harris
Non-executive director Andrew Bernhardt
Honorary life president Terry Brown (former owner)
Football secretary Andrew Pincher
Chief Finance Officer Andy Mollett
Managing Director Angus Kinnear
Executive Director, Marketing & Communications Tara Warren
Chief Operating Officer Ben Illingworth
Coaching staff
Position Name
Manager Croatia Slaven Bilić
Assistant manager Croatia Nikola Jurčević
First team coach England Julian Dicks
First team coach Germany Edin Terzić [218]
Goalkeeping coach England Chris Woods
Development coach England Steve Potts
Fitness coach England Eamon Swift
Fitness coach Croatia Miljenko Rak[218]
Club Ambassador England Tony Carr MBE
Academy Manager & Head of Coaching and Player Development England Terry Westley
Head of Medical & Sports Science Belgium Stijn Vandenbroucke
Head Physiotherapist England Dominic Rogan
Chief Scout & Director of Recruitment England Tony Henry[219]


West Ham have had only fifteen permanent managers in their history and an additional three caretaker managers. The current manager is Slaven Bilić who was appointed on 9 June 2015.[119]

Manager Caretaker Manager Period G W D L Win % Honours/Notes (major honours shown in bold)
England Syd King 1901–3263824814624438.87 Club's longest serving manager (31 years). FA Cup runners up 1923
England Charlie Paynter 1932–5048019811616641.25
England Ted Fenton 1950–6148419310718439.87 Old Division Two Champions 1957–58
England Ron Greenwood 1961–7461321516523335.07 FA Cup winners 1964, UEFA Cup Winners Cup winners 1965. League Cup runners up 1966.
England John Lyall 1974–89 708 277 176255 39.12 FA Cup winners 1975, 1980. Highest placed league finish in club's history (3rd in Old Division One 1985–86). UEFA Cup Winners' Cup runners up 1976; League Cup runners up 1981.
Scotland Lou Macari 1989–90381412 12 36.84 Club's first non-English manager.
England Ronnie Boyce 1990 1 0 1 0 0.00
England Billy Bonds 1990–94227 9961 67 43.61 Best overall win percentage of club's permanent managers.
England Harry Redknapp 1994–01 327 121 85 121 37.00 UEFA Intertoto Cup joint winners 1999 (European qualification). Club's highest Premier League finish (5th, 1998–99)
England Glenn Roeder 2001–03 86 27 23 36 31.40
England Trevor Brooking 2003 14 9 4 1 64.29 Best overall win percentage of any manager, but only in a caretaker capacity
England Alan Pardew 2003–06 163 67 38 58 41.10 Championship Play Off Winners 2005, FA Cup runners up 2006 (European qualification)
England Alan Curbishley 2006–08 71 28 14 29 39.44 Best Premier League win percentage (37.10%) of club's Premier League era managers.
England Kevin Keen 2008 1 0 0 1 0.00
Italy Gianfranco Zola 2008–10 80 23 21 36 28.75 Club's first foreign (non-British) manager. Worst overall win percentage of any permanent manager.
Israel Avram Grant 2010–11 47 15 12 20 31.91 Club's first non EU manager. Worst Premier League win percentage (18.92%) and points/game ratio (0.89) of club's Premier League era managers.
England Kevin Keen 2011 1 0 0 1 0.00
England Sam Allardyce 2011–15 181 68 46 67 37.57 Championship Play Off Winners 2012.
Croatia Slaven Bilić[220] 2015– 72 28 21 23 38.89 Best points/game ratio (1.42) of club's Premier League era managers. Best season points tally of club's Premier League era managers (62 points, 2015–16)

Ownership and chairmen

For more details on this topic, see Ownership of West Ham United F.C..

In January 2010, David Sullivan and David Gold acquired a 50% share in West Ham, given them overall operational and commercial control.[221] At the end of May 2010, Gold and Sullivan purchased a further 10% stake in the club at a cost of million. Taking their controlling stake to 60%, they announced that they could open up shares for fans to purchase.[222] On 9 August 2010, Gold and Sullivan increased their shares up to 30.6% each with "minority investors", (which included former owner Terry Brown, purchasing a further 3.8% of the club at a cost of around −4 million) leaving Icelandic Straumur Investment Bank owning 35% of the club.[223]

On 2 July 2013, Sullivan acquired a further 25% of shares after restructuring the debt of the club, leaving Straumur Bank with just 10%.[224] In order to clear club debts before a move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016, in December 2014 Sullivan announced the availability for sale of 20% of the club.[225] The clearing of club debts, given in July 2013 as million, was given as a pre-condition to a move to the Olympic Stadium.[226]

European record

For more details on this topic, see West Ham United F.C. in European football.


Domestic competitions

Hammers in Wartime

As Thames Ironworks F.C.




Statistics and records





Club league highs and lows

See also West Ham United F.C. by season
  • Home:
    • Most:
    • Most Home Wins: 19 (1980–81)
    • Most Home Draws: 10 (1981–82)
    • Most Home Defeats: 10 (1988–89)
    • Most Home Goals Scored: 59 (1958–59)
    • Most Home Goals Conceded: 44 (1930–31)
    • Fewest:
    • Fewest Home Wins: 3 (1988–89)
    • Fewest Home Draws: 1 (1934–35), (1980–81)
    • Fewest Home Defeats: 1 (1957–58), (1980–81)
    • Fewest Home Goals Scored: 19 (1988–89)
    • Fewest Home Goals Conceded: 11 (1920–21), (1922–23)
  • Away:
    • Most:
    • Most Away Wins: 13 (2011–12)
    • Most Away Draws: 10 (1968–69)
    • Most Away Defeats: 17 (1932–33)
    • Most Away Goals Scored: 45 (1957–58)
    • Most Away Goals Conceded: 70 (1931–32)
    • Fewest:
    • Fewest Away Wins: 1 (1925–26), (1932–33), (1937–38), (1960–61), (2009–10)
    • Fewest Away Draws: 1 (1982–83)
    • Fewest Away Defeats: 3 (1980–81)
    • Fewest Away Goals Scored: 12 (1996–97)
    • Fewest Away Goals Conceded: 16 (1990–91)
  • Total:
    • Most:
    • Most Total Wins: 28 (1980–81)
    • Most Total Draws: 18 (1968–69)
    • Most Total Defeats: 23 (1931–32)
    • Most Total Goals Scored: 101 (1957–58)
    • Most Total Goals Conceded: 107 (1931–32)
    • Fewest:
    • Fewest Total Wins: 7 (2010–11)
    • Fewest Total Draws: 4 (1934–35), (1964–65), (1982–83)
    • Fewest Total Defeats: 4 (1980–81)
    • Fewest Total Goals Scored: 37 (1988–89), (1991–92)
    • Fewest Total Goals Conceded: 29 (1980–81)

Club goal records

Follow link to Official West Ham United Records Page[232]


Player records


  1. 799 Billy Bonds (1967–88)
  2. 670 Frank Lampard, Sr. (1967–85)
  3. 644 Bobby Moore (1958–74)
  4. 643 Trevor Brooking (1967–84)
  5. 600 Alvin Martin (1977–96)
  6. 548 Jimmy Ruffell (1921–37)
  7. 505 Steve Potts (1985–02)
  8. 505 Vic Watson (1920–35)
  9. 502 Geoff Hurst (1959–72)
  10. 467 Jim Barrett (1924–43)


  1. 326 Vic Watson (1920–35)
  2. 252 Geoff Hurst (1959–72)
  3. 166 John Dick (1953–63)
  4. 166 Jimmy Ruffell (1921–37)
  5. 146 Tony Cottee (1983–88), (1994–96)
  6. 107 Johnny Byrne (1961–67)
  7. 104 Pop Robson (1970–74), (1976–79)
  8. 102 Trevor Brooking (1967–84)
  9. 100 Malcolm Musgrove (1953–63)
  10. 100 Martin Peters (1962–70)

See also



  1. "ownership West Ham United". whufc corporate information. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  2. 1 2 "The History of West Ham United 1895–1896". Spartacus Schoolnet. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  3. "West Ham United". Retrieved 12 September 2014.
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