Wednesday, June 5, 2019

West Ham All-Time Greatest Team

Cup Winners' Cup in 1965

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

West Ham United was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United. They moved to the Boleyn Ground in 1904, which remained their home ground for more than a century.  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 60 of 92 league seasons in the top flight, up to and including the 2017–18 season. The club's highest league position to date came in 1985–86, when they achieved third place in the then First Division.
West Ham FA Cup 1964  winner
This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League. 

Team
GK: Phil Parkes (England)
Parkes began his football career at Walsall.  He played for QPR from 1970 to 1979.  He was part of the QPR team that were League runners-up in 1976. In 1979, he joined West Ham, where he played until 1990, winning the FA Cup in 1980.  In 2003, he voted as West Ham's greatest ever keeper.  He played a season with Ipswich before retiring. In 1974, he picked up his only cap for England.  

GK: Ludek Miklosko (Czech Republic)
Miklosko played over 200 games for Banik Ostrava before moving to England where he played over 300 games for West Ham United from 1990 to 1998. He later played for Queens Park Rangers where he was also goalkeeping coach. He played 40 games for Czechoslovakia and two games for the Czech Republic.  He went to the 1990 World Cup Finals.

GK: Ernie Gregory (England)
Gregory won an Isthmian League Championship medal with Leytonstone as an amateur, and made his first senior Hammers appearance for the midweek league team in 1938.  Gregory played for West Ham for 14 years. He was an ever-present during the 1947–48, 1949–50 and 1952–53 seasons, and was also a regular member of the side that won promotion to Division One in 1957–58. Gregory gained his only international cap in an England B match against France in 1952
Ernie Gregory
RB: Ray Stewart (Scotland)
In his club career, Stewart played for Dundee United, West Ham United, St Johnstone and Stirling Albion. He was voted SPFA Young Player of the Year in 1979. During his career he won the 1980 FA Cup with West Ham. From 1981 to 1987, he was capped 10 times scoring a single goal by Scotland.  He narrowly missed the 1982 World Cup Finals.

RB: John Bond  (England)
Bond played from 1950 until 1966 for West Ham United, making 444 appearances in all competitions and scoring 37 goals. He was a member of the West Ham side which won the 1957–58 Second Division and the 1964 FA Cup. A popular favourite of the fans at Upton Park, he was usually referred to as 'Muffin' because of his ability to kick like a mule. He also played for Torquay United until 1969. 

CB: Rio Ferdinand (England)
Rio Ferdinand became the youngest defender to play for the Three Lions at the time in 1997.   He played 81 times for England  between 1997 and 2011, and was a member of three World Cup squads.  At one point, he was the most expensive British footballer and also broke the world's record transfer fees for a defender twice. He won the Champions' League with Manchester United in 2008. He also played for Leeds United and West Ham.

CB: Bobby Moore  (England)
Bobby Moore was the captain of the 1966 World Cup winning team. He was regarded one of the greatest defenders of all time and a perfect gentleman.  He won a total of 108 caps for the England team, which at the time of his international retirement in 1973 was a national record.  For his club career, he played mainly for West Ham, but he also played for Fulham and had a stint in the NASL.  He won a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with West Ham. 
Bobby Moore
CB: Alvin Martin (England)
Playing most of his footballing career for West Ham United he appeared in 598 games for them, scoring 34 goals. With the club for 21 years, and winning the 1980 FA Cup Martin left West Ham in 1996 and played one season with Leyton Orient.  From 1981 to 1986, he was capped 17 times for England.  He went to Mexico 1986.

CB: Ken Brown  (England)
Brown made his debut with West Ham United in 1953.   He played with them until 1967.  He was a member of the 1964 FA Cup winning side, and the following year was back at Wembley as part of the European Cup Winners' Cup winning side, playing alongside Bobby Moore. In 1959, he earned his one and only cap for England against Norther Ireland.

LB: Julian Dicks (England)
Dicks started his footballing career at Birmingham City.  From 1985 to 1999, he played two stints for West Ham with a single season with Liverpool between them.  Dicks never played for Englanbd's senior side.  He was sweriously considred for Euro 1996 by manager Terry Venables, but his poor discipline record before the tournament ended his chance. He had played for England B team. 
Julian Dicks
LB: Frank Lampard Sr (England)
Lampard started for the youth team of West Ham United in 1964. At club level, he won two FA Cups with West Ham, in 1975 and 1980, and the old second division title in 1981. He moved to Southend United for the 1985–1986 season, then managed by another ex-West Ham star Bobby Moore.  From 1972 to 1980, he played twice for England.  His son is Frank Lampard Jr.

CM/DM: Mark Noble (England) 
Noble started his professional career in 2004. He has played almost all his youth and first team football for West Ham apart from two short loan spells, at Hull City and Ipswich Town. He has played for England at U16, U17, U18, U19 and U21 levels. He captained the U21 side, scoring three goals in 20 appearances.

CM: Ronnie Boyce (England)
Boyce played his entire career with West Ham.  He joined West Ham as an apprentice in 1959.  He made a total of 342 appearances for West Ham in all competitions, scoring 29 goals. He also made 22 FA Cup appearances scoring 5 goals, the most important of which was the winner in the 3-2 win over Preston North End in the 1964 FA Cup Final. He was also a member of the 1965 European Cup Winners' Cup winning team.  His nickname, Ticker, relates to his role as the "heartbeat" of those cup wins.

DM/CM: Billy Bonds (England)
Bonds made his League debut for Charlton in 1965. He was  signed by Ron Greenwood for West Ham United in 1967. He was appointed to the captaincy and led the club to an FA Cup final victory over Fulham in 1975 and to the final of the 1976 European Cup Winners' Cup.  Bonds was uncapped by England's senior side.  An injury in the last game of the 1980-1981 ruled him out of selection for England against Brazil in May 1981. 
Billy Bonds
CM: Martin Peters (England)
Martin Peters was an all-round midfielder who played for West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City and Sheffield United. He was briefly a player/coach for Sheffield United.  He earned 67 caps for England between 1966 and 1974, and was a member of the 1966 World Cup winning team.  He also played in the 1970 World Cup Finals.

CM: Trevor Brooking (England)
Trevor Brooking played most of his career for West Ham United making 647 appearances for the club. He won the 1975 FA Cup and the 1980 FA Cup in which he scored the only goal. West Ham also reached the Final of the 1976 Cup Winners' Cup.  He was also the club's player of the season on four occasions. For England, Brooking was earned 47 caps, but only appeared twice in big tournament matches.

LW: Alan Devonshire (England)
Devonshire started playing for non-league Southall before joining West Ham in 1976.  He played for them until 1990.  he was known for his passes to  Tony Cottee and Frank McAvennie , and his partnership with Trevor Brooking.  For England, he was capped 8 times for England between 1980 and 1983, but never attended a major tournament.

LW: Jimmy Ruffell (England)
Ruffell played for Essex Road School, Manor Park, Fullers, Chadwell Heath United, Manor Park Albion, East Ham and Wall End United, before West Ham signed him from the works team of the Ilford Electricity Board in March 1920. From 1920 to 1937, he played for West Ham United.  In 1923, he was part of the FA Cup team that contested at Wembley Stadium, known as The White Horse Final.For England, he was capped only 8 times because fierce competition for the left wing position.
Jimmy Ruffell 
FW: Frank McAvennie (Scotland)
McAvennie did not move into professional football until he joined St Mirren in 1980. In 1982, he was named Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year.  He also played with West Ham, Celtic, Aston Villa, South China, etc. From 1985 to 1988, he was capped 5 times for Scotland, including playing in the 1986 World Cup Finals.

FW: John Dick (Scotland)
Between 1953 and 1962, Dick made 364 appearances for West Ham United, mainly at inside left. He scored 176 goals for West Ham in all competitions, placing him joint third on the club's all-time top scorers list. He eventually moved to Brentford for an incoming record £17,500 transfer fee. He was capped once for Scotland in 1959.

ST: Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson (England)
From 1962 to 1971, Robson played for Newcastle United. In 1971, he became West Ham United's record purchase when he signed for £120,000.  He was West Ham's leading scorer in two of his three seasons at Upton Park. He also played for Sunderland, Chelsea and Carlisle United.  He was only capped at the Under-23 level.

FW/AM: Paulo Di Canio (Italy)
Di Canio began his career playing for Lazio, Juventus, Napoli and AC Milan, before a brief spell with the Scottish club Celtic. He was named SPFA Players' Player of the Year in 1997.In England, he played for Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham and Charlton Athletic. The peak of his career was with West Ham where he played from 1999 to 2003.  In 2001, he was awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award, but he was also known for controversial political views.
Paulo Di Canio 
ST: Tony Cottee (England)
From 1982 until 2001, Cottee notably played in the top flight of English football for West Ham United, Everton and Leicester City. He also played in the Football League for Birmingham City, Norwich City and Millwall. He also had a spell in Malaysia with Selangor. He was one of the most prolific goalscorers that English football saw during the 1980s and 1990sFor England, he had 7 caps between 1986 and 1989.

CF: Vic Watson (England)
Watson played 505 times for West Ham between 1920 and 1936. Hyde is the club's record goalscorer with 326 goals with 298 league and 28 FA cup. 203 of his league goals were from 295 top flight appearances. He played one season (1935–36) with Southampton before retiring. With England, he had 5 caps, scoring 4 goals between 1923 and 1930.

ST: Sir Geoff Hurst (England)
Sir Geoff Hurst was best known for scoring a hat trick at the 1966 World Cup Final against West Germany.  He also played in following World Cup Finals in Mexico.  He remains the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. He played 490 times in total for England.  His club career was spent mainly with West Ham and Stoke City.  He also had a stint in NASL with Seattle Sounders in 1976. 
Sir Geoff Hurst
Honorable Mention
Carlos Tevez, Mervin Day, Robert Green, Ted Hufton, Syd Puddefoot, Len Goulden, Johnny Byrne, David Cross, Clyde Best, Vic Keeble, Jim Barrett Sr., Tony Gale, Danny Shea, Frank Lampard Jr, Dimitri Payet, Michael Carrick, Noel Cantwell, Scott Parker, Geoff Pike, Ian Bishop, Alan Sealey, Joe Cole.

Squad Explanation
 -- West Ham officially named its 50 greatest footballers. The top 10(not in order) were as followed: Phil Parkes, Frank Lampard Sr, Vic Watson, Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds, Alvin Martin, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Trevor Brookings and Alan Devonshire.
-- In 2003, the fans voted the following players, Phil Parkes, Julian Dicks, Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds, Ray Stewart, Alvin Martin, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Trevor Brookings, Paulo Di Canio and Alan Devonshire to be their all-time Best XI for a book.  
-- Some of the players played in the lower division for West Ham United. 
-- Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst won the World Cup Finals for England in 1966. West Ham tied with Manchester United with the most players on the winning team.  Both Moore and Hurst were key players in the tournament. 
-- The top three keepers for me were Phil Parke, Ludek Miklosko  and Ernie Gregory. The other considers are Mervin Day, Robert Green and Ted Hufton.
-- Rio Ferdnard edged out Jim Barrett Sr, Steve Potts, 
-- Mark Noble has played more Preimership games than any West Ham players.  I honoured him with his service.
-- Trevor Brookings and Alan Devonshire formed a famous partnership with West Ham.  
-- West Ham is loaded with left winger/flankers.  Besides Alan Devonshire and Jimmy Ruffell, the team also have Joe Cole, Trevor Sinclair, and Pat Holland.
-- On the right, Alan Sealey is the only major star player I discovered. Joe Cole also played on the right, but I do not know if he played that position with West Ham.  In the end, I selected Bryan Robson, John Dick and Frank McAvennie over a right winger.
-- Bryan "Pop" Robson is not related to Bryan Robson of Manchester United. 
-- Frank McAvennie was told that he could never make it as a professional.  He joined the Army Reserve.  He was even rejected by the British army team's football team.  He later turned professioinal.
-- Paulo Di Canio and Ludek Miklosko are the only non-British player selected.
-- Carlos Tevez often appeared in many fans' list of greatest West ham players, but he only spent a season here.  He might be one of the best players ever signed for them, but I rewarded players with many history here. I went with Tony Cottee and Pop Robson instead.  


Formation





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