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Best West Ham United XI of All Time

Tue 21 December 2021 | 11:30

Currently enjoying a great form with David Moyes with West Ham squad 2021, West Ham United FC is one of the oldest and most well-known clubs in English football. Here, we gather a fearsome squad in the best West Ham United XI of all time as we take a look at the great history of the club.

Many great players have worn the famous clarinet and light blue jersey of this East London side, and along with their famous chant,

“I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”

, the club’s brand of exciting attacking football which they have been playing over the years. Whether it was through a stoppage-time goal that secured promotion or a last-ditch challenge that preserved a lead, there were a rare few that cemented their names in West Ham folklore. 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, all among the best west ham players ever.

Although the club has failed to win First Division/Premier League in their history, they have won the FA Cup three times in 1964, 1975, and 1980. The club has 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 63 of 95 league seasons in the top flight. With great history, comes great players, and the candidates of the best player on West Ham 2021, Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen can learn from some of the best players in the history of England that wore the famous clarinet and light blue.

Honors of West Ham United

Among the honors of West Ham United we can mention these honors:

Domestic

  • Champions (2) in 1957–58, 1980–81

  • Winners (3) in 1963–64, 1974–75, 1979–80

  • Winners (1) in 1964

  • Winners (9) in

    1924–25, 1925–26, 1929–30, 1946–47, 1948–49, 1952–53, 1956–57, 1967–68, 1968–69

Second Division/Championship

</ul>

FA Cup

</ul>

FA Charity Shield

</ul>

London Challenge Cup

</ul>

European

  • Winners (1) in 1964–65

  • Winners (1) in 1999

European Cup Winners' Cup

</ul>

UEFA Intertoto Cup

</ul>

Other honours

  • Winners (1) in 1963

International Soccer League

</ul>

All You Need to Know About the Best West Ham United XI of All Time

Set out in a 4-4-2 diamond formation, we've compiled West Ham’s greatest players into one fearsome team. Players that have played at least two seasons were considered eligible for selection. Here, we face the best West Ham players ever in their position and learn more about this huge Premier League club. All of the entries could have been a great addition to West Ham squad 2021

GK: Phil Parkes

We start the best West Ham United XI of all time with their fearless goalkeeper, Phil Parkes, who served the club for 11 years after arriving for a then-record fee for a keeper at £565,000 from Queens Park Rangers. His signing was a risk because of the severity of his knee injuries however the risk paid off seeing him remain at the club for over 10 years making over 300 appearances and being included in the 1980 FA Cup-winning team.

A year after putting pen to paper with the Irons, Parkes in goal at Wembley as West Ham won the FA Cup, beating

Arsenal

1-0. It was the last time a team from outside the English top-flight won the competition, courtesy of a Trevor Brooking goal. That day, Parkes and his defense held firm, keeping at bay the likes of Liam Brady, David Price, and Frank Stapleton.

Over the next ten years, Parkes would remain West Ham’s first choice between the sticks, making 444 appearances in the Claret and Blue, and forged a legacy that would see him take the stance of arguably the Club’s greatest ever goalkeeper.

Time and time again throughout his 11 years, Parkes would be the shining star for West Ham. His cat-like ability would contradict his stature. With 344 league appearances for the Hammers and 444 showings in all competitions, Parkes has played the most times for the Hammers as a goalkeeper.

CB: Bobby Moore

Definitely among the

best west ham players ever

, in addition to captaining England to World Cup glory in 1966,

Sir Bobby Moore

was also a hero for West Ham, winning the FA Cup (1963/64), the UEFA Cup Winners Cup (1964/65) and the International Soccer League (1963/64).

Bringing leadership, passion, and great defensive instincts to West Ham, Sir Bobby Moore won many individual awards during his 16-year-career at the Hammers, such as, Balon D’Or Runner Up (1970), FWA Footballer of the Year (1964), and winning Hammer of the Year a staggering 4 times (1961, 1963, 1968, 1970). He also made it into the PFA Team of the Century in 2007.

For his legacy, Moore has a stand named after him at the London Stadium (which he also had at the Boleyn Ground), and his iconic, No. 6 shirt has been retired out of respect for Moore after his tragic death with bowel and liver cancer in 1993.

Talking about his class and playing style, during the 1970 World Cup, England matched up against Brazil, and Moore was faced with the seemingly impossible task of marking the Brazilian great Pele. Moore pulled off a fantastic performance despite England's eventual loss. There was one moment in the match where Moore made a stunning tackle on Jairzinho, which is honored to this day as one of the most perfect tackles in football history.

CB: Alvin Martin

Pairing Sir Bobby Moore at the heart of the defense of the best West Ham United XI of all time is Alvin Martin, who served the club for 18 years after arriving from Everton academy. Three-times Hammer of the Year Alvin Martin, who made 596 outings in Claret and Blue, was aged just 21 when he helped West Ham United to FA Cup glory in 1980, and was a key player in then-Bobby Robson England squad, making 17 international appearances.

Martin was among the few first-team players that remained loyal to West Ham despite their relegation from the top flight in 1989 and helped them gain promotion two years later. Martin, for decades the club’s longest-serving player, spent three more years with the team in the Premier League before finally departing at the end of the 1995–96 season after 21 years of service, aged 37. After leaving West Ham, Martin had a brief spell with East London neighbors Leyton Orient, before managing Southend United for two years, during which the club was relegated to the League One.

During his prime years, Spurs made three attempts to sign him and Arsenal also had an offer rejected. Alvin was aware of the approaches but was to say “it didn’t matter anyway as long as John Lyall was my manager. He had known me since I was sixteen and taken me under his wing. He wasn’t just a manager figure to me, he was more like a father figure”

LB: Frank Lampard, Sr.

Although Aaron Cresswell has not only been a candidate for the best player on West Ham 2021 but covered the post in a good shape for a long period, the next name in our selected squad is another veteran from the 70s and 80s West Ham, Frank Lampard senior.

The father of former Chelsea midfielder and manager,

Frank Lampard

, Frank Lampard senior played most of his career for West Ham United, had a brief spell with Southend United, and was capped twice for the England national team. He made a total of 551 appearances for the Hammers and won two FA Cups in 1975 and 1980.

By the time he left the club on a free transfer at the end of the 1984–85 season, Lampard had played 660 games, scored 22 goals, and become one of the most celebrated players ever to pull on the claret and blue jersey. He moved to Southend United for the 1985–1986 season, then managed by another ex-West Ham star Bobby Moore.

He came back to West Ham from 1994 to 2001 to become assistant manager for his brother-in-law, Harry Redknapp. He is also the second-highest most capped player behind only Billy Bonds.

RB: Ray Stewart

A hard-tackling Scot who was the club’s penalty taker for several seasons, next in the

best West Ham United XI of all time

is Ray Stewart, and as Tonka toys are indestructible, he was nicknamed “Tonka” by the Hammers’ fans. He became Britain’s most expensive teenager when he signed for West Ham in 1979 for £430,000 and was known as the penalty king during his 12-year spell.

The Scottish full-back was a fine defender, but he also relished the opportunity to get on the scoresheet himself and wasn’t far off a century of goals by the time his Boleyn Ground career came to an end. Making 432 appearances for the Hammers, Stewart has scored 84 goals which is a stunning record for a defender.

His long and successful stint with the Club ended in 1991 when he returned to Scotland with St Johnstone, and he finished his career with a brief spell at Stirling Albion. The Perthshire villager took the big city by storm and was part of the 1980 FA Cup-winning side and The Boys of 86 side which almost won the league. He later had spells at Livingston, Stirling Albion, and Forfar Athletic as a manager.

Stewart was honored with a commemorative stone in the Champions Place area outside the London Stadium when West Ham moved from Upton Park.

DM: Billy Bonds

Despite being the

best player on West Ham 2021

and one of the best defensive midfielders of the Premier League, Declan Rice has a lot to learn from West Ham great, Billy Bonds. The West Ham great served the club for over two decades, from 1967 to 1988. The defensive stalwart and sometimes midfield enforcer owns the record as the player with the most appearances for the Hammers with about 793 games played and is certainly a true West Ham legend. Bonds also scored about 59 goals during his time at Upton Park.

West ham brought Bonds for £50,000 from Charlton in 1967, and he won West Ham’s first-ever lifetime achievement award in May 2013. His midfield partnership with Trevor Brooking was well-balanced and his tough style made him a firm fan favorite with the West Ham crowd.

After retirement, he went on to manage the club for four seasons, getting relegated from Premier League and bringing them back. After a season when they ended 13th-place finish in the 1993–94 Premier League, resigned in August 1994. He is the most played player in West Ham history, a record no other player has ever come close to surpassing.

CM: Martin Peters

Next lining up in the best West Ham United XI of all time is another World Cup 1966 hero, who was one of three West Ham players to feature in England’s 1966 World Cup-winning success. He scored one of the national team's goals in its victory over West Germany.

A wide midfielder with good movement, an eye for goal, and an ability to cross the ball well with either foot, Peters spent 11 years at West Ham at club level after signing as an apprentice in 1959. He helped the east London club win the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965.

After 364 games and 100 goals, Peters left Upton Park for

Tottenham

in 1970 as he felt he was in the shadows of Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst. West Ham received a record-breaking £200,000 (£150,000 cash) for Peters from Tottenham Hotspur. He helped the Spurs win two League Cups and a UEFA Cup. He had five years at Tottenham and again at Norwich before retiring in 1981 at Sheffield United. Peters regularly attended matches at West Ham as a club ambassador.

In 2016, Peters was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and eventually died in 2019, aged 76.

CM: Trevor Brooking

Making 636 appearances and netting 103 times for the club in a stay that lasted 17 years, Sir Trevor Brooking had an illustrious career as a Hammer. He went on to win 2 FA Cups with West Ham one in 1975 and the other in 1980 in which he scored the winner against Arsenal in a 1-0 win. He played as an attacking midfield player, known for his controlled passing and midfield authority. He was rarely booked or sent off during his West Ham career and due to his gentlemanly approach to the game. He was one of the most intelligent and cerebral footballers of his generation and had a very clean disciplinary record. Directly following the Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst era, he was the player who best exemplified West Ham's traditional commitment to attractive, entertaining football. Imagine a player with such abilities in

West Ham squad 2021

!

Trevor Brooking risked his reputation when he returned to east London as caretaker manager in April 2003 to take the charge of a West Ham that was already in the relegation zone. They won seven points from a possible nine with Brooking in charge but that wasn’t enough to keep them in the Premier League. Later next season, after his reappointment, he led his team to seven wins and just one defeat in eleven matches in all competitions. No manager in West Ham history, caretaker or permanent, has a better winning percentage.

Brooking earned himself a testimonial match in 1977 in which West Ham played England XI, and was honored with a stand named after him at the Boleyn Ground.

AM: Paolo Di Canio

Superb on the ball, tactically astute, confident in his ability, and above all else, a leader of men, Di Canio is the next entry in the

best West Ham United XI of all time

as brilliance improved performance of players around him. Di Canio primarily played as a deep-lying forward, but he could also play as an attacking midfielder, or as a winger. A talented yet controversial player, Di Canio was predominantly known for his creativity, eye for goal, technical ability, and dribbling skills, as well as his quick feet and intelligent play on the pitch.

Scoring 47 goals in 118 Premier League appearances, Di Canio signed for West Ham United for £1.5 million in 1999 after he got banned due to pushing referee Paul Alcock to the ground after being sent off while he was playing for

Sheffield Wednesday

. However, that didn’t keep Harry Redknapp from signing the Italian midfielder as he said: "He can do things with the ball that people can only dream of".

In the '99-00 season, Di Canio netted 16 goals in 30 league games, averaging more than a goal per game. Di Canio's popularity came from the way he conducted himself. He was a lively, funny character who could always seem to make something happen out of nothing.

However, after West Ham’s relegation from the Premier League, Di Canio was released on a free transfer and signed with Charlton Athletic for the start of the 2003–04 season.

ST: Vic Watson

Joining West Ham from Wellingborough Town in 1920 for a £50 fee, Watson became the club’s record goalscorer with 326 goals with 298 league and 28 FA Cups. 203 of his league goals were from 295 top-flight appearances. Second to Watson’s record came Sir Geoff Hurst by scoring 249 goals in the 123-year history of West Ham United.

Among Watson's impressive feats for West Ham were the scoring of 13 hat-tricks, three occasions of scoring four or more goals, and one extraordinary game against Leeds in which he netted six in a romping 8-2 win. Watson gained two international caps with England in 1923 and a further three caps in 1930, scoring four goals in total, including two against Scotland in the 1930 British Home Championship.

The numbers are scarcely believable, and even when he left West Ham to join

Southampton

for a single season at the age of 37, he still top-scored for the Saints with 14 goals in his swansong year.

After retiring, he became a market gardener in his hometown of Girton and passed away aged 90 in August 1988.

ST: Geoff Hurst

Last in our list of the

best West Ham United XI of all time

is the ultimate England World Cup hero, Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in the 1966 World Cup Final which became the highlight of the Hammers’ striker’s career.

However, Sir Geoff Hurst was not one international tournament wonder, he was a legend for West Ham as well, scoring 249 goals for the Hammers, becoming the closest person to break Vic Watson’s record of 329 goals in his West Ham career. He also helped West Ham to win their first-ever FA Cup in 1964.

He made it into the UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament in 1968 and was named in the English Football Hall of Fame in 2004. Sir Geoff Hurst will always be remembered for being the only person to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, but, his successful West Ham career has been overshadowed by that fantastic achievement.

Regularly banging in the goals for West Ham throughout the 1960s, he remains a devout supporter of the club he faithfully served for 13 years and is always welcomed back with open arms. Hurst valued entertaining attacking football played in a fair manner and was not prepared to sacrifice these values for silverware, He said:

"When you're playing for a team that can score seven one day and four the next it's really quite good fun. When job satisfaction is that high, why would you want to play for anyone else?"

Hurst's contribution to the English game was recognized in 2004 when he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame. Hurst is also one of the few footballers who have been knighted

A statue of Hurst was unveiled outside

Curzon Ashton F.C.

's ground in 2010. He is shown alongside two other World Cup winners born in the area, fellow 1966 squad member Jimmy Armfield, and Simone Perrotta, who won it with Italy in 2006.

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