In it’s history of 117 years,West Ham United has seen many ups and downs. In this period many great players have played for this club and today we will have a look at some of the best West Ham United players ever.
Here are the top 10 best West Ham United players ever!
10. Frank Lampard(Senior)
Frank Lampard senior, a left-back, played most of his career for West Ham United . He was capped twice for England and is the father of ex-Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard.
Lampard joined the club as a youth player in 1963 and started for the youth team in 1964. He debuted for West Ham United in November 1967 in a 3-2 home defeat by Manchester City,and quickly established himself in his preferred left-back position.At club level, he won two FA Cups with West Ham, in 1975 and 1980, and the old second division title in 1981.
After spending 18 years,playing 660 games and scoring 22 goals,he left the club on a free transfer at the end of the 1984–85 season.By that time he had become one of the most celebrated players ever to pull on the claret and blue jersey. He wore the number 3 on his jersey.
He moved to Southend United for the 1985–1986 season, then managed by another ex-West Ham star Bobby Moore, and made 38 appearances for the Essex club before deciding to retire.
From 1994 to 2001 he returned to West Ham to serve as assistant manager under Harry Redknapp, his brother-in-law.
9. Mark Noble
A true West Ham Icon of the present era, Mark Noble 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. Noble is the longest-serving player in West Ham’s current squad, having been in the first team since 2004. He has won the club’s Hammer of the Year trophy twice.
He may not be as talented as others on this list but he makes up for that with his passion and dedication for the club. West Ham signed Noble as a youth player. He became the youngest player ever to appear in their reserve team, aged 15. He became a trainee in July 2003 and made his debut in the senior team at the age of just 17 in the League Cup in August 2004 in a 2–0 win against Southend United.
On 22 December 2015, Noble was granted a testimonial by West Ham following his long service to the club. The game was played on 28 March 2016 between a West Ham XI and a West Ham United all-stars team made up of former players, with all proceeds going to charity. It was the final testimonial match at West Ham’s Boleyn Ground stadium before their move to the Olympic Stadium in August 2016.
”This is where I come from and this is my football club, so I can’t think of nothing better than having my Testimonial at the stadium where I have laughed, cheered and cried, both as a fan and as a player.”
The game was won 6–5 by the West Ham XI in front of 36,000 spectators and featured a goal by Paolo Di Canio and two by Dean Ashton.
8. Alvin Martin
Alvin Martin was signed as an apprentice 19 August 1974.He appeared in the FA Youth cup final of 1975 and signed as a professional on 29 July 1976. He did not make his first team debut until 18 March 1978 as a substitute against Aston Villa. His final appearance was as an 88th-minute substitute on 5 May 1996 against Sheffield Wednesday.
Martin went on to amass nearly 600 first-team appearances for the Hammers in a successful 19-year professional career at Upton Park, in which he became one of only two players, along with Billy Bonds, to be awarded two testimonials. The first was against Spurs on 21 August 1988 and the second against Chelsea on 11 November 1995.It was alongside Bonds in the centre of defence that Martin — nicknamed ’Stretch’ — enjoyed his most rewarding years, winning the FA Cup and Second Division winners medals in successive seasons, 1980 and 1981.
Martin also achieved the rare feat of scoring a hat-trick against three different Newcastle United goalkeepers — Martin Thomas, who was then injured, and outfield players Chris Hedworth and Peter Beardsley — in a Football League First Division match in April 1986 which the Hammers won 8–1. This was among the most successful seasons the club ever saw, as it finished third in the top-level, just four points behind champions Liverpool, with the player contributing with 40 games and four goals.
Martin remained loyal to West Ham despite their relegation from the top flight in 1989, and helped them gain promotion two years later. The club lasted just one season before again dropping down a level, only to bounce back at the first attempt. 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 service, aged 37.
7. Paolo Di Canio
Whenever Di Canio put on the West Ham shirt, or any other club shirt for that matter, he would give it his all. The reason he is widely regarded as one of West Ham’s greatest players probably comes down to his explosive yet fun-filled personality. Who else would push over a referee (in his time with Sheff Wed) and another time catch a ball mid-air in open play, to stop the game for an injured opposing player? He spent a relatively short time at Upton Park compared to the others in this list but still deserves his place in West Ham history.
Di Canio is West Ham’s greatest contemporary icon, resembling the style and skill which has been seen throughout football’s modern age of the Premier League and foreign imports.
His skill was undeniable and had been showcased during spells at footballing giants such as Lazio, Juventus and AC Milan. Di Canio’s career at West Ham was a huge success; the passion and emotion which he brought to the team made him a fans’ favourite instantaneously and it appeared he fell in love with the fans just as quickly.