4. Geoff Hurst [1959–1972]
Geoff may well be known to football fans across the globe for his part in the England World Cup-winning team of 1966, but to West Ham fans he is certainly more than that. He was one of the greatest West Ham United players ever, scoring 249 goals for the Hammers.
The three-time Hammer of the Year, helped West Ham win their first-ever FA Cup in 1964. In 2003, he joined West Ham and England heroes of 1966, Bobby Moore and Martin Peters, in ‘The Champions’ statue outside the Boleyn pub next to Upton Park.
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. 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.
3. Billy Bonds [1967–1988]
Billy Bonds is best known for his association with West Ham United, leading the club to a European final during his two decades serving the team. He won trophies and accolades during his time spent moving up and down the leagues with his beloved club, and he shared every moment with the fans no matter the situation.
He joined West Ham from Charlton as a young full-back and went on to make a record 793 appearances for the Hammers in a spell stretching over 20 years. Grit and determination are something West Ham supporters have always been fond of, and it is possible that this derives from Bonds.
His midfield partnership with Trevor Brooking was well-balanced and his tough style made him a firm fan favourite with the West Ham crowd. He was voted ”Hammer of the year” four times in his career. Bonds passed Bobby Moore’s club record of appearances in 1982–83 and ‘officially’ retired in May 1984. He also later managed the club between 1990 and 1994.
2. Trevor Booking [1967–1984]
West Ham beat off the challenge from Tottenham and Chelsea, to sign Brooking, on an apprenticeship. He made his debut in 1967 and went on to play 647 times for West Ham, scoring 102 goals in a seventeen-year career and becoming one of the most widely-recognised players in the modern game.
Trevor Brooking was an FA Cup winner in 1975 and 1980 for West Ham. The midfielder, who played 528 times for the club, won 4 Hammer of the Year trophies and won it three times consecutively from 1976 to 1978. In 2009, a stand at Upton Park was named after Brooking.
When the Hammers were relegated, Brooking showed indescribable loyalty by pledging to stay with the team, and he did so for the rest of his career. He has even made a brief comeback as manager on 2 occasions in times of trouble and only lost 1 game.
1. Bobby Moore [1958–1974]
Bobby Moore’s name is etched in the folklore of West Ham and English football. He spent 16 years at West Ham, most of them as the captain of the team, and guided them to the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and Charity Shield. He was also the captain of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time, Bobby Moore has a statue outside the home of English football, Wembley Stadium. He brought leadership, passion and great defensive instincts to West Ham. His legacy at West Ham lives on, he 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.
He made 647 appearances for West Ham during his career and won the ‘Hammer of the Year’ award a staggering 4 times (1961, 1963, 1968, 1970). Booby Moore also won the FWA Footballer of the Year award in 1964 as well as being included in the PFA Team of the Century in 2007.
Honourable mentions: Mark Noble, Carlos Tevez, Dmitri Payet, Ludek Miklosko, Ronnie Boyce, Frank McAvennie, Pop Robson, Alan Sealey etc