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Premier League: The Best of the Hammers

Founded as Thames Ironworks FC in 1895, there have been over 1000 players who have donned their signature claret and blue shirts.

While West Ham United are far from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United in terms of winning in the Premier League, they have had their share of standout players in their team history.

The Hammers still have their good players with the likes of Declan Rice and Sebastien Haller leading way. But unlike in their glory days, the Hammers’ Premier League 2020 chances of winning the title – let alone making it to the top four – look very slim even prior to this season’s suspension.

Join and discuss with SBOTOP as we list some of the best players who have suited up for West Ham United.

 

Billy Bonds

There’s no doubt that Billy Bonds is Mr. West Ham United given his 21-year tenure over at Upton Park.

His career with the Hammers began on 1967 after a stint from Charlton Athletic. Bonds was the stabilizing force in the midfield where he can operate smoothly as a playmaker or as a rugged defender.

The Woolwich native would tow the Hammers to as far as the semis in the Football League Cup during the 1971/72 season although they eventually lost to Stoke City.

In the next season, Bonds was given the role of captaincy and led the Hammers in scoring with 13 goals along with an FA Cup championship. The Hammers would win one more FA Cup in 1980, making him the only captain to lift two FA Cup trophies in club history.

And while injuries stopped him on his tracks early in the 80’s, Bonds was able to re-establish himself with the team as he finished his career in Upton Park. Overall, the midfielder made 793 first team appearances, netting 59 goals in the process.

Because of his time with the club, Bonds won “Hammer of the Year” awards in 1971, 1974, 1975, and 1987. West Ham also established the Billy Bonds stand as a part of their stadium last year.

 

Paolo Di Canio

Paolo Di Canio helped West Ham to gain their fifth spot at the Premier League table in the 1999 season
                                                                  West Ham’s Paolo Di Canio celebrates goal with teammate Paolo Wanchope

With West Ham priding themselves in being a goal scoring group, they will surely be one of the teams fighting for goalscorers that can create a ton of Premier League 2020 highlights.

The Hammers would need a second coming of Paolo Di Canio, who isn’t shy of showing off during his time at Upton Park.

The cheeky Italian had a fruitful time with West Ham United, thanks to his brilliance on the pitch along with his affable personality.

Di Canio would bring West Ham to the fifth spot at the Premier League table in the 1999 season after struggling with mediocrity in years before.

He was named OPTA player of the year in the same season and his flying volley against Wimbledon the year after was named as BBC’s Goal of the Season.

Because of his goal scoring ways, Di Canio was being offered a lucrative deal to play in Old Trafford. However, he stayed for the Hammers for another season and a half despite the team struggling at the bottom of the league.

 

Trevor Brooking

Trevor Brooking had a decorated career playing for the Hammers in the 70’s. Known as a cerebral playmaker, the Essex native emerged as the team’s leader when he took over from Geoff Hurst and Bobby Moore.

Brooking made 636 appearances while scoring 103 goals for West Ham in his 17 years there. He would also win two FA Cup titles.

Right now, Brooking is still part of the club albeit behind the scenes. When Glenn Roeder collapsed due to a brain tumour in 2003, Trevor Brooking took over as the club’s caretaker in two separate occasions.

Like Billy Bonds, Trevor Booking has a stand named after him in Upton Park, which by itself should clearly make him worthy of this list.

 

Geoff Hurst

Geoff Hurst was one of the fiercest competitors in his era known for his speed and brilliance in scoring goals during the 60’s.

In his 13 years with the Hammers, Hurst brought home a World Cup Winners Medal and an FA Cup championship in 1966. With their win in the FA Cup, the Hammers made the most out of their stint in the succeeding European Cup Winner’s Cup by lifting their first-ever European trophy.

That season was his personal best with the club, scoring 40 goals in 59 games in all competitions. Hurst would also make himself a household name in the England national team by helping the Three Lions win the World Cup.

 

Bobby Moore

There can be no dispute on who’s the greatest West Ham United player of all time since that recognition belongs to Sir Bobby Moore.

One of the best defenders of his era, Moore’s speed and power would overwhelm opposing strikers and he can make plays on the other end as well.

Moore served as the captain for the Hammers for a decade, which resulted to a World Cup Winners Medal and a FA Cup championship alongside Geoff Hurst. At the same time, the Hammers legend was also a staple to the England national team.

His leadership, grit, and work ethic set the standard for the club in years to come. And with a stand named after him in Upton Park, there’s no doubt that Bobby Moore deserves to be known as one of the best players ever to have played for the Hammers.

 

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