West Ham United F.C.

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Template:Football club infobox West Ham United F.C are a professional English football club based in East London. They play at the Boleyn Ground, which is known more commonly as Upton Park due to its location in the London district of the same name and the London Underground tube station used to travel to the football ground. They are nicknamed "The Hammers" and "The Academy of Football" by the media, but are better known as "The Irons" by their own fans (due to the club's origins at the Thames Ironworks - see below). The club has a training facility at Chadwell Heath, adjacent to the railway line from which the team may occasionally be viewed at practice during the week. The club has recently been promoted to the Premiership for the 2005/06 season.



The club was founded in 1895 as the works side of the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Co. Ltd by the company chairman Arnold Hills, playing in the London League. They joined the Southern League Second Division in 1899. When the club became a limited company in 1900 the club name was changed to West Ham United. West Ham's club colours are claret and blue.

The club moved to the Memorial Ground in Plaistow in 1900 and then to a pitch in the Upton Park area, originally named The Castle for the 1905-06 season. They joined the Football League in 1919 and were first promoted to the top division in 1923. They have won the FA Cup three times in 1963-64, 1974-75 and 1979-80. They also won the (now defunct) European Cup Winners' Cup in 1964-65, beating 1860 Munich 2-0 in the final at Wembley Stadium, London. They also appeared in the final of the same competition in 1975-76, losing 4-2 to Anderlecht of Belgium.

West Ham have never been hugely successful in the League, their highest ever position being a third-place finish in the old First Division in 1985-86. They have been in the Premiership for most of the seasons since its inception in 1992-93; however, in 2002-2003, after a poor campaign in which it took them nearly six months to win their first home match, they were relegated from the Premiership. The following season they reached the playoff final but were defeated by Crystal Palace. At the end of the 2004-05 season, which saw huge pressure placed on manager Alan Pardew by the team's supporters, West Ham managed to finish sixth in the Championship, securing a play-off place for the second successive season. After a 2-2 draw at Upton Park, West Ham went on to beat Ipswich (who had finished 3rd, 12 points ahead of West Ham) 2-0 at their homeground of Portman Road, and thereby qualifying for the playoff final for the second consecutive season. The Hammers went on to win the promotion final 1-0 over Preston North End to secure a return to the Premiership.

Greenwood and Lyall: Glory Days

West Ham United first established themselves in 1964, when manager Ron Greenwood guided the club to their first major trophy in the shape of an FA Cup final victory over Preston North End. Their captain, Bobby Moore, would skipper the England team to World Cup success in 1966, while striker Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick in the final against West Germany. The success of 1964 was repeated a year later, this time with a European Cup Winners Cup triumph over 1860 Munich at Wembley. Greenwood guided West Ham to another FA Cup success in 1975, this time against Fulham, before being promoted to the position of general manager - a role which he occupied for two years before beginning a five-year reign as England manager.

Ron Greenwood was succeeded as team manager by John Lyall, who guided West Ham to another Cup Winners Cup final in his first season in charge (1975-76). But this time West Ham were on the losing side, and were relegated to the Second Division soon afterwards. In 1980, while still a Second Division side, Lyall inspired West Ham to an FA Cup victory - a feat which no side outside the top division has achieved since. It is also West Ham's most recent major trophy to date. Lyall helped West Ham achieve their highest league finish (third) in 1986, but was sacked three years later as they suffered relegation to the Second Division.

The Billy Bonds Era: Up and Down

Lyall was replaced by Lou Macari for the 1989-90 season, but Macari resigned after just one season as manager to concentrate on clearing his name in connection with financial irregularities at his previous club Swindon Town. The next manager to occupy the hot seat at West Ham was Billy Bonds, whose first season at the helm (1990-91) ended with runners-up spot in the Second Division and a place back in the top division. But West Ham struggled throughout the 1991-92 season and were relegated in bottom place, missing the first season of the new Premier League.

West Ham regained their top flight status at the first attempt, finishing Division One runners-up in 1992-93 and securing promotion to the Premiership. They survived relegation by a comfortable margin in 1993-94, but Bonds walked out on the club the following summer to be succeeded by Harry Redknapp.

The Harry Redknapp Era: Consolidation

One of Harry Redknapp's first actions as West Ham manager was to re-sign striker Tony Cottee from Everton. He also signed Liverpool's Don Hutchison and Julian Dicks, as well as re-signing striker Iain Dowie from Southampton. West Ham avoided relegation again in 1994-95 and played their part in the final-day drama of the season, holding Manchester United to a 1-1 draw at Upton Park and denying them a third successive Premiership title.

West Ham progressed to 10th place in 1995-96. That summer Redknapp made two of the most unproductive signings in the club's history - Romanian striker Florin Radaciou and Portugese winger Paulo Futre. Radaciou left after six months at the club and returned to Romania after falling out with the manager, while Futre played just one first-team game before being beaten by a long-term knee injury and announcing his retirement. But Redknapp's remaining players pulled together and achieved Premiership survival, bolstered the 3.3million acquisition of 21-year-old striker John Hartson from Arsenal in March.

West Ham progressed further in 1997-98, finishing eighth in the Premiership and missing European qualification by just one place - they were in the hunt for a UEFA Cup place right up to the last day of the season. They progressed further in 1998-99, finishing fifth in the Premiership and qualifying for the UEFA Cup - ending an absence of almost 20 years from European competition.

A 10th place finish followed in 1999-2000, but West Ham's form slipped in 2000-01 after the (then) record English fee of 18million which saw brilliant central defender Rio Ferdinand move to Leeds United. This saw West Ham finish 15th in the final table, their lowest-ever finish in the history of the Premiership, and Redknapp left in mysterious circumstances before the end of the season: did he resign or was he sacked?

The Glenn Roeder Era: Down Again

Several big names were linked with the vacant manager's job. Former West Ham player Alan Curbishley, who had rebuilt Charlton Athletic on and off the field since becoming their manager in 1991, instantly became favourite for the job but insisted he wasn't interested. Steve McClaren, who had been assistant manager of Manchester United in three successive title-winning seasons (including the 1999 treble campaign), was also linked with the job, but he was then appointed manager of Middlesbrough. So West Ham turned to youth team manager Glenn Roeder for the manager's job. People doubted Roeder's suitability for the job, as his only managerial exploits had been short-lived and unsuccessful with Gillingham (1992-93) and Watford (1993-96).

West Ham had a slow start to the 2001-02 season and manager Glenn Roeder was under immense pressure from fans who were calling for him to be sacked. But he responded by turning the club's fortunes around and guiding them to a seventh-place finish in the final table, just one place short of European qualification - although there was a 12-point gap between West Ham and sixth-placed Chelsea. Had West Ham been consistent all season, then UEFA Cup or even Champions League qualification could have been achieved.

Another poor start plagued West Ham United through to 2002-03, and this time Roeder was unable to turn things round quickly enough. They finished 18th in the final table and their 10-year spell in the Premiership was over, the fact that no other club had ever being relegated from the division with 40+ points (West Ham had 42) was no consolation for a disappointed West Ham side. The relegation forced the sale of key players Joe Cole and Glen Johnson (both to Chelsea) in a bid to prevent a financial crisis at Upton Park. Glenn Roeder was sacked soon after the start of the 2003-04 season, and replaced by Reading boss Alan Pardew who was head hunted by West Ham and given the objective of promotion back to the Premier League within two seasons.

Alan Pardew

On the Comeback Trail

Alan Pardew's ultimate target at West Ham United was simple: to win promotion back to the Premiership. They qualified for the Division One playoffs but were beaten in the final by Crystal Palace, managed by former West Ham striker Iain Dowie. This meant that West Ham would begin the 2004-05 season in the newly-named Coca-Cola League Championship, and again promotion would be the ultimate target. Although West Ham spent most of the season in top six, rumours persisted that Pardew would be sacked in favour of either Glenn Hoddle or Gordon Strachan. Pardew attempted to fight off the speculation by adding new signings Luke Chadwick, Sergi Rebrov and Teddy Sheringham to the squad.

West Ham finished the 2004-05 Coca-Cola League Championship campaign in sixth place, and qualified for the promotion playoff semi-final earning a two legged encounter against third placed Ipswich Town. West Ham had drawn the home leg 2-2, but went on to qualify for the final with a 2-0 win at Portman Road, repeating the 2-0 win achieved during the regular season. On Monday 30 May 2005 they defeated Preston North End 1-0 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in the play-off final, to become the third and last team to be promoted to the FA Premier League. They replace Crystal Palace whom they were defeated by in the 2003-04 play-off final.

Another 2004-05 Season highlight was the form of 39-year-old Teddy Sheringham who scored 21 goals on his way to winning the club's Player of the Year award. He also won two Championship League honours: the Powerade Player of the Month for April and the Powerade Player of the Year for 2004-2005. (Top goal scorer was Marlon Harewood with 22).

A New Beginning

Promotion was gained to the Premier League for Season 2005/06. West Ham have returned knowing that they are joint favourites to be relegated immediately with Wigan Athletic and Sunderland FC, the other two promoted clubs. Statements have been issued by the club indicating that players who graduated from the youth development system and who were an integral part of the promotion winning side will not be sold to repay debt. This, along with a 20m salary and transfer fee budget for new players, will give the club the best possible chance to retain Premier League status.

Chairman Terrence Brown and the Board of Directors have said that there is no need to sell players and that they do not want to repeat the mistakes of the recent past when talented players were sold (see The Academy of Football ~ West Ham as a Feeder Club & Quotes). Instead, they have taken the first step to strengthing the squad by signing Roy Carroll, an experienced former Manchester United goalkeeper, in June 2005.

Current squad

As of June 15 2005.



European Cup Winners' Cup Winners: 1965

FA Cup Winners: 1964, 1975, 1980

Second Division Champions 1958, 1981

Coca-Cola Championship (Second Division) Play-off Winners 2005

UEFA Intertoto Cup Winners: 1999

Famous players

The 1966 World Cup winning trio

Other famous players, past and present, include;


West Ham have only had ten managers in their history, fewer than the majority of large English clubs have had. Indeed, up until 1989 the club had only had five different managers.

League Status

1898-1915 Southern League
1919-1923 Division Two
1923-1932 Division One
1932-1958 Division Two ~ Promoted as Champions
1958-1978 Division One
1978-1981 Division Two ~ Promoted as Champions
1981-1989 Division One
1989-1991 Division Two
1991-1992 Division One
1992-1993 Division Two (Nationwide Football League Div 1)
1993-2003 Division One (FA Premier League)
2003-2005 Division Two (Nationwide Football League Div 1/Coca-Cola Championship) ~ Promoted via Play-Offs
20052006 Division One (FA Premier League)


The Academy of Football

See main article.

The club is often known as "The Academy of Football" due to the club's claimed reputation for developing talented young players from an early age, and for playing a free-flowing, passing game. The title was attributed to the club by the media in the 1960s, and has since been adopted by the club itself. The title has been printed underneath the club crest on the artificial surface surrounding the pitch at Upton Park.

This self-styled image is often derided by supporters of other clubs, but others consider West Ham's youth development system to be one of the most successful in England. The claim is a source of pride to West Ham supporters, whose club has not seen the same successes as many other clubs (such as Liverpool or Manchester United), and in fact has never won the League.

Players to have "graduated" from the Academy include Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters, Sir Trevor Brooking, Tony Cottee, Paul Ince, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard Jnr., Joe Cole and Glen Johnson.


The team's supporters are famed for their passionate rendition of their team's anthem, "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles", the lyrics of which are as follows:

I'm forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air
They fly so high, nearly reach the sky
And like my dreams they fade and die
Fortune's always hiding, I looked everywhere
I'm forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air
United! United!

West Ham's supporters also sing other chants; examples are below.

East, east, east London!
East, east, east London!
East, east, east London!

Chim chimmeny, chim chimmeny, chim chim cherooo,
We are the b*****ds in claret and blue!

I remember Wembley,
When West Ham beat West Germany.
Martin one and Geoffrey three,
And Bobby got the OBE!

One nil to the cockney boys!
One nil to the cockney boys!
One nil to the cockney boys!
One nil to the cockney boys!


As with most football clubs, West Ham have strong rivalries with other clubs. Most of these are with other London clubs such as Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, but the strongest rivalry is with Millwall. West Ham and Millwall supporters have had a mutual hatred for decades, culminating in wars between the two "firms" (violent gangs) associated with the clubs. What began as a local rivalry between shipbuilders and dockers turned to hostility during the General Strike of 1926. The Royal Docks on the north bank of the River Thames (West Ham) went on strike but Millwall Docks and Surrey Docks continued to work. The intense feeling of conflict between those dockers working and those striking was transferred into the club rivalry. West Ham's dislike of Millwall is illustrated in their chants:

One man went to war
Went to war with Millwall
One man and a baseball bat
Went to war with Millwall!
Two men went to war
Went to war with Millwall
Two men and a baseball bat
Went to war with Millwall...' (and so on)

We hate Millwall and we hate Millwall!
We hate Millwall and we hate Millwall!
We hate Millwall and we hate Millwall!
We are the Millwall haters!

West Ham supporters also dislike Manchester United.


For England's World Cup winning side in 1966, West Ham provided the captain, Bobby Moore, and England's two goalscorers in the final, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst.

West Ham are well known for their Football Academy in recent years, producing several talented players such as the Ferdinand brothers (Rio and Anton), Frank Lampard Jnr, Joe Cole, Glen Johnson, Michael Carrick, Elliot Ward and Mark Noble.

Club Crest

The original club crest was a crossed pair of riveting hammers, used in the shipbuilding process. A castle was added to the crest in around 1900 and represents the prominant local building Green Street House which was known as "Boleyn Castle" through an association with Anne Boleyn. "Boleyn Castle" is represented in the West Ham crest by the traditional turreted castle image, which is behind the crossed hammers. The castle may have also been added as a result of the contribution made to the club by players of Old Castle Swifts.
see also Boleyn Ground


The nickname "The Hammers" dates from the club's name (West Hammer) and and also from the crossed hammers on its crest. The modern media (and football fans in general) continue to call the club "The Hammers", although West Ham fans very rarely sing or chant this at games, preferring the club's original nickname, "The Irons." This nickname is derived from the club's first name, The Thames Ironworks FC.

External links

Template:FA Premier League teamlist
FA Premier League seasons

1992-93 | 1993-94 | 1994-95 | 1995-96 | 1996-97 | 1997-98 | 1998-99
1999-00 | 2000-01 | 2001-02 | 2002-03 | 2003-04 | 2004-05 | 2005-06 edit (

Football in England

League competitions

The FA

Cup competitions

FA Premier League FA Cup
The Football League (Champ, 1, 2) England
League Cup
Football Conference (Nat, N, S) FA Community Shield
Northern Premier League (Prem, 1) (women) Football League Trophy
Southern League (Prem, 1W, 1E) List of
FA Trophy
Isthmian League (Prem, 1, 2) FA Vase
English football league system Records FA NLS Cup

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