West Ham United Football Club: The Complete Guide

West Ham United Soccer Club is a Stratford-based, Premier League club. West Ham ranks 11th in popularity out of the 20 soccer clubs that make up the English Premier League. 

As one of England’s most popular and successful soccer clubs, West Ham United has an interesting history and an impressive list of players, both past and present. 

Read on to find out everything you need to know about West Ham Football Club today!

Basic Facts 

  • West Ham United Football Club is commonly known either by its full name or as ‘West Ham’, but it is also known by its nicknames: The Hammers and The Irons. 
  • West Ham was founded in 1895, on the 25th of June, although it was called Thames Ironworks at the time. It was then established in 1900 as West Ham United. 
  • The club’s main playing ground is London Stadium, where the team plays in light blue and maroon colors. 
  • West Ham United is co-owned by David Gold, David Sullivan, and Albert Smith, in addition to other investors. The club is managed by David Moyes. 

Home Grounds

Throughout the history of West Ham United, the club has played across 5 different home grounds. 

When the club was still called Thames Ironworks, the team played at a stadium on Hermit Road in 1895. The club then moved to a stadium on Browning Road in 1897. Eventually, West Ham (then known as The Hammers) settled at the Memorial Grounds. 

In 1904, West Ham United adopted The Boleyn Ground (Upton Park) as their new stadium, where they stayed until 2016, at which time the club moved to London Stadium. London Stadium remains West Ham’s home ground today. 

Main Trophies 

The main trophies won by West Ham to date are as follows:

  • 1964 – The F.A. Cup
  • 1965 – The European Cup Winners Cup
  • 1975 – The F.A. Cup
  • 1980 – The F.A. Cup

Club History

As we mentioned above, West Ham United was formed in 1895 and was then known as the Thames Ironworks club. The team, at this time, was representative of the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company Ltd., hence the club’s former name.

West Ham was an amateur soccer club at the time, but that would change in 1898 with the team’s integration into the Second Division of the Southern League.

However, in 1900, West Ham United underwent reform and became known as The Hammers. In 1907, they were first named 1B Champions of the Western League Division before beating Fulham and taking the title of Overall Champions. 

12 years later, in 1919, The Hammers were integrated into the Soccer League Second Division, performing very well and getting as far as the finals of the F.A. Cup. 

The Hammers, as West Ham United continued to be known, went on in 1923 to be promoted to the First Division. However, although the club held on to its promotion for 11 years, West Ham was eventually relegated to the Second Division in 1932. 

Luckily, from this point, West Ham’s luck started to improve. The club went on to win the F.A. Cup in 1964 and secured the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965. West Ham enjoyed another F.A Cup win in 1975, and in 1976, they reached the European Cup Winners’ Cup final, although they lost the match to Anderlecht (Belgium) 2-4. West Ham quickly recovered from the loss and went on to win the 1980 F.A. Cup Final in 1980. 

This (mostly) winning streak for West Ham culminated in the team being promoted to the First Division in 1981 after spending nearly 50 years rebuilding from the 1932 relegation. The club finished third in the Premier League for 1985 and 1986.

Unfortunately, 8 years after their promotion, in 1989, the West Ham team was once again relegated to the Second Division. This marked the beginning of a sequence of promotions and relegations between 1989 and 1992.

In 1900, West Ham was promoted back into the First Division but was quickly relegated to the Second Division again in 1991. However, after a win against Cambridge United in 1992, the club regained its place in the Premier League the following year. 

Since then, apart from relegations in 2003 and 2011, West Ham has remained in the Premier League, although the threat of relegation has loomed large over this club for several years.

Thankfully for West Ham, the team managed to secure a draw against Manchester United in 2020 and placed 6th in qualifiers for the UEFA Europa League, 2021-2022. 

Club Timeline 

  • 1895 – West Ham amateur team founded as the Thames Ironworks
  • 1898 – Thames Ironworks join the Southern League Second Division
  • 1900 – Thames Ironworks reform as The Hammers
  • 1901 – The Hammers established as West Ham United 
  • 1907 – West Ham United named 1B and Overall Western League Champions 
  • 1919 – West Ham joins the Second Division and reaches F.A. Cup Finals
  • 1923 – Club promoted to the First Division
  • 1932 – West Ham United relegated to Second Division
  • 1964 – F.A. Cup Final win against Preston North End 
  • 1965 – European Cup Winners Cup win against 1860 Munich
  • 1975 – F.A. Cup Final win against Fulham
  • 1980 – F.A. Cup Final win against Arsenal
  • 1981 – West Ham United Promoted to First Division
  • 1989 – Club relegated to Second Division 
  • 1990 – West Ham promoted to First Division
  • 1991 – West Ham United relegated to Second Division
  • 1992 – Club promoted to First Division
  • 1993 – Promoted to Premier League 
  • 1999 – EUFA Intertoto Cup win 
  • 2003 – Team relegated to Division One 
  • 2004 – Promoted to Premier League 
  • 2011 – Relegation to Football League Championship (former Division One)
  • 2012 – Premier League promotion 

Club Net Worth

As of 2020, West Ham’s net worth as a club dropped from 321 million (in British Pounds) to 248 million. That’s a reduction in net worth of approximately £73 million. 

This drop in valuation puts West Ham in 15th place in terms of soccer club net worths. 


West Ham United is based at London Stadium and has been using this stadium as a home ground since 2016, after moving from Boleyn Ground. 

London Stadium is an outdoor stadium, situated in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford. Construction for London Stadium started in 2008, and the venue has a capacity of 60,000 for soccer matches. 


West Ham United is primarily owned by David Sullivan, a Welsh businessman who bought a 50% share in the club in 2010. 

The club is also co-owned by David Gold, who has invested in 35% of West Ham United. 

Other owners of West Ham include Albert Smith, a director of the club who also holds a 10% share, and other investors whose shares add up to 3.8%. 

Best Players 

West Ham United has been home to many phenomenal soccer players throughout the club’s long history. However, there are a select few who stand out for the quality of their performances on the field. 

One of the most well-loved and respected (as well as successful) West Ham players is Vic Watson, who played center-forward for West Ham United between 1920 and 1935. Watson is mostly known for being West Ham’s all-time top scorer, having scored a grand total of 326 first-class goals in his time with the club. 

Another favorite amongst West Ham’s history of players is Sir Bobby Moore, who appeared in more than 600 games for the club throughout his career.

Moore was named Footballer of the Year in 1964, after winning the 1963-4 F.A. Cup and securing UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup during the same season. He was also officially recognized as West Ham’s Player of the Year four times: in 1961, 1963, 1968, and finally, in 1970. In 1966, Moore went on to captain the England team in the World Cup, leading the team to a long-awaited victory. 

Geoff Hurst is a favorite with fans of West Ham United, and has been since his career with the club, which spanned from 1959 to 1972. In addition to his 13-year career with West Ham United, Hurst is known for playing for England during the 1966 World Cup and coming away with a World Cup Winners’ Medal. During the 1965-66 season, Hurst scored 40 goals over a total of 59 games.

Billy Bonds was a defensive midfielder for West Ham United between 1967 and 1988. The reason Bonds is such a favorite with fans of West Ham is that he is actually the club’s most played team member, meaning that in all of the club’s history, he has appeared in the most matches.

Bonds played 793 competitive soccer games for West Ham United, scoring a total of 59 goals. Bonds then went on to manage West Ham between 1990 and 1994 following his playing career. 

Trevor Booking is one of West Ham’s highest-scoring players, ranking 8th out of all past and current West Ham United players on goals scored. Booking appeared in 647 matches over the course of his career with the club, which ran from 1966 to 1984. During this time, Booking scored 102 goals for West Ham. Brooking also briefly managed the club in 2003.

Paolo Di Canio is often regarded as one of West Ham’s best players of all time. Di Canio played for West Ham between 1999 and 2003. His signing was controversial because he had just come out of a match ban after assaulting Paul Alcock (a referee) while playing for Arsenal.

However, Di Canio managed to redeem himself by scoring the BBC Goal of the Season in 2000 during a match against Wimbledon. This goal was named the Premiership’s Goal of the Decade in 2009. West Ham fans voted Di Canio Player of the Season in the year 2000. 

All-Time Top Scorer

As we mentioned earlier, the all-time top-scoring player for West Ham United is Vic Watson

Watson’s position as West Ham’s top scorer is based on his track record of scoring 326 goals across 505 appearances between 1920 and 1935. That averages to a goal every 1.5 matches. 

Watson played center forward during his career with West Ham, having been initially bought in from Wellingborough to cover former player Syd Puddefoot.


Currently, Mark Noble is captain of West Ham United. However, Noble has confirmed that he will step down after the coming 2021/22 season. Noble has played over 500 matches for West Ham, over a career comprising 18 seasons since 2004. 


The current goalkeepers for West Ham United are David Martin, Lukasz Fabianski, and Darren Randolph

Randolph has been with West Ham the longest, since 2015, and has saved 6 goals in his 270 minutes of playtime. 

Fabianski joined the team in June 2018, and since then, has saved 98 goals over the course of 35 appearances. Martin joined West Ham most recently in July of 2019. 


10 defenders are signed to the West Ham United team. They are Aaron Cresswell, Issa Diop, Vladimir Coufal, Arthur Masuaku, Ryan Fredericks, Angelo Ogbonna, Craig Dawson, Frederick Alves, Winston Reid, Ben Johnson

Reid has been with West Ham since 2010 and is the longest-standing defender on the team. Cresswell has been a member of West Ham United since 2014, joining the year before Ogbonna, who was signed in 2015. Arthur Masuaku, who was born in France, became a defender for West Ham in 2016. Masuaku’s arrival was followed by that of Ben Johnson in 2017.

Then, in 2018, Ryan Fredericks and Issa Diop both joined the club. Coufal and Dawson were signed on in 2020, and finally, Alves joined in 2021. 


Strikers, also known as forwards, are some of the most important players on the pitch because they are responsible for scoring goals. West Ham United has four strikers currently signed to the club. 

The current strikers for West Ham are Michail Antonio, Said Benrahma, Andriy Yarmolenko, and Jarrod Bowen

Antonio has been with the club the longest, since 2015. He has appeared for West Ham 26 times and scored 10 goals. Yarmolenko joined in 2018, has played 15 matches, and shot on target twice. Bowen and Benrahma were both signed in 2020. 


As of 2021, the manager of West Ham United is David Moyes. Moyes signed a 3-year managerial contract with the club in 2021, and so can be expected to manage West Ham until 2024. 

Previous managers of West Ham United include: 

  • 1902 – 1932 – Syd King 
  • 1932 – 1950 – Charlie Paynter 
  • 1950 – 1961 – Ted Fenton
  • 1961 – 1974 – Ron Greenwood 
  • 1974 – 1989 – John Lyall
  • 1989 – 1990 – Lou Macari 
  • 1990 – 1994 – Billy Bonds 
  • 1994 – 2001 – Harry Redknapp
  • 2001 – 2003 – Glenn Roeder 
  • 2003 – 2003 – Trevor Brooking 
  • 2003 – 2003 – Glenn Roeder 
  • 2003 – 2003 – Trevor Brooking 
  • 2003 – 2006 – Alan Pardew 
  • 2006 – 2006 – Kevin Keen
  • 2006 – 2008 – Alan Curbishley
  • 2008 – 2008 – Kevin Keen
  • 2008 – 2010 – Gianfranco Zola
  • 2010 – 2011 – Avram Grant 
  • 2011 – 2011 – Kevin Keen
  • 2011 – 2015 – Sam Allardyce 
  • 2015 – 2017 – Slaven Bilic 
  • 2017 – 2018 – David Moyes 
  • 2018 – 2019 – Manuel Pellegrini 


West Ham United employs 3 coaches for the First Team as well as a designated goalkeeper coach. 

Paul Nevin, Stuart Pearce, and Kevin Nolan all train the West Ham United First Team, while Xavi Valero acts as goalkeeper coach. 

Assistant Coach

Alan Irvine is a former soccer player for Dundee United, Everton, Crystal Palace, and Queen’s Park. 

Since 2019, Irvine has been acting as Assistant Coach for West Ham United, under the management of David Moyes. 

Home Kit

West Ham United wears a burgundy and light blue home kit when playing at London Stadium. 

The front, back, and underarms of the shirts are burgundy, while the upper arms of the sleeves are pale blue. A white stripe separates blue and red stripes at the hems of the sleeves as well as on the collar. 

West Ham United’s home shorts are white with a thick blue stripe down the outer leg, next to a thinner burgundy stripe. 

Away Kit

West Ham’s away kit, for when they are not playing at London Stadium, comprises all the same colors as the home kit, but these are rearranged for visual differentiation. 

The away kit consists of a striped blue and white shirt with burgundy detailing. The shorts are light blue instead of white, and the kit is completed with white socks. 

The West Ham United club logo has changed significantly over time. 

When the club was first founded in 1895, the logo was a blue square featuring the Union Jack, above which are the letters ‘TIW’, and below which are ‘FC’. The lettering stands for ‘The Iron Works Football Club’. 

Between 1923 and 1963, West Ham’s logo changed minorly. The design always featured two claret-colored hammers crossing over a sky blue background, although the shape of the shield and the style of the hammers varied. In 1963, the logo became a simple white shield with claret hammers. 

1964 marked the beginning of the West Ham United castle logo, which featured hammers crossing in front of a castle. Originally, the background was sky blue in the shape of a shield, but this changed to white in 1968. 

In 1975, the logo was more significantly altered. It was made circular, with a white castle on a claret background and two pale blue hammers. In 1980, the blue shield background made a comeback, but the castle and hammers were changed to yellow. 

1983 saw West Ham change its logo to a simple claret square with white crossing hammers and ‘W.H.U.F.C’ printed below. 

The 1980 blue and yellow castle logo was brought back again in 1985, soon to be replaced in 1987 by the same logo with an orange background. The background was then changed to claret with blue detailing in 1999. 

In 2016, West Ham adopted a claret shield with a blue outline and yellow hammers as its logo. The words ‘West Ham United, London’ are written on the shield in white. This logo remains today. 

Fun Facts 

  • Despite having struggled with relegation to the Second Division during the club’s history, West Ham remains one of just eight English soccer clubs to have never been relegated to the Third Division. 
  • West Ham United was the first football club to win the Football League War Cup, which was established to replace the F.A. Cup during the Second World War. 
  • In 1980, West Ham won the F.A. Cup against Arsenal without being part of the First Division, which was a rare feat. In fact, it hasn’t been done since. 
  • Ex-West Ham player, Brian Dear, jointly holds the record for 5 goals scored in the shortest amount of time (20 minutes).