West Ham United Profile

Major Honours FA Cup (3), European Cup Winners' Cup, UEFA Intertoto Cup
Year Founded 1895

Despite never winning a league title, West Ham are one of England's best supported clubs. With a rich history and a passionate fanbase, they are an icon of British soccer.

West Ham United are a Premier League football club based in East London, England. The club is famous for their youth academy, which has recently produced notable England internationals such as Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick.

West Ham are also renowned for several iconic players including 1966 World Cup winners Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters - all products of the club's academy.

Foundation early history

West Ham were founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks. In 1900, the team name changed to West Ham United, but still they still use the nickname The Irons, as well as The Hammers.

West Ham United initially played in the Southern and Western Leagues until their introduction into the Football League in 1919.

The Boleyn Ground, also known as Upton Park, became their home in 1904 and remained so until 2016, when they moved into the London Stadium.

West Ham were promoted to the top flight in 1923 and played in the first FA Cup final at the old Wembley Stadium. That match saw Bolton Wanderers emerge victorious 2-0 in a match dubbed the 'White Horse Final', after mounted police, including one on a white horse, had to clear the crowd off the pitch before kick-off. It's estimated up to 300,000 people attended the final that year.

Wembley Stadium, West Ham, Bolton Wanderers, FA Cup Final, 1923

In 1940, West Ham won the League War Cup final against Blackburn Rovers 1-0 with Sam Small scoring the only goal. The match was played even though there were fears that London would be bombed by the Luftwaffe.

The golden years

Following the appointment of Ron Greenwood as manager, West Ham United enjoyed a successful spell which included contributions from some of the club's most iconic players.

In 1964, West Ham beat Preston North End 3-2 in the final to win the FA Cup. The Hammers team was captained by Bobby Moore and included Geoff Hurst.

West Ham United, West Ham, August 1964, FA Cup, Charity Shield

The following year, the Hammers won the European Cup Winners Cup. They beat 1860 Munich 2-0 in the final with Alan Sealey scoring both goals in a team which also included Moore, Hurst and Peters.

In 1974, John Lyall took over from Greenwood and the new manager enjoyed his fair share of success, too.

West Ham United beat Fulham 2-0 in the 1975 FA Cup final with Alan Taylor scoring both goals. The Hammers team that day included Frank Lampard Sr., the father of the player who would go on to become Chelsea's record goalscorer. Fulham's team included former Hammer Bobby Moore.

In 1976, West Ham made the European Cup Winners' Cup final again, losing 4-2 to Anderlecht.

West Ham won the FA Cup again in 1980, with a rare headed goal from Sir Trevor Brooking, another product of the team's academy who made 647 appearances for the club. The trophy was lifted for the second time by captain Billy Bonds, who played a record-breaking 799 times for the club.

The Boys of '86

West Ham have never won the top-flight title. Their best finish came in the 1985/86 season when they finished third behind Everton and champions Liverpool.

During the season the Hammers went on an 18-game unbeaten run, thrashing Newcastle 8-1 along the way.

The 46-goal strike partnership between Frank McAvennie (26) and Tony Cottee (20) was the most prolific in the league that season.

The team have gone down in West Ham folklore as the 'Boys of 86' and are still viewed by fans as one of the best teams ever to pull on the claret and blue jersey.

Manager Lyall had a very small squad at his disposal, and mainly used just thirteen regular first team players, including West Ham legends Phil Parkes, Ray Stewart, Alvin Martin and Alan Devonshire.

Despite finishing third, West Ham were excluded from competing in UEFA Cup the following season due to the ban on English clubs in European competitions, which was introduced after the Heysel Stadium disaster.

Promotions and relegations

West Ham United have become well-versed in promotions and relegations over the last four decades.

Despite Leroy Rosenior's 15 goals, the Hammers were relegated to Division Two in 1988/89.

In 1990/91, West Ham were promoted back to Division One, but were relegated again the following campaign and missed out on the first season of the newly formed Premiership. They were promoted back to the top flight for the 1993/94 season.

West Ham United, October 1998, Ian Wright, Frank Lampard

West Ham entered the new millennium off the back of a 1999 Intertoto Cup triumph. They beat Metz 3-2 on aggregate in the finals with Frank Lampard Jr. among those on the scoresheet.

West Ham had a squad which was brimming with talent during the Harry Redknapp managerial era, but they struggled to keep their best players. Rio Ferdinand left for Leeds United in 2000 and Frank Lampard for Chelsea in 2001.

In 2002/03, West Ham were relegated to the Championship and Joe Cole joined Chelsea.

After two seasons in the Championship they returned to the Premier League in 2005/06 and also lost out in the final of the FA Cup on penalties to Liverpool.

After a disastrous 2010/11 season where West Ham finished 20th in the Premier League, the club returned to the top flight for the 2012/13 season with Sam Allardyce at the helm.

Move to the London Stadium

West Ham moved to London Stadium in 2016 off the back of a successful 2015/16 season, which saw them finish seventh in the Premier League with Dimitri Payet starring.

West Ham, London Stadium, March 2013, Boris Johnson

Payet forced a move to Marseille in 2017 and West Ham struggled to achieve the same level of success. Manager Slaven Bilic was sacked in November 2017 and replaced by David Moyes who steered the club away from relegation.

Moyes' short-term contract was not extended and former Real Madrid and Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini took over.

Midway through the 2019/20 season, West Ham were in danger of relegation and Moyes was again brought back to the London Stadium, this time to replace Pellegrini. Under Moyes the club finished 16th, five points clear of the relegation zone.

However, bringing back Moyes proved to be a decision well worth making. After ensuring the club stayed in the top flight, the Scotsman managed an impressive sixth-placed finish with the Hammers in 2020/21, which resulted in qualification for next season's Europa League competition.

Driven by an Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen and Declan Rice, Moyes' West Ham also had an impressive 2021/22 campaign, reaching the semi-finals of the Europa League and finishing seventh in the Premier League. They qualified for Europe for the second season in a row but this time for the Europa Conference League.

West Ham's biggest rivals

Millwall have historically been West Ham's fiercest rivals with the supporters involved in numerous violent, and sometimes fatal, incidents related to this fixture. The rivalry stretches back to the early 1900s, with both sets of supporters, predominantly shipyard dockers, working for different companies.

North London's Tottenham Hotspur and west London's Chelsea are also fierce rivals, and have also resulted in many hooligan-related clashes between supporters.

The fanbase

West Ham supporters are famously passionate and partisan. The club anthem 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles' is sung at every match and is over 100 years old.

West Ham, Fans, Supporters, December 2020

The Inter City Firm (ICF), is the hooligan firm notoriously associated with West Ham. Mainly active in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, the ICF has inspired many books and the films Green Street, Cass and The Firm which starred Oscar winner Gary Oldman.

West Ham's finances

West Ham are the 17th most valuable soccer team on the planet according to Forbes' May 2019 calculation, with a value of $616m.

The club is owned by David Gold and David Sullivan.

Umbro and Betway are among the Hammers' major sponsors and the 60,000-seater London Stadium gives the club a means of maximising matchday revenue.

However, West Ham's value dropped 18% in the space of a year prior to the most recent Forbes calculations.

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