West Ham United are delighted to announce the capture of striker Nicky Maynard from Bristol City for an undisclosed fee.

Maynard, who has signed a two and a half year deal - with an option for an extra year - with the Hammers, was one of the most sought-after players in English football after a prolific spell at Ashton Gate, where he has scored 46 goals in 130 games.

Prior to moving to Bristol City in 2008, the Cheshire-born 25-year-old also enjoyed a fantastic time in front of goal at first club Crewe Alexandra, where he netted 35 goals in 67 appearances.

A quick, direct player with fine finishing ability, Maynard told whufc.com he cannot wait to get his West Ham career underway, saying: "I'm ecstatic. It's been a long day but I'm delighted to put pen to paper and can't wait to get going. West Ham are a massive club. They've got everything geared to get to the Premier League and the Premier League is where I want to be.

"I'm a quick player who likes to get in behind and thrives off chances. I'll keep plugging away all game and as I'm not happy unless I'm scoring goals."

Born in the town Winsford in December 1985, Maynard spent a period with Arsenal as a schoolboy before linking up with Crewe in 1994 at the age of seven. The forward remained at Gresty Road for 14 years, graduating from the club's famous Academy under the watchful eye of Dario Gradi.

After netting 27 goals for the youth team in 2003/04, Maynard signed his first professional contract at the age of 18 before making his senior debut for Crewe in a 4-2 win over Millwall at the end of the 2005/6 campaign. The following season, 2006/07, saw Maynard enjoy a prolific partnership with Luke Varney and cement his place in the Railwaymen's starting XI.

A further 15 goals in 2007/08 tempted Bristol City to spend £2.25m to take Maynard to Ashton Gate in July 2008 and he maintained his fine scoring record for the Robins. The 2009/10 season was his best in a City shirt, with 21 goals in 45 appearances in all competitions. Despite the club struggling in the npower Championship this term, Maynard has eight goals to his name.