The role of West Ham United captain has been filled by some legendary names in the history of the club - Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds, Malcolm Allison, George Kay and Alvin Martin among them.

On Saturday, Winston Reid pulled on the armband for the first time at the start of a Barclays Premier League fixture, standing in after regular captain Kevin Nolan and vice-captain Mark Noble were ruled out by injury.

The No2 did the coveted role proud, inspiring his team to a vital 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory at Stoke City. Afterwards, the New Zealand centre-back told of his pride at being handed the captaincy by manager Sam Allardyce.

"It's a great privilege," said Reid, who has started all 28 league games this season. "We have Kevin as a great captain and Mark right after him, so if I can do a job when they are not available then it is fine by me. Otherwise, I just go about my business as usual and don't try to really change myself.

"As a captain, I just try to give 100 per cent and try to help out my team-mates. I try to be a good role model and try to do my best and encourage everyone to try their hardest and be a winner."

Reid was nursing a bloodied lip following Saturday's visit to the Britannia Stadium - an illustration of just what a stern physical test he and his team-mates had withstood.

Stoke bombarded the West Ham penalty area with crosses, free-kicks, long balls and long throws, but the Hammers' back-four and goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen stood firm - even after Potters manager Tony Pulis had sent on substitute Kenwyne Jones to join fellow strikers Peter Crouch and Cameron Jerome in the closing stages. 

"We needed the three points. Stoke is a hard place to come so the boys did really well and got the win, so it was good. At the end, they had about four big boys up there. We had enough to deal with, but at the end we got a clean sheet and the win, which were important.

"I think it's a challenge to go to a place like Stoke. It's not easy, but you just have to be up for it and try your best. I thought everyone did that and we got the win."

The battle did claim two victims, however, with Matt Taylor and Joe Cole leaving the pitch with concussion and a tight hamstring within the opening eleven minutes. While some teams would have crumbled, with circumstances conspiring against them, West Ham grew into the game and chalked up a thoroughly deserved success.

"We have been a bit down on numbers recently, so it was good that the boys got together well and I thought we showed great spirit as a team."

Having got to grips with Stoke's direct approach, West Ham struck the all-important winner just before half-time. Ricardo Vaz Te and Jack Collison - on for the injured Cole and Taylor - combined for the Wales midfielder to shoot low past Asmir Begovic. The move impressed the skipper.

"The goal was a good one and a great finish from Jack. He came in and obviously wanted to prove himself as well and he did that, so I'm pleased for him. Vaz did well as well and we had a couple of other chances that maybe we could have scored.

"I thought we did well defensively, too, to keep them away from creating big chances. They are very good on set pieces, so we had to be careful but I think we limited them very well."

West Bromwich Albion