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2013-08-13T11:14:00 Updated 2015-02-19T00:13:00

Hammers capture Downing

West Ham United are delighted to announce the capture of England international winger Stewart Downing.

The 29-year-old has moved to the Boleyn Ground from Barclays Premier League rivals Liverpool on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

Capped 34 times, Downing became the Hammers' fifth summer signing following the arrivals of fellow England star and Reds team-mate Andy Carroll, Romania captain Razvan Rat, Spanish goalkeeper Adrian and promising midfielder Danny Whitehead.

Downing, who also played alongside West Ham stars Joe Cole with Liverpool and England and James Collins at Aston Villa, is looking forward to making his mark for Sam Allardyce's side as they seek to build on last season's tenth-place finish.

"I'm very excited. It's a great opportunity for me being here, it's a great Club and I'm really excited to get going," said the Middlesbrough-born wideman. "I'm ready and I'm fit for the first game against Cardiff City. I've played a decent few games for Liverpool in pre-season, so there will be no problems on that front.

"It's all happened quickly, but I'm really excited and hoping to play a part on Saturday."


Downing was one of the first players to emerge from the famed Middlesbrough Academy, which has produced dozens of future Boro first-team players, including internationals Adam Johnson, James Morrison and Chris Brunt

The left-sided player was still two months shy of his 18th birthday when he made his debut for his hometown club in a Premier League defeat at Ipswich Town on 24 April 2002 - one of three appearances he made that season.

After a successful loan spell at nearby Sunderland in late 2003, Downing returned to the Riverside Stadium and made himself a first-team regular during the second half of the 2003/04 season. He ended the campaign by lifting the League Cup at the Millennium Stadium following a 2-1 win over Sam Allardyce's Bolton Wanderers.

The following campaign, 2004/05, Downing established himself fully as a top-flight star, scoring six goals and creating countless more in 48 appearances for Middlesbrough and earning a senior England debut against the Netherlands at Villa Park.

Downing's star continued to rise as he inspired Middlesbrough to the 2006 UEFA Cup final under future England manager Steve McClaren. After being named in his country's squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where he appeared three times as a substitute, he signed a new long-term contract with Middlesbrough in early 2008.

The following season, 2008/09, Downing scored against West Ham in both an initial FA Cup fifth-round tie and replay, but Middlesbrough would ultimately be relegated at the Boleyn Ground in May 2009.

Downing would remain in the Premier League, though, signing for Aston Villa for a £10m fee. There, he continued to shine, scoring eleven goals in 79 appearances over two years and being voted Player of the Season for 2010/11.

That outstanding campaign saw Liverpool spend a reported £20m to take Downing to Anfield, with the winger capping his first season with the Reds with a man of the match display as Liverpool defeated Cardiff City on penalties at Wembley in February 2012.

In summer of the same year, Downing was named in Roy Hodgson's England squad for Euro 2012, earning the most-recent of his 34 caps in a 1-0 friendly win in Norway in the build-up to the tournament.

Last season, the winger netted five goals and chalked up nine assists for Liverpool in all competitions.

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