The quartet being kept, assuming they agree new deals, are:
Scottish under-21 international midfielder David Noble, who was signed on a free transfer from Arsenal in January and has impressed in the reserves.
Midfielder Daryl McMahon, a Republic of Ireland youth international, who had already signed professional terms with the club last summer.
Les Ferdinand, who came, of course, from Spurs in January to grab two goals in 14 games, of which two were as a substitute, but his contribution went beyond that: West Ham lost just once, at home to Liverpool, in the games he started.
Stephen Bywater, now on England under-21 duty, has made five appearances for the Hammers, including his debut when he replaced the injured Shaka Hislop after just a couple of minutes when West Ham pulled back from 4-1 down to win 5-4. Steve, who is 22 next month, signed as a trainee from Rochdale and spent time on loan at Wycombe Wanderers, Wolves, Hull City, and Cardiff City. His progress was hampered by a number of wrist injuries which kept him out for long spells, and from which he is now fully recovered.
Those being released are Lee Bowyer, Gary Breen, Edouard Cisse - who has been on loan for a year - Clive Delaney, Paolo Di Canio, Izzie Iriekpen, Scott Minto, John Moncur, Raimond van der Gouw, and Nigel Winterburn.
Paolo Di Canio started 116 Premiership games for the Hammers, and of course made two substitute appearances to end the season, scoring in each of them. He scored 47 league goals in that time, and a further two in 12 cup games - most of them spectacular. But it won't be the last time he will be at Upton Park - he has vowed to return as a supporter when time allows. Legendary status amongst the Hammers' faithful was assured long ago and he will be sorely missed for his exceptional talent on the field of play - and perhaps for one or two thought-provoking comments off it.
John Moncur made seven substitute appearances this season, with a career total of 151 starts and 46 substitute appearances - and nine goals. Mile End born 'Moncs' was one year short of a testimonial following his £850,000 move from Swindon in the summer or 1994.
Gary Breen made 13 starts for the club, with six consecutive starts from the West Brom through to the Birmingham home defeats, and six more on the trot from the Blackburn Rovers draw away on December 28, to the 6-0 FA Cup defeat at Manchester United in January. In the summer, newspaper reports linked him with a move to Barcelona or Inter Milan, and he had an offer on the table from Everton, but he chose West Ham. He has over 50 caps for the Republic of Ireland.
Nigel Winterburn, signed three seasons ago from Arsenal for £250,000, made 89 appearances and four as substitute, scoring a single goal. He was set to leave last summer, but a change of heart by Glenn Roeder and a pay cut by the player saw him extend his stay. He saw off the competition of Scott Minto and Vladimir Labant, but shortly after Rufus Brevett arrived he had to have a wrist operation and after that Rufus retained his place until the end of the season. Many people are surprised that he only got two England caps in a 20 year-plus career.
Raimond van der Gouw arrived from Manchester United last summer and, although he never started a first team game, his attitude and commitment in reserve matches was continually praised by Glenn Roeder as being a factor in helping the youngsters develop. He arrived on the recommendation of David James, and accepted the 'understudy' role given to him.
Scott Minto came from Benfica in early 1999 for £1m, made 48 starts and seven substitute appearances, and didn't score. He will be 33 in August.
Edouard Cisse was not out of contract at Upton Park as such; he has completed a loan spell from Paris St. Germain, and he made 21 starts overall, with no goals.
Lee Bowyer, whose time at Upton Park was hampered by an ankle injury, made 11 starts for the club, and his contract is up in the summer. Recent reports suggesting the Hammers could claim a £500,000 fee for the player they paid Leeds just £100,000 for, are incorrect.
Centre half Izzie Iriekpen, latterly on loan at Cambridge United, was handed a one year contract last summer just weeks after he was ready to quit football after knee problems. He would actually have made his debut at Old Trafford as a 16-year-old under Harry Redknapp had the referee not blown the final whistle as he was ready to come on. There seems little doubt that, but for injuries, the 1999 FA Youth Cup winning captain would have followed his contemporaries into the first team on a regular basis.
6ft 5ins centre half Clive Delaney arrived during the last transfer window, from University College Dublin in the Eircom League, on a free transfer, and had initial discussions to stay, but, with other clubs interested in him before he came to Upton Park, he should be able to retain his ambition to make it in professional football.
Also going are third years Glen Jackson and Billy Mehmet - who has already signed for Dunfermline - and second year boys Ayo Akinsete, who has a scholarship in America, Ronnie Fletcher, and Danny Morris.