Shaka's Back

WEST Ham United are pleased to confirm the signing of goalkeeper Shaka Hislop on a free transfer.

The 35-year-old returns for his second spell with the Hammers after becoming a firm favourite with the Upton Park fans during a four year stay between 1998 and July 2002.

Shaka began his career in England with Reading in 1992, where his impressive performances caught the eye of Kevin Keegan at Newcastle United. The Magpies paid £1,580,000 for his services in August 1995 and Shaka went on to make 53 League appearances at St James' Park

But a lack of first-team opportunities alerted the Hammers, who snapped him up on a free transfer in 1998 to replace the departed Ludo Miklosko, who now teams up with Hislop as West Ham United's goalkeeping coach.

A popular figure in the dressing room, Shaka has made 132 appearances in the claret and blue so far and was such a hit with supporters that he won the Hammer of the Year award in his first season at the Club in 1998/99.

His spectacular shot-stopping helped the Club return to European football for the first time in 18 years in 1999. The 6ft 6ins stopper left the Club in 2002 after losing his first-team place to England international David James. He went on to make a return to the Premiership with Portsmouth and spent three years at Fratton Park before leaving on a free transfer at the end of last season.

Hammers boss Alan Pardew was delighted to have secured the services of the experienced goalkeeper. He said: "We're extremely pleased to have signed Shaka. He is an excellent goalkeeper with invaluable top-flight experience and he'll be a huge asset to the squad during the season.

"Of course, he knows West Ham United very well from his first spell here. He was a very popular figure during his four years with the Club and his character and personality will be a massive benefit in the dressing room.

"Shaka is not only a very good player, he is also an ambassador for football who is hugely respected within the game. It's great to have him back at the Club."

Shaka has been given squad number 34 for the coming season and now forms a trio of top-class Hammers goalkeepers, which also includes Roy Carroll and Stephen Bywater.


Name: Shaka Hislop
Born: London
Date of Birth: 22nd February 1969
Height: 6ft 6ins
Weight: 12st 2lbs
Position: Goalkeeper
Previous Clubs: Howard University, Reading, Newcastle United, West Ham United, Portsmouth
International: Trinidad & Tobago Full Caps