Mears becomes second signing of the day

West Ham United have tonight completed the signing of Preston North End defender Tyrone Mears in a deal that could rise to almost £2million.

The 23-year-old right-back has put pen to paper on a four-year deal at Upton Park and becomes Alan Pardew's second signing in the space of a few hours following the arrival of Carlton Cole from Chelsea earlier this evening.

The highly-rated young defender signed for an initial £1million fee, which could rise to £1.9million depending on appearances and future international recognition with England.

Born in Stockport in February 1983, Tyrone began his career as a youth trainee at Manchester City and progressed through the ranks to break into the first team squad under Kevin Keegan. He made his one and only first team appearance for the club against Nottingham Forest in March 2002, as an 84th minute substitute for former Hammer Stuart Pearce.

Just a few months later, in search of regular first team football, he moved to Preston North End in a £200,000 deal. After an impressive debut campaign with the Lilywhites, injury restricted his bid to become an established member of the side over the next two seasons, and forced him to miss the Championship play-off final against the Hammers in May 2005.

However, he returned to full fitness the following summer and made the right-back spot his own at Deepdale last season as Preston again came within a whisker of winning promotion via the play-offs, only to lose against Leeds United in their semi-final.

Having earned a reputation as one of the most exciting young prospects outside of the Premiership, the all-action defender will now get his chance to prove his worth at the top level, while his arrival further enhances the impressive collection of young English talent at Upton Park…

Tyrone's first exclusive interview as a West Ham United player will appear here on on Thursday…