Ward seals £1million move to Coventry

West Ham United can confirm that Elliott Ward has completed a £1million transfer to Championship side Coventry City.

The 21-year-old defender has signed for the Sky Blues in a four-year deal, having made a total of 21 league and cup appearances during his time at Upton Park.

A graduate of our Youth Academy system, Elliott made his senior debut in a Carling Cup tie against Southend United at Upton Park in August 2004 after recovering from a serious back injury that had threatened his career as a teenager.

He went on to enjoy a brief loan spell at Bristol City that year, before returning to Upton Park and grabbing an opportunity to establish himself as a key part of Alan Pardew's team during our promotion success via the play-offs at the end of the 2004-05 campaign.

Indeed, it was the solid central defensive partnership he formed with his former youth-team colleague Anton Ferdinand that many people pointed out as a key factor in our triumphant finish to the season.

The arrival of Danny Gabbidon and James Collins from Cardiff City last summer curtailed his first-team opportunities at the beginning of the 2005-06 campaign, although he made his Premiership debut as a substitute in the 2-1 home defeat against Bolton Wanderers in August, before heading out on loan again in November, this time to Championship side Plymouth Argyle.

The Harrow-born youngster made a big impression at Home Park, winning an immediate place in the team and making 16 appearances as Tony Pulis's team pushed themselves to the verge of the play-off places, before Alan Pardew recalled him at the end of his three-month temporary spell.

Elliott was handed his second Premiership appearance in February - against Bolton again - but endured a torrid time as Hammers slumped to a 4-1 defeat, and didn't appear again until the final stages of the season, when injuries to Anton Ferdinand, Gabbidon and Collins saw him step in for the 2-1 home defeat against Liverpool and the 1-0 win in our final away game against West Bromwich Albion.

With no guarantee of regular Premiership action next season, Elliott made it clear that he would prefer to head elsewhere in search of first-team football, and has now become Coventry's first £1million signing in more than five years.

West Ham United would like to thank Elliott for his loyal service to the Club and wish him all the very best in his future career at Coventry City.