Hammers catch ‘keeper Randolph

West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper Darren Randolph on a free transfer

West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper Darren Randolph.

The 28-year-old will arrive on a free transfer on 1 July after his contract with Championship club Birmingham City expired, and will provide long-term competition for first-team stopper Adrián.

Randolph started 45 league games for the Blues in 2014/15, keeping 12 clean sheets and producing a string of outstanding performances as Birmingham recovered from a horrendous start to climb to a final position of tenth.

The Bray-born stopper began with Irish junior club Ardmore Rovers before moving to English football with Charlton Athletic at the age of 16 in 2005. Since then, he  has chalked up nearly 300 career appearances.

After loan spells with Accrington Stanley and Gillingham, Randolph made his Premier League debut for the Addicks in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Anfield in May 2007.

Following further loan spells with Bury and Hereford United, Randolph moved north of the border to join Scottish Premier League club Motherwell, where he made his debut in a UEFA Europa League tie with Norwegian side Aalesund in July 2010 and immediately established himself as the No1.

A fantastic debut season in Scotland saw Motherwell reach the 2011 Scottish Cup final, while he also broke John Ruddy’s club record for clean sheets in a single season.
Randolph’s outstanding form and consistency saw him voted into the PFA Scotland Team of the Year in both 2011/12 and 2012/13, helping the Steelmen to finish second in the Scottish Premier League in the latter.

The goalkeeper’s form at Fir Park caught the eye of then-Ireland manager Giovanni Trappatoni, who called him up for the first time in autumn 2011. A senior international debut arrived in a friendly against Oman at Fulham’s Craven Cottage in September 2012, when he lined up alongside West Ham’s Joey O’Brien.

Randolph could add to that tally soon, as he is in the provisional Ireland squad for upcoming international matches with England and Scotland later this month.

Summer 2013 saw the Irish son of former American basketball player Ed Randolph, who played for Irish Premier League club UCD Marian in the late 1980s, move back to England with Birmingham.

At St Andrews, he missed just one league match in the past two seasons, attracting attention from Barclays Premier League clubs.

Randolph joins the long list of Irish players to have represented the Hammers, including Liam Brady (1986-90), Gary Breen (2002-03), Noel Cantwell (1952-60), Johnny Carroll (1948-49), Clive Clarke (2005-06), David Connolly (2003-04), Noel Dwyer (1958-60), Ray Houghton (1982), Chris Hughton (1990-92), Robbie Keane (2011), Fred Kearns (1949-54), David Kelly (1988-90), Danny McGowan (1948-54), Tommy Moroney (1947-53), Billy Neville (1957-58), Frank O’Farrell (1950-57), Joey O’Brien (2011-present) and Charlie Turner (1937-39).

*You can follow West Ham’s newest signing Darren Randolph on Twitter at @Randz587.