Argentinian superstar Carlos Tevez comes in at No36 in our countdown of the #50GreatestHammers, in association with Official Sleeve Partner Basset & Gold.
You will have the chance to rank the top ten soon, so keep an eye on whufc.com and our official social channels for details of how you can cast your vote!
Years at West Ham: 2006-2007
Was a stint with West Ham United ever as fleeting, yet endearing, as that of Carlos Tevez?
Signed from Brazilian side Corinthians on transfer deadline day in 2006 alongside international compatriot Javier Mascherano, Tevez was voted Hammer of the Year in his only season with the Irons, establishing himself as a cult icon among the Claret and Blue faithful.
The striker’s only season at West Ham was a difficult one, both on and off the pitch, for the Irons, but Tevez’s contributions were certainly the brightest spark for West Ham, with the striker a huge reason behind their successful battle against relegation.
It took Tevez a little while to settle into life in east London, having made his debut in a 1-1 home draw against Aston Villa. The forward’s first goal, an unforgettable free-kick against Tottenham Hotspur, came in March 2007, but it was Tevez’s joyous celebration that lives so memorably in the mind.
As the shot glanced off the underside of the crossbar and found the back of the net, Tevez turned and ran. A gallop turned into a sprint as the striker’s shirt was pulled from his body, and the West Ham No32 threw himself into the West Ham supporters. It was a moment of pure magic for both the forward and the fans that embraced him, and although the Irons would lose that thrilling game that day, an unbreakable bond was forged.
It would be the start of an immense run of form for Tevez, who would score seven goals in West Ham’s final ten games of the season. It wasn’t a coincidence that the team would go on to win seven of them, including the final four.
A cool penalty in a win over Blackburn Rovers was followed by a poacher’s finish against Middlesbrough. The South American then struck a sensational effort at home to Chelsea, before a brace versus Bolton Wanderers; another exquisite free-kick and a deft strike.
If Tevez’s first ever West Ham goal is his most famous, then his last isn’t too far behind. An away contest at Premier League winners Manchester United could have potentially meant trouble for Alan Curblishey’s Hammers, but Tevez was again on hand to fire the Irons to a famous victory, guaranteeing West Ham’s place in the Premier League.
With seven goals and five assists in his solitary season at West Ham, Tevez’s time with the Irons was brief, but it was one that left a lasting impression on supporters.