Our #50GreatestHammers countdown, in association with Official Investment Partner Basset & Gold, has reached number 32…
Years at West Ham United: 1985-2002
Few players can match the longevity at West Ham United of Steve Potts.
Having joined the Club as an apprentice in 1983, he turned professional two years later, and remained at the Boleyn Ground almost two decades on.
In fact, only 21 appearances of his professional career came away from the Hammers, when he wound down with a brief spell at Dagenham & Redbridge, and he pulled on the Claret & Blue shirt over 500 times.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, USA in May 1967, Steve spent his formative years in the Hammers’ famed Academy and made his breakthrough in the first team with 43 appearances during the 1988/89 season.
He would rarely find himself out of the team over the next ten years, playing his part in two promotions to the top flight and then helping the Club establish themselves in the newly-formed Premier League under Harry Redknapp.
A versatile player, he most often featured at full-back, but could also play at centre-half, despite not being the tallest in that position, and in midfield.
He is the most recent of the nine players to have reached 500 games in Hammers colours, but only found the net once in that time – notching in a 7-1 win against Hull City in 1990.
He was twice a Hammer of the Year winner, in 1993 and 1995, and made his last competitive appearance for the Club in March 2001, against Chelsea.
Potts remained at the Hammers for a further year, before transferring to Dagenham & Redbridge, and then becoming a Black Cab driver upon his retirement from the game.
However, he could not stay away from the Hammers and returned as an Academy coach in 2011.
He has since led the Club’s U18s with distinction, ensuring the legacy of the Academy of Football lives on.