Penalty king Ray Stewart named No17 in #50GreatestHammers
It’s time to reveal who is in at No17 in the #50GreatestHammers countdown in association with Official Investment Partner, Basset & Gold
Years at West Ham: 1979-91
Which West Ham United player from down the years would you want standing over the ball 12 yards from goal?
Supporters in more modern times might opt for Mark Noble, while Julian Dicks was known for smashing in penalties during the 1990s, but Ray Stewart’s legendary ability from the spot still lives on today.
The Scottish full-back was a fine defender, but he also relished the opportunity to get on the scoresheet himself and wasn’t far off a century of goals by the time his Boleyn Ground career came to an end.
Born in Stanley, Perthshire, in September 1959, he spent his early career in his homeland with Dundee United before the Hammers made him the most expensive teenager in world football at the time by splashing out £400,000 to take him to east London.
He was an instant success with the Hammers, scoring 14 goals in 54 games – including the penalty which saw off Aston Villa in the FA Cup quarter-final – along the way to lifting the trophy at Wembley in May 1980.
Stewart would hit double figures in a season three more times during his 12 years in Claret & Blue, notching ten as the Hammers recorded their highest ever league finish of third in 1985/86.
All but six of his goals came from the spot and, on the rare occasion he missed – just five times in twelve years – he still managed to net the rebound twice!
His long and successful stint with the Club ended in 1991 when he returned to Scotland with St Johnstone, and he finished his career with a brief spell at Stirling Albion.
The ten-cap Scotland international would later go on to manage Livingston, Stirling Albion and Forfar Athletic, and can still be seen at London Stadium where he works as a matchday host in Club London