Sharp shooter Frank McAvennie enters the #50GreatestHammers chart at No16 - in association with Official Investment Partner, Basset & Gold...
Years with West Ham United: 1986-87 and 1989-92
With his flowing blond locks, film star looks, sharp tongue, lightning pace and accurate finishing, Frank McAvennie was arguably the star of West Ham United’s famed Boys of ’86 squad.
Signed from St Mirren for £340,000 in June 1985, having turned down an approach from First Division rivals Luton Town, McAvennie was initially played as an attacking midfielder.
However, when striker Paul Goddard suffered a serious injury in the opening-day defeat at Birmingham City, McAvennie was deployed as a centre forward alongside Tony Cottee – and the rest is history.
With the Scot netting 26 goals and Cottee 20, West Ham mounted an unexpected bid for the title, pushing Liverpool and Everton all the way before a fixture pile-up ultimately saw them fall short and finish third.
McAvennie’s success saw him become a household name almost overnight, and his appearance on the popular BBC Wogan talk show only increased his profile.
After two seasons in east London, the Scot returned to his home city of Glasgow with Celtic.
In March 1989, however, he was back in Claret and Blue for a second spell.
While this was initially affected by a serious leg injury, McAvennie returned to action to help the Hammers win promotion from the Second Division and reach the 1991 FA Cup semi-finals.
Fittingly, for a player whose goals were so important to the club, he signed off his West Ham career with a hat-trick in his final appearance, a 3-0 First Division win over Nottingham Forest at the Boleyn Ground on 2 May 1992.