Monday 13 Aug
Updated Tuesday 11 Sep 14:35
History

#50GreatestHammers: 11-20

We're counting down the #50GreatestHammers to pull on the Claret and Blue in the Club's 123-year history, in association with our Official Investment Partner, Basset & Gold.

Catch up on who was ranked from 11-20 here...

20. Syd Puddefoot

Syd Puddefoot

Born in Bow, east London, in October 1894, Syd Puddefoot was one of the great marksmen of the early West Ham United period.

The centre forward joined the Hammers from local club Limehouse Town in 1913 and appeared regularly in the Southern League First Division over the next two seasons, scoring 28 goals across 55 appearances.

By the time of his retirement, Puddefoot had netted more than 200 goals in all competitions.

Read more about Puddefoot here.

19. Bryan 'Pop' Robson

Pop Robson

Pop Robson is one of the most prolific centre forwards in West Ham United history.

Born in Sunderland in November 1945, Robson kicked-off his career at Newcastle United in 1962, scoring 97 goals in 244 appearances for the Magpies before joining the Hammers in a club-record £120,000 deal in 1971.

That fee was soon shown to be a bargain as Robson scored on his debut in a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest at the Boleyn Ground. In all, he scored 53 goals during his first spell in east London, including 28, all in the First Division, to finish as the Hammers’ leading scorer in 1972/73.

Read more about Robson here.

18. Ken Brown

Ken Brown

Ken Brown is a true West Ham United legend.

Born on 16 February 1934 just around the corner from the Boleyn Ground in Forest Gate, Brown was playing amateur football for local Dagenham side Neville United when Hammers boss Ted Fenton signed him on professional forms at the age of 17 in October 1951.

Winner of the Hammer of the Year in 1959, Brown won a solitary full England cap in a 2-1 win over Northern Ireland in November 1959, but the best was still to come as the 1960s saw him form a magnificent defensive partnership with a young Bobby Moore that underpinned the double Wembley triumph in 1964 and 1965.

Read more about Brown here.

17. Ray Stewart

 

Ray Stewart

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.

Read more about Stewart here.

16. Frank McAvennie

Frank McAvennie

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.

Read more about McAvennie here.

15. Mark Noble

Mark Noble

Mark Noble has enjoyed a career in Claret and Blue that every one of his fellow West Ham United supporters would be proud of.

From becoming the youngest player to appear for the reserve team at 15, to winning a Play-Off final at 18, securing a ‘Great Escape’, suffering the pain of relegation, the elation of a second promotion, to leading the club through their historic move to a new stadium and becoming the Hammers’ all-time Premier League appearance record holder, Noble has been there, seen it and, most importantly, done it.

Nearly a decade and a half on from his debut, Noble still has the same energy, commitment and quality that have endeared him to his fellow Hammers the world over.

Read more about Noble here.

14. Tony Cottee

Tony Cottee

The most recent player to hit a century of goals for West Ham United, Tony Cottee, checks in at No14 on the list of #50GreatestHammers.

An Academy product and a Hammers fan, nobody relished scoring goals in Claret & Blue more than Cottee, and he certainly grabbed more than his fair share of them across two spells with the Club.

His first saw him play a leading role in the famous Boys of ’86 side, forming a deadly partnership up front with Frank McAvennie as the Hammers secured their highest ever league finish.

Read more about Cottee here.

13. John Dick

John Dick

Another prolific attacker checks into the #50GreatestHammers countdown, with Scottish striker John Dick taking the No13 slot.

Born in Govan, he had already made his way south when he joined the Hammers from Crittall Athletic – now Braintree Town – while on National Service in 1953.

By the time he moved onto Brentford in 1962, he scored 166 goals in total for the Hammers, a tally beaten by only Vic Watson and Geoff Hurst in Claret & Blue.

Read more about Dick here.

12. Julian Dicks

Julian Dicks

No12 on the #50GreatestHammers list is one of the finest defenders in modern times to pull on the Claret & Blue shirt.

Few players wore their heart on their sleeve quite as Julian Dicks did, with the no-nonsense left-back giving his all on every one of his 326 appearances for the Club.

Dicks enjoyed a real connection with the Hammers faithful, four times being voted Hammer of the Year – a tally beaten only by Sir Trevor Brooking.

Read more about Dicks here.

11. Paolo Di Canio

Paolo Di Canio

 

Perhaps the most beloved West Ham United player of the last 20 years, Paolo Di Canio excited and excelled, frustrated and, at times, overheated during his three-and-a-half seasons in Claret and Blue.

The passionate Italian always wore his heart on his sleeve whenever he pulled on a Hammers shirt, having joined Harry Redknapp’s squad after being banned for pushing referee Paul Alcock while playing for previous club Sheffield Wednesday.

However, the gamble paid off as Di Canio inspired West Ham to a fifth-place Premier League finish in his first few months in east London.

Read more about Di Canio here.