Bishop and Dear included on #50GreatestHammers list

Ian Bishop and Brian Dear are among the 50 Greatest Hammers


Nearly 1,000 players have pulled on a West Ham United shirt since the Club was formed as Thames Ironworks FC in 1895.

In the 123 years since, many have achieved greatness, setting outstanding personal landmarks and inspiring the Hammers to historic victories.

With thousands of goals scored and created and clean sheets kept, hundreds of matches won and a host of trophies held aloft, West Ham’s stars have shone brightly on many occasions – but whose star has shone brightest?

A panel esteemed and knowledgeable supporters, historians and former players have ranked their #50GreatestHammers of all-time, in association with Official Sleeve Partner Basset & Gold, with numbers 50 to eleven being revealed over the coming days and weeks

You, our loyal supporters, will then have the chance to rank the top ten, climaxing in the crowning of the greatest player in the Club’s long and illustrious history. Keep an eye on and our official social channels for details of how you can cast your vote.

To continue the #50GreatestHammers countdown, we today reveal the players ranked 46 and 45 on our list – Ian Bishop and Brian Dear.


Ian Bishop is among the 50 Greatest Hammers

Ian Bishop

Years at West Ham United: 1989-98
Appearances: 304
Goals: 17

Born in Liverpool and signed from Manchester City, Ian Bishop did not have the typical upbringing of a West Ham United star.

The long-haired creative midfielder joined Everton at the age of 16, but failed to make the grade at Goodison Park, so tried his luck in the lower divisions with Carlisle United and AFC Bournemouth.

In the summer of 1989, he joined First Division Manchester City, but moved on to West Ham just a few months later when Lou Macari signed him in a deal that saw Trevor Morley also move to east London, with Mark Ward moving to Maine Road.

A fine passer of the ball and creator of chances, rather than scorer of goals, Bishop spent the next seven seasons as a first-team regular under three managers - Macari, Billy Bonds and Harry Redknapp.

During his time at the Boleyn Ground, Bishop helped the Hammers reach an FA Cup semi-final and twice win promotion to the top flight.

Bishop was instrumental in West Ham's promotion under Bonds in 1990/91, captaining the team, scoring six goals and combining superbly with the likes of Stuart Slater and Kevin Keen to create many more.

Blessed with flair and an ability to score outstanding goals that made him a favourite on the terraces and, in 1991, earned him a call-up to the England 'B' side.

In 1993, he was part of the side which won a first-ever promotion to the Premier League and then played a central role in establishing West Ham back in the top flight over the next four seasons.

Now based in the United States, where he coaches, Bishop will always receive a warm welcome, whenever he returns to east London.


Brian Dear

Brian Dear

Years at West Ham United: 1962-69 and 1970-71
Appearances: 85
Goals: 39

Brian Dear's West Ham United career may have spanned just 85 first-team appearances, but the burly centre forward certainly left his mark in Claret and Blue.

Born in West Ham in September 1943, England Schools international Dear joined the club at the age of 15, making his debut three years later against Wolverhampton Wanderers in August 1962.

The presence of Johnny Byrne and Geoff Hurst restricted Dear's appearances until the 1964/65 season, when an injury to Byrne gave him the chance to play in the European Cup Winners' Cup final victory over TSV 1860 Munich at Wembley.

Spring 1965 also saw Dear set a West Ham record that is unlikely to be broken when he scored five goals in 20 minutes in a 6-1 First Division victory over West Bromwich Albion at the Boleyn Ground.

Despite his prolific scoring rate, Dear was a fringe player in each of the next two seasons before being given more regular opportunities in 1967/68, when he netted 16 goals in 30 appearances in all competitions.

Nicknamed Stag, Dear also played for Brighton & Hove Albion, Fulham and Millwall and had a short second spell with the Hammers in 1970.

After ending his playing days, Dear worked for many years on the administrative side at Southend United.