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 whufc.com and our official social channels for details of how you can cast your vote.
To continue the #50GreatestHammers countdown, we today reveal the midfield maestros ranked 44 and 43 – Steve Lomas and Michael Carrick.
Years at West Ham United: 1997-2005
Combative, uncompromising and a born leader blessed with a never-say-die attitude.
Steve Lomas was not what you might call a typical West Ham United player, but the flame-haired midfielder became a firm favourite among the Claret and Blue Army during his seven years at the club.
Born in West Germany to a British serviceman and his wife, Lomas moved to Northern Ireland at the age of two.
At 17, he signed for Manchester City and made more than 100 appearances over the next six years before moving to the Boleyn Ground for a £2.5million fee in March 1997.
Lomas’s first three seasons were a big success as Harry Redknapp’s side finished eighth, fifth and ninth in the Premier League and won the UEFA Intertoto Cup in the summer of 1999.
Injuries restricted the popular player’s appearances over the next few seasons, and he played through the pain barrier as West Ham battled unsuccessfully to avoid relegation from the Premier League in 2003.
Lomas remained loyal to the club and, after the disappointment of a Play-Off final defeat in 2004, he was in the squad which won promotion back to the top flight the following year.
In all, he totalled 227 appearances, 13 goals and five red cards during his time in east London, later returning to manage the reserve team in 2011.
At international level, Lomas was capped 46 times by Northern Ireland, scoring three goals and captaining his country on a number of occasions.
Years at West Ham United: 1999-2004
A hugely talented passer of the ball, Tyneside-born Michael Carrick was spotted playing for Wallsend Boys Club and England Boys and invited to visit the Academy of Football.
After moving to London at the age of 16, Carrick flourished as a member of Tony Carr’s youth team, scoring twice in the 1999 FA Youth Cup final thrashing of Coventry City and winning the FA Premier Academy League in back-to-back seasons.
Carrick’s first-team debut came in a UEFA Intertoto Cup tie with Finnish side Jokerit in July 1999, four days before his 18th birthday.
Aged 19, he became a regular for Harry Redknapp’s side and, such were the young midfielder’s talents that he earned his first England cap while still a teenager, appearing in a 4-0 friendly win over Mexico in May 2001. It remains a mystery how Carrick was capped just 34 times during his illustrious career.
The following season, 2001/02, he played a central role as West Ham finished seventh in the Premier League.
Despite the presence of Carrick, fellow Academy graduates Joe Cole and Jermain Defoe, Paolo Di Canio, Frederic Kanoute and David James, the Hammers were relegated in 2003, but he stayed loyal to the club and played a full season in the First Division as West Ham came within one victory of promotion.
In 2004, Carrick departed for Tottenham Hotspur, before going on to win five Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and a collection of other trophies with Manchester United.
He retired, aged 37, in May 2018.