Ten years of Winston Reid at West Ham United!
Ten years ago today, Winston Reid became a West Ham United player.
The Hammers snapped up the central defender following his impressive showing for New Zealand at the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals, where the then 22-year-old produced a series of eye-catching performances and scored a memorable last-gasp equaliser against Slovakia in the group stages.
Now 32, Reid has made well over 200 appearances in Claret and Blue, won a Hammer of the Year award and is West Ham's second longest-serving player behind captain Mark Noble.
A lot of good things have happened to me within the ten years I’ve been playing here
“When you’re at a club for so long, you obviously appreciate it more,” said the popular No2. “You genuinely care about the people who are around the training ground as well, the people you see day-in, day-out, because not a lot of people change around here behind the scenes. Everyone’s pretty stayed much the same.
“I think also my kids were born here as well, so a lot of good things have happened to me within the ten years I’ve been playing here, so I’m fortunate enough and happy enough to have stayed here. It’s been good.”
Signed from Midtjylland in Denmark, where he spent the latter part of his childhood, it understandably took the young Reid time to settle into English football.
However, after breaking into Sam Allardyce’s team during the 2011/12 season, which saw him score a memorable winner against Millwall and climaxed in a Championship Play-Off final victory over Blackpool at Wembley, Reid played a central role as the Irons re-established themselves in the Premier League.
Playing alongside the likes of James Tomkins and later James Collins, Reid’s physical, uncompromising style made him unpopular with opposing strikers, but hugely popular among West Ham supporters, who voted him as their Hammer of the Year for 2012/13.
Reid continued to thrive under Allardyce’s successor Slaven Bilic. During the historic 2015/16 campaign – West Ham’s last at the Boleyn Ground – the centre-back was outstanding, helping the Irons to unforgettable wins at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City before ensuring the Hammers would end life in Upton Park on the highest of notes, as he headed in an historic winner against Manchester United in May 2016.
In the first season at London Stadium, Reid started the first game, a UEFA Europa League win over Domzale of Slovenia, before scoring a fine last-minute goal to secure a Premier League victory over Sunderland.
When fit, Reid was an automatic pick under Allardyce, Bilic and, during his first spell in charge, David Moyes.
That was until he suffered a serious knee injury in an unfortunate collision with Swansea City defender Mike van der Hoorn at the Liberty Stadium on 3 March 2018.
After spending endless hours on his rehabilitation, playing Premier League 2 football and returning to the matchday squad in late 2019, Reid joined American side Sporting Kansas City in February, and is currently in Florida taking part in the MLS is Back Tournament.
Whatever his future holds, Winston Reid will forever have a special place in West Ham United history.