Westham Football Club or more popularly known as the Hammers is an English football club based out of London. Some of the legends who played for the club include Martin Peters, Bobby Moore, and Geoff Hurst, (World Cup winners), Alan Curbishley, Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Stuart Pearce, Di Canio, Ian Wright, Bobby Zamora, Tevez, Mascherano, Carol, Payet, etc. The club’s local rivals include Milwall, Arsenal, etc. The club was founded in 1895, originally as Thames Ironworks before changing its name 5 years later to Westham United. Over the club’s history, it’s won the FA Cup, the oldest cup competition in England, three times out of five finals. One main feature of the club’s history is that it never fell below the second division in 94 seasons. Only 8 other clubs can boast of such a record. The club’s highest finish in the League was a third-place finish in 1986.
Westham Football Club’s Past
Westham can trace its past to its original name, the Thames Ironworks, and shipbuilding company. This is one of the main reasons why fans of the club are known as hammers or irons. Over the years, Westham has had periods of dominance, notably in the 60s followed by several decades of inconsistencies. We take a deeper look at Westham Football Club’s past from its inception through the 60s, and even including the several players and managers the club has recruited and let go.
- The 1960s – The 1960s were a period of dominance for the London-based club. Three of the club’s legends played and won the World Cup in 1966. Bobby Moore was the captain of the club and the English National team. Geoff Hurst managed to score a hat-trick in the World Cup and Martin Peters scored in another game. During this time, the team also won the FA Cup twice in 1964 and in 1975. Their 1980 FA Cup win against Arsenal was the last time the club lifted a major trophy.
- Redknapp – Under Jamie Redknapp, Westham Football Club saw a period of resurgence marked by better football and unfortunately, a high player turnover rate in the transfer window. The club saw more than 130 players come and go during Redknapp’s tenure. Redknapp was fired after demanding more funds to be used for transfers in 2001.
- Alan Pardew – Following the departure of Redknapp, the club sold Frank Lampard after his father, Frank Lampard Sr. left the club. The club didn’t use the funds from transfers to make smart acquisitions. The club appointed Alan Pardew who helped the club secure promotion back to the Premier League and make smarter acquisitions than his predecessors. While the club’s form fluctuated, managers came and went including Curbishley, Zola, Avaram Grant, Sam Allardyce, Slaven Billic, etc.
For most of the past two decades, Westham Football Club has finished as a mid-table team and on other occasions, fighting for relegation. The club has played all home games at the Olympic Stadium since 2016. Some of the current squad players include Declan Rice, Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Mark Noble, Haller, Diop, Antonio, Mas. While the club has mediocre performances on the pitch, the fans aren’t happy with it either. Recent disagreements with owners over support for the club have caused fans to protest during games. If the club intends to change its fortunes in the future, then it’s essential that the fans, the owners, and the board are on the same page, even if that means a change in ownership in the next few years.
Westham Football Club seems like their best years are already gone by. However, with a few changes in the club’s fortunes and with the right manager, the club can easily cement itself as a top table team and a giant killer. The club can then make strides towards qualifying for the Europa League first and actually win the competition by putting in a few good performances. Only after that can the club look to break into the Premier League top-7 and try to establish themselves as a top competing club in England. The team has a wide fan base and a deep footballing history. Fans from across the globe will hope for a change in the club’s fortunes both on and off the pitch. With the right management, recruitment, and ownership, the club can look to also improve on its best Premier League finish. Westham has the potential to finish first or second in the next decade.