West Ham United FC

Club History

West Ham United Football Club was initially formed in 1895 by employees of the Thames Ironworks shipyard (as Thames Ironworks F.C, hence the current nickname 'The Irons'), following an idea of managing director's Arnold Hills to set up an amateur football club for the firm's employees.

The Ironworks entered the F.A Cup at Chatham in it's inaugural year and entered the London league the following season. The club was wound up after just five years in 1900, but reformed as West Ham United just one month later.

Thames Ironworks FC
Thames Ironworks F.C.

In 1904 the club moved to the Boleyn Ground (Upton Park) where it played until 2016. Following twenty or so years in the Southern League United won a place in the second division of the Football League under the management of Syd King (who went on to manage the Hammers until 1932).

West Ham were promoted to the (old) First Division for the first time in 1923 and remained there for nine seasons before relegation saw them back in the Second Division, where they were to remain until 1958. The years since have been the most successful ever for the club; the Hammers have only spent six seasons since outside of the top flight.

KUMB.com's extensive daily news archive began in 1997 and can be explored further here.

The Olympic - or London - Stadium?

Initially known worldwide as the Olympic Stadium following the 2012 games, the stadium was renamed in 2016 prior to West Ham's tenancy commencing. Both names are still commonly used.

The Olympic Stadium
West Ham's home ground for the next 100 years

The Boleyn Ground - or Upton Park?

Even today much of the media (and many of the club's own supporters) still refer to West Ham United's former stadium as Upton Park - however its actual name was The Boleyn Ground. Upton Park (geographically E6, E13) is simply the name of the area in which the Boleyn Ground was situated - so although it is correct to say that West Ham United played in Upton Park, they actually played at the Boleyn Ground!

The Boleyn Ground
The re-built West Stand of the Boleyn Ground in 2003

Training Sessions

Since moving first team operations to Rush Green, West Ham United no longer allow public access to the training ground. They do however hold occasional open sessions to which supporters are welcomed; contact the club for more details.

Facts and Figures

The Olympic Stadium: Capacity: 66,000 (currently limited to 60,000).

Record attendance: (home) 56,977 vs AFC Bournemouth, Premier League, 21st August 2016; (all venues) 300,000 vs Bolton Wanderers, FA Cup Final, 28th April 1923.

Managers: Syd King 1900-1932; Charlie Paynter 1932-1950; Ted Fenton 1950-1961; Ron Greenwood 1961-1974; John Lyall 1974-1989; Lou Macari 1989-1990; Billy Bonds 1990-1994; Harry Redknapp 1994-2001; Glenn Roeder 2001-2003; Alan Pardew 2003-2006; Alan Curbishley 2006-2008; Gianfranco Zola 2008-2010; Avram Grant 2010-2011; Sam Allardyce 2011-2015; Slaven Bilic 2015-2017; David Moyes 2017-2018; Manuel Pellegrini 2018-2019; David Moyes 2019-present day.

Most appearances: Billy Bonds (793); Frank Lampard (674); Bobby Moore (646); Trevor Brooking (635); Alvin Martin (601); Jimmy Ruffell (548); Steve Potts (505); Vic Watson (505); Geoff Hurst (502); Jim Barrett (467).

Most goals: Vic Watson (326); Geoff Hurst (252); John Dick (166); Jimmy Ruffell (166); Tony Cottee (146); Johnny Byrne (107); (Bryan) Pop Robson (104); Trevor Brooking (102); Malcolm Musgrove (100); Martin Peters (100).

Honours (as West Ham Utd): European Cup Winners Cup winners 1965 (runners-up 1976); Intertoto Cup winners 1999; FA Cup winners 1964, 1975, 1980 (runners up 1923, 2006); Football League War Cup winners 1940; Charity Shield winners 1964 (shared); Second Division champions 1957-58, 1980-81 (runners up 1922-23, 1990-91); Championship Play Off winners 2005 (runners-up 2004); League Cup runners up 1966, 1981; International Soccer League winners 1963.

Alan Taylor at East Ham Town Hall
Alan Taylor parades the FA Cup the day after his brace brought the trophy back to East London

Honours (as Thames Ironworks): London League champions 1897/98 (runners-up 1896/97); Southern League Division Two champions 1898-99; West Ham Charity Cup winners 1896 (runners-up 1897).

Honours (youth): FA Premier Academy League winners 1998-99, 1999-2000; South East Counties League winners 1984-85, 1995-96, 1997-98; FA Youth Cup winners 1963, 1981, 1999 (runners-up 1957, 1959, 1975, 1996); Milk Cup Junior winners 1996, 1997; Premier League Cup winners 2016.

Club sponsors: Avco Trust 1983-89; BAC Windows 1989-93; Dagenham Motors 1993-97; Dr Martens 1998-2003; JobServe 2003-07; XL 2007-08; SBOBET 2008-2011; Alpari 2011-2015; Betway 2015-present day.

Record Transfers: Sebastien Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt £45million (2019); Dimitri Payet to Marseille £25million (2017).

Record wins/losses: League 8-0 v Sunderland 1968, 8-0 v Rotherham 1958; Cup 10-0 v Bury 1983; League 2-8 v Blackburn Rovers 1963; Cup 0-6 v Manchester Utd 2003.

Highest top-flight finishes: Third 1985-86; Fifth 1998-99; Sixth 1926-27, 1958-59, 1972-73; Seventh 1929-30, 2001-02, 2015-16; Eighth 1961-62, 1968-69, 1983-84, 1997-98.

Vic Watson
Vic Watson: West Ham United's greatest ever goalscorer

The West Ham United Anthem - 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles'

Did you know that the version of 'Bubbles' sung at the Boleyn since the 1920s is just one verse of the full song? Here's the words:

I'm dreaming dreams
I'm scheming schemes
I'm building castles high

They're born anew
Their days are few
Just like a sweet butterfly

And as the daylight is dawning
They come again in the morning

I'm forever blowing bubbles
Pretty bubbles in the air
They fly so high
Nearly reach the sky
Then like my dreams they fade and die

Fortune's always hiding
I've looked everywhere
I'm forever blowing bubbles
Pretty bubbles in the air.

When shadows creep
When I'm asleep
To lands of hope I stray

Then at daybreak
When I awake
My bluebird flutters away

Happiness you seem so near me
Happiness come forth and cheers me

I'm forever blowing bubbles
Pretty bubbles in the air
They fly so high
Nearly reach the sky
Then like my dreams they fade and die

Fortune's always hiding
I've looked everywhere
I'm forever blowing bubbles
Pretty bubbles in the air

Words/Music by Jaan Kenbrovin/John William Kellette

1923 FA Cup Final
The 1923 FA Cup Final: an estimated 200,000 fans saw the first Wembley final

And If, You Know, Your History
Enjoy some of West Ham United Football Club's finest moments captured on film.

1923 FA Cup Final: Bolton Wanderers 2-0 West Ham United

1940 FA War Cup Final: West Ham United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers

1964 FA Cup Semi Final: West Ham United 3-1 Manchester United

1964 FA Cup Final: West Ham United 3-2 Preston North End

1965 European CWC Semi Final (2nd Leg): Sparta Prague 2-1 West Ham United (agg. 2-3)

1965 European Cup Winners Cup Final: West Ham United 2-0 1860 Munich

1966 League Cup Final (2nd Leg): West Bromwich Albion 4-0 West Ham United (agg. 5-2)

1966 World Cup Final: England 4-2 West Germany

1975 FA Cup Final: West Ham United 2-0 Fulham

1976 European Cup Winners Semi Final (1st Leg): Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 West Ham United

1976 European Cup Winners Semi Final (2nd Leg): West Ham United 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt (agg. 4-3)

1976 European Cup Winners Cup Final: Anderlecht 4-2 West Ham United

1980 FA Cup Final: West Ham United 1-0 Arsenal

1981 League Cup Final: Liverpool 1-1 West Ham United

1981 League Cup Final (replay): Liverpool 2-1 West Ham United

1991 FA Cup Semi Final: Nottingham Forest 4-0 West Ham United

2005 Championship Play-Off Final: West Ham United 1-0 Preston North End

2006 FA Cup Final: West Ham United 3-3 Liverpool (pen. 1-3)

2011 Championship Play-Off Final: West Ham United 2-0 Blackpool

2016 Premier League: West Ham United 3-2 Manchester Utd

Some Famous Supporters

Kriss Akabusi - former athlete, turned TV presenter; Robert Banks - author; Nick Berry - actor; Billy Bragg - musician; Martin Brundle - former F1 driver; Frank Bruno - retired boxer; Todd Carty - actor; John Cleese - comedian/actor; John Cole - former BBC journalist; Phil Collen - Def Leppard; Simon Day - comedian; Sean Day-Lewis - TV critic (and father of actor Daniel); Richard Digance - singer & 'comedian'; Frank Dobson - politician; Noel Edmonds - TV presenter; David Essex - musician; Perry Fenwick - actor; Keith Flint - Prodigy frontman; James Gaddas - actor; Simon Geoghan - former rugby player; Graham Gooch - former test cricketer; Leslie Grantham - actor; Martin Hancock - actor; Steve Harris - Iron Maiden; Johnny Herbert - former F1 driver; Lee Hurst - comedian; Phill Jupitus - comedian; Mark Kaylor - ex-boxer; Lennox Lewis - former boxer; Matt Lorenzo - newsreader; Colin McMillan - boxer; Jim Munro - Sunday Times; Glenn Murphy - actor; Jeremy Nicholas - radio presenter; Roger O'Donnell - The Cure; Steve Roberts - boxer; Paul Ross - TV presenter; Martin Samuel - football writer; Rob Shepherd - football writer; Alex Walkinshaw - actor; Louise Weiner - former Sleeper vocalist; Billie Whitelaw - actress; Ray Winstone - actor; Keira Knightley - actress; Ben Shepherd - TV presenter; Russell Brand - radio/TV presenter; Frankie Cocozza - X Factor/CBB contestant; Pixie Lott - singer/songwriter.