West Ham United Football Club – the club which is recognised among its supporters as the team that won the only World Cup in England’s history in 1966 led by the player universally recognised as being the best defender in the history of the country’s football – Bobby Moore.
He provided assists and two fellow Hammers – Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters – the goals which saw the nation triumph over the then West Germans at Wembley Stadium.
Moore is remembered as the greatest player in West Ham history making 544 appearances for the club whilst Hurst was a goal scorer supreme scoring 180 goals in 411 appearances. Martin Peters, meanwhile, made 302 appearances, scoring 81 goals before being transferred to Tottenham Hotspur in 1970 after 11 years at West Ham. 121
The club was founded in 1895 as the Thames Ironworks from which of course from where comes its nickname of two, The Irons, the other being the Hammers. The club was moved into Upton Park five years later which remained their home for over a century and is still seen by thousands of fans as the club’s spiritual home.
The team was involved in non League football before joining the Football League 18 years later, finding their way into the top flight of the game 1923, when they were also losing finalists in the first FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium losing to Bolton Wanderers 2-0 in what became known as the “White Horse Final.”
This was as a result of chaotic scenes before the game with crowds infiltrating the stadium far exceeding what was then a capacity of 125,000. Police – one on a grey horse – were called in to clear the terraces of thousands and that horse and rider became the most historically highlighted photo of the day.
The club’s next appearance in a Final came in 1964 when they beat Preston North End after a titanic semi final against Manchester United at Hillsborough on a soaking wet day when the youthful side ran out 3-2 winners over the the powerful Old Trafford outfit.. The club has since won the biggest domestic Cup twice more but the 1964/65 victory was followed by a European Cup Winners Cup success against 1860 Munich.
David Sullivan and the late David Gold acquired a 50% share in West Ham United Football Club in 2010 to gain control of the club before the pair purchased a further 10% stake in the club at a cost of £8 million. The duo increased that again later but in 2021 Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky gained 27 per cent of the shareholding whilst Sullivan has 38 per cent and 25 per cent remaining in Gold’s family following his passing. There are also minor shareholders making up the 100 per cent
It was five years later the club left Upton Park amid some of the stormiest rows in the club history and moved into the 62,000 capacity London Stadium, formerly the Olympic Stadium where the managers involved were Slaven Bilic, Manuel Pellegrini and David Moyes.