theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

Welcome to the West Ham United Memorabilia Collection featuring everything Claret and Blue

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Alan Curbishley 2007 - 2008 ...

Player Pen Pictures and Autographs

771. Luis Boa Morte to 790. David Di Michele

771. Luis BOA MORTE ... (2007 - 2011)

Born: Lisbon, Portugal 04/08/1977

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Appearances: 59/32 (2 gls) Cup: 16/2 (0 gls)

Portuguese international winger who became Alan Curbishley's first signing as West Ham United manager when he moved from Fulham for an undisclosed fee on 5th January 2007. Luis began his professional career with his hometown club, Sporting Lisbon, in 1996, but spent just one season there before moving to England at the age of 19 to join the Gunners in June 1997 for a fee of 1.75million. In two seasons at Highbury, he made 40 league and cup appearances under Arsene Wenger but, after growing frustrated at his lack of first-team opportunities, was allowed to join Southampton in a £500,000 deal in August 1999. After spending just one season with the Saints, he moved to Fulham in a season-long loan deal in the summer of 2000 and helped the Londoners win the old First Division Championship in May 2001, scoring the goal against Huddersfield that clinched promotion to the Premiership, before completing a permanent £1.7million transfer to Craven Cottage that summer. In the same year he won a call-up to Portugal’s national team, making his international debut in a 4-0 defeat against France, and has since gone on to win 25 caps for his country, scoring two goals. He was a member of the Portuguese squad that reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Germany in 2006. After establishing himself as a firm favorite among the Fulham fans, Luis was appointed the club’s captain in 2006, and has earned a reputation as one of the Premiership’s most exciting attackers. After completing his move to Upton Park just days after the 2007 January transfer window had opened, Luis made an impressive debut in the FA Cup third round win over Brighton & Hove Albion, creating the first two goals in a 3-0 victory. On 29 July 2009, Boa Morte picked up a serious injury in the pre-season friendly against Tottenham Hotspur. West Ham were playing in the Barclays Asia Trophy in Beijing when Boa Morte got his studs stuck in the ground, twisted his knee and suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Boa Morte made his comeback from injury on 13 April 2010, playing 45 minutes in a reserve team 4–1 defeat by Wolves reserves. Making an appearance in the first team for the first time since the end of 2008–09 season he opened the scoring for West Ham against Manchester City in a 1–1 draw on 9 May 2010. It was his first goal for West Ham for over three years. In August 2011 Boa Morte's contract with West Ham was cancelled by mutual consent. Later played for Larissa (Greece) and Olando Pirates (South Africa) and Chesterfield.

Born: Nunhead, London 20/07/1978

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Appearances: 7 (0 gls) Cup: 1 (0 gls)

Born: Bedford 01/01/1983

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2nd spell Appearances: 12/1 (1 gls) Cup: 1 (0 gls)

Born: Sydney, Australia 09/03/1978

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Appearances: 79 (1 gls) Cup: 10 (0 gls)

Born: Suffolk 18/04/1979

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Appearances: 131 (4 gls) Cup: 13/1 (0 gls)

Born: Marbella, Spain 13/01/1984

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Appearances: 1/7 (gls 1)

Born: Ipswich, Suffolk 29/12/1978

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Appearances: 15/15 (0 gls) Cup: 2/3 (0 gls)

Born: Vittsjo, Sweden 16/04/1977

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Appearances: 25 (2 gls) Cup: 3 (0 gls)

Born: Rumney, Cardiff 13/07/1979

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Appearances: 20/4 (gls 7) Cup: 2 (gls 2)

772. Nigel QUASHIE ... (2007 - 2010)

Experienced Scottish international midfielder who completed a £1.5million move from West Bromwich Albion on 8th January 2007 to become Alan Curbishley’s second signing as Hammers manager. The transfer signalled a return to his London roots for the 28-year-old. He started his career with Queens Park Rangers and made his professional debut at the tender age of 17 in December 1995. After several impressive performances for Rangers, Nigel earned a call-up to the England under-21 squad, before making a £2.5million move to Nottingham Forest in the summer of 1998. Joined Portsmouth for £600,000 in the summer of 2000. After establishing himself at Fratton Park and playing a key role in Pompey’s First Division Championship triumph in 2003, Nigel took advantage of a new FIFA ruling, enabling him to accept the opportunity of full international recognition with Scotland, despite wearing the Three Lions of England as an under-21 player.. Nigel was snapped up by his former Pompey manager Harry Redknapp – by now at South Coast rivals Southampton – for a fee of £2.1million. He soon became club captain, but spent just 12 months at St Mary’s before making a £1.2million move to West Bromwich Albion. Played an integral part in helping the Baggies to reach the play-off places in the Championship as they look to bounce straight back to the Premiership. Quashie made his debut against Fulham 13 January 2007 and went on to make eight appearances, none of them on the winning side, as West Ham battled against relegation. A persistent foot injury meant that Quashie did not play a single competitive match during 2007–08. He made his comeback in a friendly match against Queens Park Rangers in August 2008. The signing of Swiss international Valon Behrami in the summer of 2008 and the emergence of academy graduates Jack Collison and Junior Stanislas meant that competition for midfield places was much stiffer. In January 2010 he was released by West Ham and rejoined Coca-Coila Championship side Queens Park Rangers until the end of the season after being released by the club. Later played for Birmingham City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, MK Dons amd Queens PArk Rangers.

Calum DAVENPORT (Second Debut)

Davenport rejoined the Hammers for an undisclosed fee, reported to be £3,000,000 on 18 January 2007 signing a three and a half year contract.  He made his first start in his second spell for the club two days later in a 2–2 draw against Newcastle United. He had a goal disallowed during this match by referee Uriah Rennie. On 18 January 2008, he joined Championship side Watford on a month's loan, with a view to a permanent deal. Davenport made his debut against Charlton Athletic on 19 January 2008, but had to be substituted before half-time after a collision with team-mate Darius Henderson. He was stretchered off and taken to hospital, where he spent a number of days and was diagnosed with a fracture to a bone in his neck. His injury meant the loan deal was cancelled.  After a lengthy spell on the sidelines Davenport returned to competitive action for the start of the 2008-2009 campaign. Injuries meant he found himself in the starting eleven against Wigan Athletic on opening day. Davenport took his chance in the first team impressing many critics with both his defending and goal threat from set pieces. He scored his first goal for The Hammers against Blackburn Rovers on 30 August 2008. On 2 February 2009 he joined Premier League club Sunderland on loan until the end of the 2008–09 season. He made eight appearances for Sunderland.  Davenport returned to West Ham for the start of the 2009–10 season but in August was involved in a stabbing incident. He did not play again for West Ham and in March 2010 his contract was terminated by mutual consent.  In his second spell with west Ham he played fourteen games in all competitions scoring one goal. Later jopined Wootton Blue Cross in the United Counties League.

773. Lucas NEILL ... (2007 - 2009)

Australian national team captain who joined West Ham United from Blackburn Rovers for an undisclosed fee in January 2007. Born in Sydney Australia, Lucas was registered on a football scholarship with the Australian Institute of Sport after leaving college in 1994, before moving to London at the age of 17 in November 1995 to join Millwall. He spent six years at The Den, making more than 150 appearances for the club and helping them to win the old Second Division championship in 2001. Months after leading the Lions back to the First Division, though, Lucas stepped up another level to the Premiership, signing for newly-promoted Blackburn Rovers in a £1million deal. After making his debut in September 2001 and became a first-team regular as Graeme Souness's men established themselves back in the top flight and ended the campaign in glorious fashion, winning the League Cup for the first time in their history. A reliable and versatile performer who, although recognised as a right-back, is comfortable in the centre of defence, Lucas continued to display such consistency under Mark Hughes and, in just over five seasons at Ewood Park, made 227 league and cup appearances, enjoying two UEFA Cup campaigns and missing just a handful of matches throughout his career with the club. Made his full international debut at the age of just 18, against Saudi Arabia in October 1996. The subject of interest from Liverpool and Newcastle United after stating his intention not to sign a new contract with Blackburn Rovers. In January 2007 Neill turned his back on a un-confirmed bid from Liverpool in favour of West Ham United, following the successful transfer of Stephen Warnock from Liverpool to Blackburn. Neill was accused of his primary motivating factor being money, but he later refuted these claims, stating the move was for purely footballing reasons. Neill later alleged to the media that Liverpool hadn't made him feel truly wanted, and that he had not even spoken to manager Rafael Benítez. Neill made his league debut for the Hammers in February 2007 against Watford, where he picked up a knee injury. He captained the team for the first time during a 3-4 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur the following month and went on to play every remaining game of the season. He became the permanent team captain following Nigel Reo-Coker's transfer to Aston Villa. Neill made his first appearance as team captain in the 1-1 draw against Wigan Athletic on 25 August 2007. Neill scored his only goal for West Ham in a 3-2 away defeat to West Brom in September 2008. At the end of the 2008–09 season Neill rejected a one year contract extension with West Ham, becoming a free agent. Later played for Everton and then Turkish side Galatasaray. Later vplayed for UAE Pro League club Al Jazira.

774. Kepa BLANCO ... (2007)

Former Spanish under-21 striker signed on loan from Sevilla until the end of the season. The 23-year-old passed a medical and finalised terms on a deal that will see him spend the rest of the campaign at Upton Park, with the Club retaining an exclusive option to make the transfer permanent if desired. Born in Marbella in January 1984, Kepa joined Sevilla as a schoolboy and progressed through the youth ranks before making his senior debut in a UEFA Cup match against AEK Athens in December 2004. His Primera Liga debut followed later that season against Atletico Madrid, but it wasn't until the start of the 2005-06 campaign that he made a notable impact, scoring his first goal in a 1-0 victory over Racing Santander on the opening day, before going on to make 11 starts and 20 substitute appearances in the League and UEFA Cup, notching seven goals in the process, including a memorable winner against Barcelona. Kepa was an unused substitute as Sevilla enjoyed glory in the UEFA Cup final with a 4-0 victory over Middlesbrough last May, but he kicked off this season by scoring a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over Levante and scored three goals in six UEFA Cup appearances before falling out of favor with future Tottenham Hotspur coach Juande Ramos. The former Spanish under-21 international made his latest appearance for Sevilla in a 0-0 draw against Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish Copa del Rey on January 10, replacing former Hammers striker Fredi Kanoute. Described by manager Alan Curbishley as a typically old-fashioned centre-forward who is strong in the air and has an eye for goal. That glowing tribute showed early promise as he made a scoring debut against Liverpool at Upton Park in a 1-2 defeat on 31st January 2007, but after one start and 6 further sub appearances Kepa returned to Sevilla at the end of the campaign.

775. Matthew UPSON ... (2007 - 2011)

Highly-rated central defender signed from Birmingham City On 18 January 2007, Birmingham rejected West Ham United's bid for Upson of £4 million, also rejecting an improved bid of £6 million a few days later. An offer of £6 million, with the potential to rise to £7.5 million depending on appearances, was accepted on the last day of the transfer window, and Upson agreed a four-and-a-half-year contract with West Ham. Upson suffered a calf injury less than 30 minutes into his West Ham United debut against Aston Villa, which West Ham lost 0–1. He then lasted just 11 minutes of his comeback game before coming off injured against Tottenham Hotspur in a 4–3 loss at Upton Park in March 2007. In July 2008, Upson's squad number of 6 was retired by the club in memory of Bobby Moore, after which he took the number 15 shirt In August 2009, following the departure of Lucas Neill, Upson was appointed captain of West Ham. He captained West Ham through a difficult 2009–10 campaign. Following West Ham's relegation from the Premier League in May 2011, new manager Sam Allardyce announced on 1 June that Upson had left the club, after his contract had expired. Upson joined Stoke City in August 2011.

776= Fredrik LJUNGBERG ... (2007 - 2008)

The charismatic Sweden captain was signed from Arsenal in July 2007 in a deal that could rise to £3m, following a nine-year spell with the Gunners. Born in Vittsjo, the active young Ljungberg joined Halmstads at the age of five, and also played several other sports including ice hockey and handball, for which he was called up to the national youth squad. He made his senior first division debut aged 17 against AIK on 23 October 1994 and went on to make 139 appearances - scoring 16 goals - for the club. And after winning his first full cap for Sweden against the USA in January 1998, he then starred in Sweden's Euro 2000 qualifier victory over England nine months later. That dazzling performance persuaded Arsene Wenger to splash the cash in a £3m deal and, on 20 September 1998, Ljungberg marked a memorable Highbury debut by stepping off the bench and sealing a 3-0 win against Manchester United with the first of his 72 goals for the north Londoners. Ljungberg made his West Ham United debut on the opening day of the 2007/2008 Premier League season, in West Ham's 0-2 home defeat by Manchester City on 11th August, a game in which he was also captain. After seven momths at the club, Ljungberg finally scored his first goal for West Ham in the home match against Birmingham City on 9th February 2008, putting West Ham 1-0 up, with the game finishing 1-1. Ljungberg also scored away at Sunderland a month later in a 1-2 defeat, being his final goal for the club. His time at West Ham and his career in European football ended in August 2008, when the Hammers announced they had reached an agreement with Ljungberg to terminate his contract only one year into the four-year deal, ending his illustrious career in the Premier League. Later played for Seattle Sounders, Chicago Fire, Celtic and Shimizu S-Pulse.

776= Craig BELLAMY ... (2007 - 2009)

Welsh international captain signed from Liverpool in a then club record £7.5m deal in the summer of 2007. Cardiff-beorn Bellamy left home as a teenager to begin his career with Norwich City, making his debut in March 1997, befre going on to score 34 goals in 91 league and cup appearances for the Canaries. Aged just 18, he made his senior international debut for Wales against Jamaica in his native Cardiff in March 1998, and by the time he kicked off the 2007-08 season, he had gone on to win 46 caps – scoring 13 goals. In the summer of 2005, he earned a £5m move to Coventry City. Wyth the Sky Blues’ demise made Bellamy the target of serveral Premier League clubs and, in June 2001, Newcastle United swooped to sign him for £6m. Forming a potent strike-force alongside Alan Shearer, Bellamy helped Newcastle to qualify for the Champions League. Following the arrival of Graeme Souness as manager in August 2004, his Magpie career hit a rocky patch which led him joining Celtic on loan. July 2005 Mark Hughes paid £5m to take him to Blackburn Rovers scoring 17 goals in 32 outings for the Ewood Park club, a stike-rate that convinced Liverpool to splash out £6m for his services just 12 months later. Bellamy managed nine goals in 43 appearances for the Reds and was an unused sub in the European Champions Final against AC Milan in May 2007. The Anfield arrivals of Fernando Torres, Ryan Babel and Vndrei Voronin meant Craig was suddenly surplus to requirements on Merseyside and that was the cue for Alan Curbishley to swoop with a club record bid. Made his Hammers debut against Manchester City in a 0-2 reverse at Upton Park 11th August 2007. Injury blighted Bellamy's first season with the hammers and managed only 9 games, scoring 4 goals and in February 2008 was ruled out of action until the beginning of season 2008-09. Bellamy was reported to have attracted the attention of several clubs, and in the 2009 January transfer window he was linked to several clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City. Manager Gianfranco Zola was reportedly unhappy with the way he felt Tottenham had tried to approach Bellamy, although he denied reports that Bellamy had gone on strike in protest at not being allowed to move - after Bellamy stormed out of training in protest. Two offers from Man City were rejected before on 18th January 2009, a third undisclosed bid, purported to be around £14 million was accepted by West Ham from City. Later played for Cardiff City (loan) and Liverpool.

The Ipswich-born livewire, originally joined his hometown club as a schoolboy and won England youth caps, before making his debut on Boxing Day 1996. And after scoring a dozen goals in 113 league and cup outings for the Portman Road side, the eleven-times capped England Under-21 international was snapped up by Newcastle United for £6.5m in July 1999. The subsequent arrival of Sam Allardyce on Tyneside, coupled with Dyer's desire to move south after an eight-season stint at St James' Park - where he scored 36 goals in 251 league and cup games for the Magpies - led to him joining West Ham United on a four-year contract. Dyer made his Hammers debut in the 1-0 win at Birmingham City two days later and after coming agonisingly close to scoring his first-ever England goal in the friendly with Germany, he then impressed on his home debut against Wigan Athletic. But just as he was finding his feet, that untimely broken leg, sustained just ten minutes into the cup tie at Bristol Rovers, looked set to rule the luckless midfielder out of action until mid-2008. On 3 January 2009, Dyer made his comeback for West Ham after 17 months out. After taking over West Ham in January 2010, David Sullivan revealed the full extent of the club's debts—which totalled £110 million. Shortly afterwards, in addition to the swingeing cuts being made by vice-chairman Karren Brady, Sullivan suggested that Dyer should follow Dean Ashton into retirement; Sullivan expressed the club's frustration that Dyer, who earns £60,000 per week, had only played 18 games in three years. In March 2011 he had a loan spell with Ipswich Town, the Portman Road club had expressed an interest in re-signing Dyer, but the move stalled amid reports that Dyer had demanded a £1 million pay-off from West Ham - the media had also speculated about whether Dyer could actually pass a medical. He only ever played three full 90 minutes games for the club, he was released by West Ham at the end of the 2010–11 season, after costing around £450,000 per match for every game he played in. In July 2011 Dyer signed a one-year contract with Queens Park Rangers, but after just three minutes he was stretched off with an injured foot.

778 Kieron DYER ... (2007 - 2011)

779. Richard WRIGHT ... (2007 - 2008)

Born: Ipswich, Suffolk 05/11/1977

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Born: Dakar, Senegal 10/05/1977

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Appearances: 3/7 (0 gls)

Born: Watford 02/10/1988

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Born: Callao, Peru 12/12/1974

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Born: Lambeth, Londonl 13/10/1980

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Born: Hornchurch 27/11/1989

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Debut: BLACKBURN ROVERS

Upton Park 15th Match 2008

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Born: Le Havre, France 01/08/1983

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The twice-capped, England international goalkeeper signed for West Ham United on a free transfer in August 2007. A free agent, the 29-year-old former Ipswich Town, Arsenal and Everton stopper left Goodison Park at the end of the 2006/07 campaign, whereupon he became Alan Curbishley's third summer arrival. Ipswich-born Wright joined his hometown club as a schoolboy and progressed to make his senior debut in the old first division at the age of just 18, in a 1-0 defeat at Manchester City in August 1996. After establishing himself as a regular in the team almost immediately, the young keeper went on to suffer defeat in three successive play-off semi-finals before making it fourth time lucky in May 2000, saving a penalty as the Tractor Boys beat Barnsley at Wembley to reach the Premier League. Just five days after that promotion triumph, Wright made his full international debut for England in a 2-1 friendly win over Malta, saving another penalty to further enhance his growing reputation as one of the country's most promising young goalkeepers and earn himself a place in the Euro 2000 finals squad. After one more season at Portman Road - in which he helped lead the newly-promoted Tractor Boys to a top-five finish and UEFA Cup qualification - Wright was the subject of a record £6m summer 2001 move to Arsenal, where he went on to make 22 league and cup appearances in the 2001/02 season - including four in the Champions League - winning a Premiership winners' medal. However, after just a solitary season in north London, the 6ft 2ins stopper was on the move again, this time in a £3.5m switch to Everton. Sadly, knee and ankle injuries blighted much of his career on Merseyside, and the arrival of Tim Howard on loan from Manchester United in 2006 restricted him to just two appearances in his final campaign at Goodison Park. Having arrived at the Boleyn Ground to provide competition for Robert Green, Wright made his Hammers debut in the League Cup second round win at Bristol Rovers on the 28th August 2007 and got two more appearances in the cup competition. In March 2008, he was allowed to join Southampton on loan in the hope of getting some games under his belt. In July 2008 he rejoined Ipswich Town for an undisclosed fee. Later played two games  for Sheffield United.

780. Henri CAMARA ... (2007 - 2008)

The powerful African striker joined West Ham United on a season-long loan from Wigan Athletic just four minutes before the August 2007 transfer window shut. After playing in France and Switzerland during his early 20s, Dakar-born Camara came to prominence at the 2002 World Cup finals, where Senegal became only the second African team to make it to the quarter-finals. Camara had originally left his home-town club, Diaraf Dakar, to sign for Racing Club Strasbourg in the late 90s before heading across the Swiss Alps in 1999/00 to Neuchatel Xamax. That soon led to a December 2000 transfer to Zurich, where he bagged three goals in eleven games as Grasshoppers claimed the Swiss title, before quickly moving on again to French outfit CS Sedan Ardennes in August 2001. After the pain of losing a penalty shoot-out in the 2002 African Cup of Nations final against Cameroon, Camara was also included in Senegal's squad for the summer's World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea. Wolverhampton Wanderers paid £1.5m but faced with an unwelcome stint in England's second-tier, he opted for a season-long loan with Celtic but after scoring eight goals in 20 league and cup outings, he prematurely returned to Wolves, whereupon he was immediately loaned to struggling Southampton. Despite scoring on his Saints' debut in a 2-1 defeat at Birmingham City in February 2005, The Saints Harry Redknapp's side were already on the slide and his three goals in ten Premiership outings could not prevent a second successive relegation for Camara. After returning briefly to Wolves, Camara was sold to newly-promoted Wigan Athletic for £3.1m at the start of the 2005/06 campaign. The Latics' record signing duly repaid Paul Jewell's faith with a dozen goals in 29 league matches to keep the Premiership underdogs in the top flight, while he also collected a League Cup runners-up medal following a 4-0 defeat by Manchester United. Camara weighed in with another half-a-dozen goals in 23 outings the following season, too, as Wigan narrowly avoided relegation at the expense of Sheffield United on a nerve-wracking final day of the 2006/07 campaign. After Wigan manager Paul Jewell's resignation, Camara found himself out of favour at Wigan and he was loaned out to West Ham United for the remainder of the 2007/08 term. Before the man with more than 50 caps even had the chance to pull on a claret and blue shirt, he flew home to his native Dakar and scored twice against Burkina Faso to secure Senegal's place in the 2008 African Cup of Nations finals - a competition he was duly called up for in January 2008. He had made his West Ham debut as a substitute in the 3-1 defeat at Newcastle United on 27th September 2007.  Returned to Wigan at the end of his loan period. By his own admission, he has had a torrid time at West Ham and wants to preferably find another club in England.

781. Scott PARKER ... (2007 - 2011)

The three times-capped England international was reunited with Alan Curbishley when he signed him from Newcastle United in a £7m deal in June 2007. After signing for Curbishley’s Charlton Athletic as a trainee, he made his senior debut in August 1997 and , just two months later, was offered a professional contract at The Valley. The following season, he made four Premiership appearances for the newly-promoted, roller-coasting Addicks. In a bid to gain more experience, Parker headed to Norwich City in November 2000, where he scored once during a six-match loan spell. And upon his return to south London, he soon set about establishing himself as a first-team regular, making 145 appearances for the Addicks and scoring ten goals. Parker’s skills also caught the eye of Sven-Goran Eriksson and was gien his international debut in November 2003. Two months later, Parker made a protracted £10m move to Chelsea from Charlton. In December 2004, however, he suffered a serve Stamford Bridge setback when he broke a metatarsal bone which sidelined him for the remainder of the season in which Jose Mourinho’s men won the Premiership title. After a solitary goal in 28 outings for Chelsea, Parker then joined Newcastle United for £6.5m at the start od the 2005-06 campaign. Despite subsequently being awarded the captaincy by former Magpies boss Glenn Roeder on the eve of the 2006-07 campaign, Parker was given the green light to leave Tynside following the arrival of Sam Allardyce. After scoing half-a-dozen goals in 73 league and cup appearances for Newcastle United, he duly became Alan Curbishley’s first summer signing when he moved back to his native London in a £7m, five-year deal on 6th June 2007. Although his initial few months in east London were to be hampered by knee problems, he made his Hammers debut against Plymouth Argyle in the 1-0 victory in the Carling Cup 26 September 2007. In the 2008-09 season, Parker played a major part of West Ham's season and on 24 May 2009 was voted Hammer of the Year, by the club's supporters.[25] and became the first player since Julian Dicks in 1997 to retain the award after winning again in 2010. Parker had a strong start to the 2010–11 season and scored three goals in his first six games and following his performances for West Ham and his England recall, Parker was placed on the six strong shortlist for the prestigious PFA Player of the Year Award. He missed out on the PFA award but was named the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year and retained the Hammer of the Year award for a third time. Parker started the first four games of the 2011-12 season for West Ham United in the Championship and amid speculation that Tottenham Hotspur would sign the player, Parker handed West Ham co-owner David Gold a hand written transfer request. On 31 August 2011, Tottenham and West Ham both announced the transfer of Parker to Spurs, with the fee believed to be £5.5 million.

782. Nolberto SOLANO ... (2007 - 2008)

The creative Peruvian dead-ball expert and king of the crosses, signed a one-year contract with West Ham via a free transfer from Newcastle United on August 2007 deadline day. In 1992 he signed professional terms with Sporting Cristal but, half-a-dozen games later, he then headed to another top-flight side, Deportivo Municipal, where he was given more first-team opportunities. After winning his first full cap as an 18-year-old, “Nobby” rejoined Sporting Cristal and helped them to a hat-trick of championship titles. Solano’s burgeoning reputation had brought him to the attention of the continent’s big boys and, in 1997, he moved to Argentinian giants, Boca Juniors. Newcastle were taking a keen interest too, and in August 1998 Kenny Dalglish persuaded Solano to move to St. James’ Park in a £2.48m deal. After 38 goals in 234 outings for the Magpies – moved to Aston Villa for £1.5m in January 2004, to the dismay of the Geordie supporters. Graeme Souness had taken over at Newcastle and the new boss boosted his flagging popularity in August 2005  by re-signed the silky Solano for the same £1.5m that the Geordies had received some 18 months earlier. Second time around, Solano was successfully deployed in a more defensive right-back role but he still managed to find the net on ten occasions in 81 matches. Being alerted to his availability in August 2007, Alan Curbishley could not resist the opportunity to re-unite the sublime South American with former St Jame’s Park team-mates, Scott Parker, Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer on a one-year deal. Made his Hammers debut when he came off the bench against Sunderland 21st October 2007 to help secure a 3-1 victory ay Upton Park. Quickly settled into the role of the club’s first-choice set-piece taker. Solano was released at the end of his season long contract. Joined Greece club Larissa in August 2008. Later played for Universitario de Deportes, Leicester City, Hull City and Hartlepool United.

783. Jack COLLISON ... (2008 -    )

Tall central midfielder who made great strides in the West Ham youth set-up. Jack’s first-team debut came against Arsenal as a first-half replacement for the injured Fredrik Ljungberg at the Emirate’s Stadium 1st January 2008 in a 0-2 reverse. He opted to play international football for Wales – he qualified through a grandfather – and by the end of 2007 had played two Under-21 European qualifiers. Scored a stunning solo goal on his debut – a 4-0 home win against Bosnia-Herzegovina on 17th November 2007. A recurrence of the knee injury suffered during the 2008-09 season kept his appearance to just 23 games. On 23 August 2009 Collison played 89 minutes of the 2009–10 Premier League fixture against Tottenham before learning that his father had been killed in a motorcycle accident while travelling to the game. Two days later, he started a League Cup tie against Millwall that went into extra time and ended 3–1 to West Ham. His teammates all wore black armbands to show their support and fans applauded him when the team entered the stadium. On 7 May 2010 it was announced that he would be out for around nine months after undergoing knee surgery having never fully recovered from the cartilage damage he suffered in season 2009–10. After fourteen months out through injury Collison made his first-team return on 7 May 2011 against Blackburn Rovers and committed his future to the football club by signing a new long-term deal with West Ham.

784. Julien FAUBERT ... (2008 -   )

French international midfielder moved across the Channel from Bordeaux for a £6.1m fee in July 2007. Born in Le Havre, Faibert headed south in 1998 when he was offered a place at the AS Cannes youth academy, famous for nurturing such talents as Zinedine Zidane, and Patrick Vieira. But after starting out as a right-back, he soon found himself pushed into midfield, where he went on to make 45 senior appearances for the Cote d’Azur club before moving to Bordeaux in September 2004. The fast and powerful midfielder then earned a call-up to the French national squad following the World Cup finals in Germany and he duly made his international debut in August 2006, becoming the first player to wear the famous number 10 shirt following the retirement of Zidane. Having scored eleven goals and created countless others in 92 league and cup outings for Bordeaux, Faubert had emerged as one of the hottest properties in French football and Alan Curbishley beat off the attentions of AS Roma and eleventh-hour interest from Rangers to bring him to London in July 2007. Disaster struck when Faubert ruptured his achilles tendon in the club’s second pre-season encounter against Czech outfit Sigma Olomouc in Austria. That saw him go under the knife in Strasbourg, and after an intensive rehabilitation programme, Julien made his Hammers debut as an 88th minute substitute in the 2-1 home win against Fulham 12th January 2008. His first season in English football was marked by continuing injury and made only eight appearances in the league and FA Cup. Faubert was given permission to speak to Real Madrid with the move being completed on 31st January 2008, when he signed on loan until the end of the 2008-09 season for a reported £1.5m with an option for Real to purchase him on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee. His loan with the Spanisg giants was underwhelming and finished with only two appearances both as substitute, making his Real Madrid debut against Racing Santander 7th Febuary 2009. His loan spell finished with only two appearances. The 2009–10 season saw a change in fortunes for the Frenchman. He turned in several impressive performances, particularly in the second half of the season. At the start of the 2011/2012 season, Faubert was expected to leave the club after their relegation to The Championship, but enjoyed one of his best seasons with the club.

Born: Kingston, Jamaica 27/12/1988

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Appearances: 9/13 (1 gls) Cup: 3/6 (2 gls)

Born: Kosovska Mitrovica, Yugoslavia 19/04/1985

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Appearances: 54/4 (4 gls) Cup: 4/1 (1 gls)

785. Freddie SEARS ... (2008 - 2012)

Sears joined the club as a schoolboy at the age of eleven. After beginning the 2006–07 campaign as a regular substitute for the U-18s he soon forced his way into contention with his goals earning him a starting berth. His chances of realising his hopes took a major leap forward in the 2007–08 campaign with a prolific run for the U-18s. He made the jump from youth to reserve squad in the 2007–2008 season after a run of 20 goals in 15 games and impressed youth team coach Tony Carr sufficiently for Carr to predict that a first team appearance was a possibility. Sears has also been called up for England under 19 squad and made his international debut in England's under 19 squad in a 4–0 win over Belarus on 11th September 2007. He had scored 25 goals in 24 matches for the youths and reserves in the 2007/08 campaign. Signed a new deal with the club before he played his debut game for the Hammers at home to Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League on 15th March 2008, aged 18. He came on for Nolberto Solano in the 75th minute and scored his debut goal, securing a win, with a diving header in the 81st minute, just 5 minutes and 16 seconds into his first team career. Sears endured a more testing time in 2008-09, failing to score in 22 league and cup appearances – although only seven of those were starts. Unable to make a regular place in the first team, manager Gianfranco Zola decided to loan him out to Crystal Palace for the whole season to further his development. February 2010 saw Freddie loaned out to Coventry City, October 2010 to Scunthorpe United and in February 2012 Colchester United. Unable to break into the first team under new boss Sam Allardyce Freddie was allowed to leave the club by mutual consent in June 2012. Later that same month he joined League One side Colchester United on a three year deal.

786. James TOMKINS ... (2008 -   )

Born: Kinshasa, Congo DR 25/02/1982

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Appearances: 65/1 (0 gls) Cup: 6/1 (3 gls)

A central defender mature beyond his years, and tipped for a bright future since he was a promising youngster. With the injuries to first team regulars James Collins and Daniel Gabbidon unavailable, Tomkins was handed his full Hammers debut on 22nd March 2008 in a 1–1 draw to Everton at Goodison Park. As West Ham's injury list grew he enjoyed an extended run in the first team towards the end of that season, winning the Young Hammer of the Year for 2007–08. On 27th November 2008 he was loaned out to Derby County for a five week spell. Tomkins played 8 times in all competitions for the Rams, before being recalled to Upton Park 31st December by manager Gianfranco Zola. After his stint with Derby, he started to feature regularly with the Hammers first-team, and on 4th April 2009, he scored his first goal against Sunderland in a match won 2-0 by the Hammers. In all making a total of 13 first-team appearances as West Ham ended the season in ninth place.

787. Valon BEHRAMI ... (2008 -    )

Born: Guidonia, Rome, Italy 06/01/1976

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Appearances: 22/8 (4 gls) Cup: 3/1 (0 gls)

Behrami started out playing football with Swiss club sides FC Stabio, FC Chiasso and FC Lugano. After a number of impressive appearances with FC Lugano, he was jointly signed by Italian teams Genoa and Udinese in the 2003–04 season, and played for Genoa in the Serie B championship. In the 2004–05 season, Genoa bought out Udinese' rights to the player and loaned him out to Hellas Verona, again in Serie B. After an impressive season with Hellas Verona, Lazio signed him in the summer of 2005. Despite his clearance hitting Rodrigo Taddei's head and ricocheting into Lazio's goal to concede their first goal of the match, his 92nd minute winning goal etched Behrami's name into Lazio's history books as they won the Derby della Capitale on 19 March 2008 and virtually finished the Scudetto hopes for rivals A.S. Roma. On 23 July 2008, West Ham United announced the capture of Behrami from Lazio, with the player signing a five year contract for a fee of £5 million. Behrami made his debut for West Ham in the 2–1 home win over Wigan Athletic on 16 August 2008. His versatility would see him become a vital part of West Ham's midfield having begun the season as a stand in for captain Lucas Neill at right back. He scored his first goal for West Ham in the 1–0 away win against Sunderland on 23 November 2008. During the home win over Man City on 1 March 2009, he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his left knee that required oxygen to be administered on the field during a six minute break in play. His knee and ankle twisted badly when his studs caught in the turf resulting in a premature end to his 2008–09 season. Behrami made his comeback as a substitute on 12 September 2009 against Wigan Athletic. His return was interrupted by injury again for a month from November. He scored his first and only goal of the 2009–10 League campaign with the opener in a 3–0 home win over relegation rivals Hull City on 20 February 2010. On 26 January 2011 Behrami moved to Fiorentina for an undisclosed fee, signing a three and a half-year contract.

788. Zavon HINES ... (2008 - 2011)

Zavon is a pacy young forward who developed well in 2007-08 campaign but really took off in the following season. He was involved in pre-season action before starting as a regular in the reserves. Heading into 2008, he stepped up his progress and caught the eye of coach Kevin Keen. On the 27th March 2008, Hines was loaned for a month to Championship club Coventry City. He had previously had a brief trial at Bury but the move was his first proper spell away from the Boleyn Ground. He then enjoyed a terrific summer when he scored six goals including a couple in first-team friendlies and found himself on the fringes of the first team as the 2008-09 campaign got under way. He career took a major step forward with his first senior debut goal. Against Macclesfield Town, Hines entred as a 27th minute replacement for Valon Behrami and struck the third goal in a in a 4-1 win after extra time in the Carling Cup at Upton Park 27th August 2008. A knee problem then slowed his progress but the striker had stated his intent. However on 18 August 2011 Hines signed for Burnley for a fee to be set by a tribunal due to his age. The fee was estimated to be in the region of £250,000.

789. Herita ILUNGA ... (2008 - 2012)

Herita quickly settled in at the Boleyn Ground having joined on transfer day on 1st September 2008 from French club Toulouse. After being linked with several clubs at home and abroad, the left-sided defender had headed to West Ham United on an initial one-year loan deal with the option of a permanent transfer. Ilunga arrived with plenty of international experience, having established himself with his native DR Congo - including appearances at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations. He was a regular in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying and showed his goalscoring prowess against Egypt in the summer of 2008. However, the country failed to make it through the second stage of the continental qualifiers in October 2008 and saw their dreams of reaching the finals dashed. Illunga moved to Toulouse in 2007 and impressed in his 35 games in Ligue 1 and seven in the UEFA Cup in his first season. He has previously made his name during a four-year stay at St Etienne during which he played 136 games from 2003-07. His West Ham debut came in the 2-3 defeat by West Bromwich Albion on the 13th September 2008. Ilunga made am instant impression with his dogged defending and adventous play. So much so that he was named player of the month for October in a poll of fans. On 15 April 2009, Ilunga agreed to turn his loan move into a permanent four-year contract with West Ham. The deal was completed and Ilunga joined on permanent terms when the 2009 summer transfer window opened. On 27 January 2012 West Ham United mutually agreed with Ilunga to terminate his contract with immediate effect. He made 73 appearances for West Ham in all competitions scoring three goals. On 4 October 2011, he joined Doncaster Rovers on a three month loan.

790. David DI MICHELE ... (2008 - 2009)

The much travelled Italian striker Di Michele began his career with Lodigiani in the Italian Serie C1 between 1993 and 1996. He was then transferred to Foggia Calcio in the Italian Serie B. After playing just two seasons with Foggia he was transferred to Salernitana where he made his Serie A debut, however the following year Salernitana were relegated to Serie B. After two seasons with Salernitana he was allowed to join Udinese for the 2001/02 season. After the 2001/02 season with Udinese, he played two seasons with Reggina, only to be transferred back to Udinese in 2004/05. In the 2005/06 season, he played half a season with Udinese and took part in the UEFA Champions League. In a 2004/05 Coppa Italia match against Lecce, he scored 2 goals before replacing keeper Samir Handanovic in goal after the latter was sent off. He stopped a key penalty in the final minutes of the game to ensure a 5-4 victory for Udinese. Halfway through the season Di Michele's contract was sold to Palermo. He made his debut for Palermo in a Serie A home match against Parma, in which he scored two goals in a 4-2 win. In his 2005/06 season, Di Michele played 19 matches, scoring seven goals. With the Hammers securing a UEFA cup place for the 2006-07 campaign David came up against the Hammers whist playing for the Palermo club. In March 2007, Di Michele was found guilty of illegal betting and received a three month ban from Serie A. He also received a $27,000 fine. Betting wasn't illegal for Italian players until November 2005, but Di Michele, along with three others, placed bets through an illegal bookmaker. However, he was allowed to play in friendlies and to take part in training so he was able to retain match fitness. On 5th July 2007 Palermo announced they had sold him to Torino where he made 25 appearances with the granata, scoring a total 6 goals in the 2007/08 season. During September 2008, after weeks of rumours linking him to AS Roma, Di Michele was loaned to West Ham United, with an option for the Hammers to make the deal permanent. With the departure of Hammers manager Alan Curbishley, caretaker manager Kevin Keen gave the Italian his debut for West Ham in the 3-2 defeat to West Bromwich Albion on 13th September 2008, coming on as a substitute for the injured Dean Ashton. In his second game on 20th September 2008, he scored his first goals in English football in the 3-1 home win against Newcastle United. Unable to win over the Upton Park faithful with often inept displays at the end of the season manager Gianfranco Zola did not take up the option of making the deal permanent. Later signed for US Lecce in January 2010.

SEARS Freddie Blue 790 DI MICHELE David 789 ILUNGA Herita 787 BEHRAMI Valon 786 TOMKINS James 785 SEARS Freddie 784 FAUBERT Julien Autographs : Gianfranco Zola Autographs :Alan Pardew