theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

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

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email:  theyflysohigh@btinternet.com

Banner Hammers Logo theyflysohigh Hartson & Steve Whitbread Adrian

Harry Redknapp 2001 - 2004 ...

Player Pen Pictures and Autographs

Part 1 :  619. Adrian Whitbread to 648. Lee Boylan

619. Adrian WHITBREAD ... (1994 - 1996)

Born: Epping, Essex 22/10/1971

Signed: SWINDON TOWN

Date: August 1994

Fee: Exchange deal Joey Beauchamp + £300,000

Debut: LEEDS UNITED (sub)

Upton Park 20th August 1994

Transferred: PORTSMOUTH

Date: October 1996

Fee: £225,000

Appearances: 3/7 (gls 0) Cup: 3/1 (gls 0)

CONTINUE 1

Born: Mile End, East London 22/09/1966

Signed: SWINDON TOWN

Date: June 1994

Fee: £850,000

Debut: NORWICH CITY

Carrow Road 27th August 1994

Transferred: Retired May 2003

Appearances: 131/44 (gls 6) Cup: 25/3 (gls 3)

Arrived from newly-relegated Swindon Town in August 1994 for £500,000, just before the start of the season, in part-exchange for the beleaguered Joey Beauchamp valued at £800,000 who was relieved to be heading for the Wiltshire club without even making a competitive appearance for Hammers. For this powerful central defender it was a case of returning to his East London roots. Adrian began his promising career with near-neighbours Leyton Orient, whom he captained at the age of 21 and made 125 League appearances prior to his £500,000 transfer to Swindon Town in July 1993. Made his Hammers debut in the last 21 minutes of the opening home game versus Leeds United in a 1-1 draw on the 20th August 1994, and made his first full appearance in the 2-0 League Cup, second round (second leg) win over Walsall at Upton Park, collecting the sponsor's man-of-the-match award in the process. With central defenders in abundance, however, Adrian found his first team opportunities few and far between. He went to Portsmouth on loan in November 1995 and eventually joined them on a permanent basis in October 1996 for £225,000. Later played for Luton Town, Reading and Exeter City. Went into football management as an assistent first with Barnet, then with Brentford, MK Dons and Leicester City.

620. John MONCUR ... (1994 - 2003)

East Londoner who was pleased to be back home following his £850,000 move from Swindon Town in June 1994. A tenacious yet stylish midfielder, who trained with Arsenal, Orient and West Ham as a boy but joined Tottenham from school in April 1983. His first team opportunities were limited at White Hart Lane, so he gained experience while on loan to a number of clubs in the lower divisions. "Moncs" joined Swindon Town for a fee of £80,000 in March 1992. Made his Hammers debut against Norwich City at Carrow Road in a 0-1 reverse on the 27th August 1994. 95-96 campaign was a season to forget for the team clown whose laughter turned to tears when groin, hip and knee injuries caused him to miss half the season. Speculation of a £3-million pound moved to Arsenal in 1998, but despite all the paper talk, the Crafty Cockney insisted his future lie at West Ham. Fans patience with the born-again Christian appeared to wane in recent years as his hard-man antics earned him a poor reputation amongst referees, costing the Hammers free-kicks, and sometimes goals.The Hammers hard-man was released and then retired from the game after almost 200 appearances and 9 years in the Claret and Blue at the end of 2002-03 season when the club slipped into the First Division.

MONCUR John

621. Don HUTCHISON ... (1994 - 1996 & 2001 - 2005)

Born: Gateshead 09/05/1971

Signed: LIVERPOOL

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Appearances: 30/5 (gls 11) Cup: 3/2 (gls 2)

Born: West Ham 11/07/1965

Signed: EVERTON

Date: September 1984

Fee: Exchange deal David Burrows

Second Debut: LIVERPOOL

Anfield 10th September 1984

Transferred: SALANGOR (Malaysia)

Date: October 1996

Fee: £750,000

Appearances: 63/4 (gls 23) Cup: 13 (gls 5)

Born: Bristol 08/08/1968

Signed: LIVERPOOL

Date: October 1994

Fee: £250,00

Debut: SOUTHAMPTON

Upton Park 22nd October 1994

Transferred: Retired

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Born: Larne, Northern Ireland 02/08/1971

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Appearances: 77/7 (gls 5) Cup: 14 (gls 1)

Born: Copenhagen, Denmark 05/06/1968

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Appearances: 84/7 (gls 5) Cup: 10/1 (gls 0)

Born: East Shilton, Leicestershire 20/01/1964

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Born: Dordrecht, Holland 12/01/1967

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Born: Ormskirk, Lancashire 22/11/1964

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Appearances: 18/7 (gls 1) Cup: 4 (gls 0)

Born: Perth, Western Australia 16/08/1972

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Appearances: 53/16 (gls 3) Cup: 9/1 (gls 0)

Born: Hatfield, Hertfordshire 09/01/1965

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Appearances: 55/10 (gls 8) Cup: 13/1 (gls 3)

Born: Bethnal Green, London 29/09/1957

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Appearances: 2/2 Cup 0

Born: Kearny, New Jersey USA 08/03/1967

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Appearances: 6/6 (gls 0)

Born: Dagenham, Essex. 29/12/1978

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Born: Romford, Essex 20/06/1978

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Appearances: 133/18 (gls 21) Cup: 35/1 (gls 14)

Born: Portugal. 02/11/1976

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Born: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire 17/03/1970

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Appearances: 5/3 (gls 0) Cup: 2/1 (gls 0)

Born: Split, Croatia 11/09/1968

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Appearances: 49 (gls 2) Cup: 6 (gls 1)

Born: Bucharest, Romania 06/01/1969

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Appearances: 5/5 (gls 0) Cup: 2/1 (gls 0)

Born: Birmingham 28/12/1973

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Born: Montijo, Portugal 28/02/1966

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Appearances: 4/5 (gls 0)

Born: Peckham, London 08/11/1978

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Appearances: 122/5 (gls 2) Cup: 27/1 (gls 0)

Don first caught the eye while playing for Redheugh Boys, but he made the breakthrough to League status for Hartlepool United. The gangling Hutch was used either as a striker or central defender before settling into his familiar attacking midfield role. Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish signed him for £300,000 in November 1990. Despite some controversial off-the-field antics which earned him a somewhat dubious reputation, it was with great reluctance that Roy Evans finally agreed to make him Harry Redknapp's first signing as manager at Upton Park. Attacking midfielder who became the club's record signing when he moved from Liverpool soon after the start of the 1994-95 campaign for a £1.5 million fee. "Hutch" scored on his debut against Newcastle United at Upton Park in which he scored in a 1-3 defeat on the 31st August 1994. By the autumn the honeymoon period was over following Don's reckless first-half dismissal against Leicester City. Ultimately, his nine goals - including a double against the Reds - helped stave off relegation, but his in-and out performances were a frustration to all. Famously coated with a tray of sandwiches at Southampton following a ding-dong with Harry, the untamed "Hutch" was on his way to Sheffield United for a cut-price £800,000 in January 1996, having scored 13 goals from just 39 appearances. Later joined Everton where he also enjoyed a call-up for the Scotland national side.

Tony COTTEE ... (1994 - 1996) Second Debut

All the animosity surrounding his record move to Everton was soon forgotten when the fifth highest scorer in Hammers' history returned to his beloved Upton Park. A senseless sending off at Anfield marked his return 10th September 1994, "T.C's" original 118-goal haul was followed up by a further 28 price-less strikes from 80 outings before the arrival of the foreign legion squeezed him out. A £800,00 move to Malaysian outfit Selanger in October 1996. Returned to play for Birmingham City then Leicester City. Grab a remarkable record when he became the first player to play for a different club in all four Divisions of the Football League in a single season during 2000-01; Leicester City (Premiership); Norwich City (Division One); Barnet (Division Three) and Millwall (Division Two).

Julian DICKS ... (1994 - 1999) Second Debut

Initial joined Liverpool from West Ham in September 1993, 13 months later and only 24 games for the Anfield club Dicks he was dropped from manager Roy Evans plans after a pre-season row over his fitness level. Rejoined the Hammers in October 1994 in a bargain deal £100,000 plus £50,000 for every 25 games he plays. Voted Hammer of the Year in May 1996. In April 1997 cartilage problems finished his season. Missing the whole of the following campaign with knee problems. "Dicksy" made only nine appearances after again missing most of the season through niggling injury problems which restricted his training and reluctantly had to accept that, at almost 31 years-old, his top flight football career had come to an end - prematurely wrecked by injury. His full blooded tackles, uncompromising style, shaven head and sweet left foot are etched permanently in West Ham United folklore.

622. Michael HUGHES ... (1994 - 1997)

Following an 18-month loan spell, Hughes finally took full advantage of the Bosman ruling and joined Hammers on a free transfer from French club Racing Club De Strasbourg in July 1995.  Originally the diminutive Ulsterman was on the books of Carrick Rangers as a youth, before crossing the Irish Sea to start his career in England with Manchester City. But after 26 league outings at Maine Road he switched across the Channel to join the French outfit in July 1992 for £500,000. The appointment of a new coach left a cloud of uncertainty hanging over his French future. A chance remark to fellow Northern Ireland international Keith Rowland led to a rest-of-season loan period at Upton Park. Made his Hammers debut against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Roads in a 1-2 defeat on the 4th December 1994. Michael subsequently returned to France where he almost signed for the all-conquering Paris St Germain during the summer break. But the deal fell through and he returned on-loan to West Ham for another season-long spell, after which he  made the move permanent on 4th July 1996 by taking advantage of the Bosman ruling. Scintillating one day, anonymous the next, the enigmatic Irish wide boy infuriatingly blew hot n' cold during his time at West Ham. After being dropped at the start of the 1997-98 campaign, 'Hughesie' severed his association with the Hammers. Joined Wimbledon September 1997, a £1.6m transfer that Joe Kinnear claimed was his best-ever deal.

623. Marc RIEPER ... (1994 - 1997)

Powerful central defender once likened to Superman by Harry Redknapp, who originally signed him on loan from Bronby IF at the end of 1994. Made his Hammers debut against Leeds United at Elland Road in a trilling 2-2 draw on the 10th December 1994. A string of Viking-like displays in Hammers' successful relegation battle impressed several clubs, including champions elect Blackburn Rovers and big spending Turks, Fenerbahce. Knowing he had to act quickly, the wily Redknapp outwitted them both to capture the commanding Dane for £1.1 million on the final day of the 1994-95 campaign 14th May 1995. Rieper briefly found himself out of favour during Hammers' rocky start to the following season, before regaining his form and eventually securing a place in the new look back five alongside Bilic and Dicks. At international level "The Grimm Reaper" remained one of the linchpins of the Danish defence. With the popular Rieps' expiring contract set to make him a Bosman, Harry acted swiftly to salvage some cash by agreeing the £1.5m transfer to Celtic in September 1997.

624. Simon WEBSTER ... (1995)

Earmarked as a future Hammers' captain following his signing from Charlton Athletic in the summer 1993 for £525,000. Broke his leg in an accidental pre-season training clash with Julian Dicks just days later. Managed a few pre-season friendlies a year later, however ankle complications landed him back in plaster before a Premiership ball had been kicked. But a deserved change in fortune in 1995, saw brave "Webbo's" rehabilitation continue, as he headed out to Oldham Athletic on transfer deadline day for a brief loan spell. And after a string of stirring performances in the heart of the Latics' defence. Harry Redknapp had no hesitation in recalling him to West Ham for the vital survival run-in. Following his long, lonely fight the forgotten man of Upton Park finally made his first team appearance for the club when he came on as a late substitute in the 2-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Upton Park on the 30th April 1995. In all Simon made 5 substitute appearances that season, before finally being forced to give up the battle to save his career. Simon later became a sports physiotherapist and rejoined the club in that capacity.

625. Marco BOOGERS ... (1995)

Aggressive Dutch striker signed from Sparta Rotterdam for £800,000 in July 1995. Bought in to play alongside Tony Cottee, tall, lean and angular, Boogers shows typical Dutch poise on the ball and likes to receive it to his feet. Boogers joined Sparta in 1994 and scored 11 goals in 25 games. But he went there under a company sponsorship scheme and when that expired, the Dutch First Division club couldn't afford to keep him. Made his debut as substitute against Leeds United at Upton Park 19th August 1995 in a 1-2 reverse. Made a much more explosive impact again as sub at Manchester United four days later, when he was sent off after only 15 minutes for a reckless tackle on Gary Neville. Boogie Blunderland subsequently headed off to Holland and holed out in a caravan. Declared 'psychologically unfit for football'. Joined Groningen on loan pending the expiry of his Hammers' contract. A costly farce and a disastrous signing. Later played for RKC Waalwijk, FC Volendam and Dordrecht ’90.

626. Robbie SLATER ... (1995 - 1996)

Shot to fame at the beginning of 94-95 campaign when he played in the Charity Shield for Blackburn Rovers against Manchester United. Signed from the Ewood Park club in part exchange for Matt Holmes 14th August 1995, Holmes was rated at £1.2m by Rovers and they paid West Ham £600,000 plus Slater for the diminutive winger's services. Made his Hammers bow against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground 26th August in a 1-1 draw. Born in Ormskirk, Lancashire in 1964, Robbie's family moved to Australia when he was a young boy and grew up there. He played for Anderlecht in Belgium before moving to Lens in France where he won a French League Cup winners medal. Joined Blackburn Rovers for £350,000 and capped off his first year in England with a Premiership championship medal. Slater frustrated both the Hammers fans and the management with a string of erratic displays and minor injuries. Slater moved to Southampton for a more realistic £250,000 in August 1996. Subsequently released by Wolverhampton Wanderers, he returned to Oz where he played for Northern Spirit.

627. Stan LAZARIDIS ... (1995 - 1999)

Nimble Australian international who caught the eye with a cracker at the WACA on the first leg of Hammers' centenary tour in May 1995. The Perth born winger caused the West Ham defence so many problems in their friendly against Western Australia, he was invited to make the 10,000 mile journey to England for a trail, with Harry Redknapp suitably impressed, Lazaridis, playing under a Greek passport of convenience. Following his successful trail spell he signed from West Adelaide in a £300,000 deal on 14th August 1995, thus avoiding any of the work permit problems that were set to frustrate future team-mates. Made his initial debut as a substitute against Chelsea at Upton Park in a 1-3 reverse, 11th September 1995. "Stan-the-Man" an excellent crosser of the ball, spent most of his first two season in the reserves before establishing himself in the campaigns to follow. With Harry Redknapp having to trim his large squad he sold "Skippy" to Birmingham City 27th July 1999 in a £1.9m move. After making 222 for the Blues he looked to finish his career back in Austailia with A-League club Perth Glory.

Iain DOWIE ... (1995 - 1998) Second Debut

Despite being warned that the second coming of Dowie would not go down well, Manager Harry Redknapp copped a deaf ear to bring the much maligned striker back to Upton Park. Signed from Crystal Palace for £125,000 plus Jeroen Boere - September 1995. Things went well early on as Iain's nine goals swayed his band of critics who ended up voting him into runners-up spot in the Hammer-of-the-Year contest. An honest pro, Dowie's efforts put many of Upton Park's foreign legion to shame, before he embarked upon a disastrous drought that saw him go 40-Premiership matches without scoring in between, his notorious own goal at Stockport County, all but made his position with the fans untenable. Giving 100% to the last - and having scored only 11 goals - he finally headed to Queens Park Rangers with Keith Rowland as part of the £2 million package that brought Trevor Sinclair to the Boleyn. Later played for Oldham Athletic and in 2002 became the Latics manager.

628. Les SEALEY ... (1995 - 1997)

Sealey joined Coventry City as an apprentice in 1976 and spent the next five years at the Midlands club before joining Luton Town in 1983. In December 1989 he was loaned to Manchester United and signed on a permanent basis, and was their regular goalkeeper throughout the 1990-01 season. Turned down a further one-year contract at Old Trafford and instead signed for Aston Villa. Lost his place to Nigel Spink and was loaned out to Birmingham City during the opening weeks of the 1992-93 season before returning to Manchester United on a free transfer, this time as understudy to Peter Schmeichel. It meant his last four appearances for United were a Cup Winners Cup Final, two League Cup Finals and an FA Cup Quarter Final. At the end of the season he was given a free transfer and Joined Blackpool, but within six-months he had left Bloomfield Road and returned to the Premiership with the Hammers in November 1994 as understudy to Ludek Miklosko. This nomadic 'keeper who bizarrely made his League bow for the Hammers' as an outfield substitute against Arsenal at Highbury in a 0-1 reverse 16th September 1995. With Ludo a firm fixture between the sticks, "The Cat" was confined to the bench before moving to Third Division club Leyton Orient on a free transfer in May 1996. In December 1996, the 39-year-old returned to Upton Park just five months later in exchange for 47-year-old England international Peter Shilton who had been training with the Hammers but was desperate to make his 1000th Football League appearance. Les made two further outings his last first-team appearance on the final day of the 1996-97 season, fittingly against Manchester United at Old Trafford. He came on as substitute for Ludek Miklosko. He was loaned out to Bury but didn’t make a first-team appearance. Upon his return to the Boleyn he made the transition to goalkeeping coach at the Boleyn. Sealey was still employed as goalkeeping coach when he died of a heart attack on 19th August 2001 at the age of 43.

629. John HARKES ... (1995 - 1996)

Team USA skipper John Harkes joined West Ham on loan until the end of 95-96 campaign after Derby County sold him to the newly-formed US Soccer Federation for £500,000. The likeable Harkes finally got the all-clear to play against his old club Sheffield Wednesday 28th October 1995 at Hillsborough just minutes before the deadline in a 1-0 victory. Firstly, the US Soccer Federation had to organise payment to Derby County - around £500,000 - for his services before they were able to loan him out to the Hammers. Coventry City were also keen, but a difference of opinion between the Sky Blues and the American authorities concerning Roy Wegerie ensured Upton Park was always going to be the most likely destination. Manager Harry Redknapp completed the fairytale by introducing him into the fray 20 minutes from time against his old club. Moved back across the Atlantic at the end of the campaign to compete in the new American Professional Soccer League.

630. Neil FINN ... (1996)

Rookie Hammers' goalkeeper Neil Finn became the Premiership's youngest-ever player when he was given a shock debut against Manchester City at Maine Road on New Years Day 1996.  The call came so late that a shirt with his name on had to be sawn by Ludek Miklosko's wife just before kick-off, it wasn't to be a happy ending for Neil as he was on the receiving end of a 2-1 defeat. This all but brief introduction to the Premiership was to be his last.

619 WHITBREAD Adrian 622 HUGHES Michael 625 BOOGERS Marco 626 SLATER Robbie 627 LAZARIDIS Stan 628 SEALEY Les 630 FINN Neil

631. Frank LAMPARD Jnr  ... (1996 - 2001)

Frank made his senior debut against Coventry City at Upton Park in a 3-2 victory on the 31st January 1996. Stamped  his mark on the Premiership scene in 1997-98, scored with his first touch after coming on as a second half substitute in the opening game of the season at Barnsley. Enjoyed an excellent season in the top flight which was rewarded with the captaincy of the England Under-21 side for the Toulon tournament. Son of assistant manager and one time Hammers player, Frank Lampard, and nephew of manager Harry Redknapp. An attacking midfielder with a great goalscoring record, Frank was the subject of a £4.5m bid from Tottenham Hotspur in March 1999. With the sudden departure of Harry Redknapp which also saw his father Frank senior leave, young Frank was left with no option but to ask for a transfer out of Upton Park, The Blues of Chelsea tabled an £11m bid which was accepted by the West Ham board in June 2001.

632. DANI DA CRUZ CARVELHO ... (1996)

Portuguese international. Began in the Sporting Lisbon youth section, released on A £130,000 loan deal to the Hammers in the middle of the 1995-96 season because of Sporting's financial difficulties. Made his League debut as substitute against Nottingham Forest in a 1-0 victory 3rd February 1996. He became an instant hit with the Hammers' fans as he made 9 first-team appearances, 6 as substitute, scoring the winner against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane 12th February. Dani's brief but eventful flirtation with the Premiership finally ended in tears just 24 hours before Hammers' match at relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers. For when he failed to show for Friday morning training at Chadwell Heath, it was definitely 'game off' as far as Harry Redknapp was concerned. "He just didn't report in and that's not the first time that's happened. Dani's a nice kid, but he must decide if he wants to be a footballer or a playboy". Played his last game for West Ham against Sporting Lisbon in Hammers Centenary Friendly which ended in a 1-4 reverse. Dani later played for Ajax in the Dutch league, then joining Benfica before settling down at Atletico Madrid.

633. Slaven BILIC ... (1996 - 1997)

Signed from German club Karlsruhe for £1.65m in January 1996. Invoked a clause in his contract that enabled him to leave the Bundesliga following Hammers' bid for him. Super Slav quickly became an Upton Park favourite with some emotional defensive displays. Made his Hammers bow against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in a 1-0 victory at White Hart Lane 12th February 1996. His form for the Hammers saw him selected for the Croatian national team for the Euro 96 held in England.But clauses and the Croatian went hand in hand throughout a West Ham career punctuated with speculation over his future and extended contracts. Effectively agreed to join Everton midway through the 1996-97 season but pledged to stay and fight relegation...and collect a substantial end-of-season loyalty bonus! Slaven made the move to Goodison Park for £4.5m July 1997 declaring that by joining a bigger club he could win trophies. Injuries and relegation dog-fights have merely added to his Mersey misery. Linked with a return to Upton Park but the deal fell through on medical grounds. He later played for Hajduk Split before embarking on a managerial career as Croatian National coach.

631 LAMPARD Frank 632 DANI 633 BILIC Slaven

634. Ilie DUMITRESCU ... (1996 - 1997)

Signed from Tottenham Hotspur for £1.5m January 1996. Insular Romanian international - and favourite of former dictator Ceausescu - who put himself on the map at World Cup USA '94. Arrived in England as one of Ossie Ardiles' Famous Five before Hammers' became entangled in work permit red tape forcing local MP Tony Banks to help finally smooth the way for Dumi to move from White Hart Lane. Hampered by hamstring pulls and a marked failure to reproduce anything like the form that had persuaded Spurs to pay a whopping £2.6m for him. Dumitrescu embarrassingly made just five league starts, and red-faced Hammers knew that their unpopular, goalless striker - who had insisted on a bonus if he won the Golden Boot! - had little prospect of a work permit renewal. His fingers burnt, Harry Redknapp finally cut his losses by sending Dumi down Mexico way within 12 months.

Born: Bucharest, Romania 17/03/1970

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Born: Neath, Wales 07/12/1963

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Born: Lisbon, Portugal 28/09/1973.

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Born: Melbourne, Australia 10/08/1970

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635. Mark WATSON ... (1996)

Signed from Sutton United for £50,000 in April 1995. Top Man window dresser who convinced Harry Redknapp that he might be able to sell a few dummies after netting 23 goals in 35 Diadora outings for Sutton United. Woeful finishing saw him cruelly tagged Pele by some of his senior professionals who quickly recognised that he was never going to land the odds at the top level. After making just one substitute outing at Queens Park Rangers 27th April 1996 in a 1-0 victory, Mark headed south to Bournemouth as part of the deal which brought Steve Jones back to Upton Park in May 1996. Later played for Welling United, Sutton United, Woking, Chesham United and Aldershot Town.

636. Rio FERDINAND ... (1996 - 2000)

Widely regarded as the finest defensive prospect that English football has seen for many years. Rio is coveted by every top club in the land. Even before being called up to the England World Cup squad for France 1998, Rio was being hailed as a certain international for the next decade. The Peckham born defender, who signed schoolboy forms in 1994, was a vital member of the record breaking South East Counties championship team of 1996, when he also picked up an F.A. Youth cup runners up medal. Made his initial debut as a substitute against Sheffield Wednesday at Upton Park on the 5th May 1996. He began his breakthrough into the first team in the 1996/97 season and by the end of that campaign, was already one of the first names on Harry Redknapp's team sheet. Rio picked up "Hammer of the Year" for his consistently outstanding performances in the 1997/98 campaign cumulating with his inclusion in Glen Hoddle's England 22 for France '98. Aged 22 Rio became the world's most expensive defender when he signed for Premiership rivals Leeds United for £18m in November 2000 after the Yorkshire club had an earlier £15m bid turned down by the Hammers. Rio turned his back on the Yorkshiremen soon after the World Cup Finals of 2002 when Manchester United stepped in to take him to Old Trafford for an incredible £30m.

Steve JONES (Second Debut) ... (1996 - 1997)

"Steptoe" returned to the Hammers in the summer of 1996 for £150,000 with Mark Watson going the other way. Failed to find the target in his second spell before he was sold to Charlton Athletic the following February in a double-yer-dough £400,00 deal that partly helped finance the arrival of Hartson and Kitson.

637. Paulo FUTRE ... (1996)

Joined Hammers on a free transfer in July 1996 after sensationally swapping the San Siro and pasta for Upton Park and pie-and-mash. When a knee injury restricted him to just a single Serie A appearance, Italian giants AC Milan opted to cut their losses on the pedigree Portuguese international. Futre reportedly turned down offers from Japan, USA, Switzerland, Middlesbrough, Derby County and Birmingham City, once Harry Redknapp persuaded him to switch from pasta to pie and mash. Originally, the nomadic Paulo Jorge Dos Santos Futre - who boasts a career record of 75 goals from nearly 300 outings - started out with Sporting Lisbon before moving to FC Porto where he helped them to two championships and a European Cup Final victory over Bayern Munich in 1987. Subsequently moved across the border to Atletico Madrid and won successive Spanish Cup Finals against Mallorca (1991) and Real Madrid (1992) before getting itchy feet once again. Briefly returned to his homeland to help Benfica to a Portuguese Cup victory over Boavista, before embarking on a whirlwind tour of France and Italy with Olympique Marseille, Reggiana and, finally, AC Milan. Although that knee injury ruled him out of his country's Euro '96 challenge. Made his Hammers debut as a 53rd minute substitute against Coventry City in a 1-1 draw on the 21st August 1996. Paulo's knees and lungs were always suspect though and by the New Year, having made just four starts and five sub outings, Futre had been slashed from the wage bill. Played 10 games for Atletico Madrid the following season.

638. Mark BOWEN ... (1996 - 1997)

Versatile defender who can play in either of the full-back berths. Despite playing scrum-half for Aberavon District in his native South Wales, soccer was always Mark's first love and he first signed apprentice forms for Tottenham Hotspur in June 1980. Bowen found his first team outings few and far between, eventually joined Norwich City for a bargain £90,000 in July 1987. Enjoyed 10 seasons at Carrow Road where he played in two FA Cup semi-finals and also helped the chirpy Canaries into a best-ever third place during the 1992-93 term. Jumped at the chance to return to the Premiership on a free transfer from Norwich City July 1996. Made his Hammers debut against Southampton at Upton Park in a 2-1 victory 24th August 1996. Experienced Welsh international who proved an excellent squad man. Yen-ned to go to Japan when former team-mate Ossie Ardiles made him an offer of a lifetime. And facing the twilight of his career, 'H' generously agreed to let him go to the Land of the Rising Sun after just 21 appearances and one goal. Subsequently returned to England and joined Charlton Athletic. Later played for Wigan Athletic and Reading.

639. Florin RADUCIOIU ... (1996 - 1997)

Bucharest born, Florin made his league debut for hometown club Dinamo Bucharest at the age of 16, and his international bow for Romania just four years later. After impressing in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, Florin found himself moving to Serie A as Bari signed him. That was the start of a five-year spell in Italy as Florin moved on to Verona, Brescia and AC Milan on loan. It was during the 1994 World Cup in America that he staked his claim as one of the world's top strikers, finishing as top scorer for Romania with five goals. In 1995 he moved further along the continent to sign for Spanish giants Espanol. "Flo" became West Ham's record signing in the summer of '96 when he signed for £2.4 million from Spanish club Espanol. A vicious elbow in the face, melted out in a pre-season 'friendly' at Torquay, provided a rude awakening for the record signing. The Romanian striker's lack of heart left Harry Redknapp tearing his hair out. Add an alleged Christmas shopping expedition to the West End when he should have been at Stockport County, and Florin was not worth two-bob as far as 'H' was concerned. Not even brilliant solo goals against Manchester United and Sunderland could redeem him. But having finally seen some Radi-cool finishing, many of the Upton Park faithful felt he was still finding his feet when 'H' - accepting a £700,000 loss - slapped a 'Return to Sender' label on the Espanol-bound striker. Later played for VfB Stuttgart, Brescia, Dinamo Bucharestand AS Monaco. Raducioiu retired in 2004 after a short stint with modest French side US Creteil-Lusitanos.

Born: Liverpool 27/01/1965

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Born: Murton, County Durham 09/01/1971

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Appearances: 46/17 (gls 18) Cup: 9/9 (gls 4)

Born: Swansea, Wales 05/04/1975

Signed: ARSENAL

Date: February 1997

Fee: £3.2 million (then club record)

Debut: DERBY COUNTY

Baseball Ground 15th February 1997

Transferred: WIMBLEDON

Fee: £7.5 million

Appearances: 59 (gls 20) Cup: 11 (gls 8)

Born: Hanover, Germany 14/03/1974

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Appearances: 181/8 (gls 10) Cup: 31/3 (gls 2)

Born: Nigeria 28/12/1977

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Appearances: 1/8 (gls 2) Cup: 1/2 (gls 0)

Born: Ipswich 14/03/1972

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640. Steve MAUTONE ... (1996)

Signed from Canberra Cosmos in a £60,000 deal towards the end of the 1995-96 season. Previously tried his hand in Italian football as a raw teenager before heading home to Oz, an Italian passport holder. In Australia he finally established himself as one of the country's most promising young 'keepers, which prompted Hammers to sign him. A calf injury to Ludek Miklosko enabled Mautone to make the first of only three First-team appearances against Barnet in the Coca-Cola Cup at Under Hill on the 18th September 1996 in a 1-1 draw. The young goalkeeper was frustrated at the lack of first team football at West Ham, and after giving several magnificent displays on loan first to Crewe Alexandra then Reading. After playing 15 loan games for the Berkshire, the club came in with a £250,000 offer on deadline day March 1997 that Harry Redknapp could not afford to turn down. Mautone spent the 1999/00 season making a handful of appearances.at various clubs, including Wolverhampton, Crystal Palace and Gillingham. He eventually moved to non-league Slough Town FC where he spent a couple of seasons and made over 50 appearances before eventually returning to Australia to pursue a coaching career.

641. Hugo PORFIRIO ... (1996 - 1997)

Hugo Cardoso Porfirio signed from Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon in October 1996. Financially, Sporting were in bad shape and allowed Hugo to join the Hammers on loan until July 1997, but had until February to decide whether they want to take up the option to buy the £800,000 rated striker. Hugo made his League debut against Liverpool at Upton Park when he came on as a second half substitute in a 1-2 reverse 29th September 1996. Hugo told the Hammers he would not join them permanently, the on loan winger was left scarred by the battle against relegation. He admitted "I want to fight for the title or win cups. I don't know if West Ham can offer me that in the next few years. Porfiro became frustrated by a lack of opportunities and wanted to leave despite boss Redknapp pleading with him to stay. Porfirio was rated as one of the league's most skilful players but he struggled against physical sides. Joined Racing Santander of Spain and later played for Benfica, Maritimo before returning to Benfica again, before ending up in Saudi Arabian with Al-Nasr.

642. Mike NEWELL ... (1996 - 1997)

Mike joined the Hammers on a month's loan from Birmingham City with a view to a permanent move. Signed as cover for the injured Iain Dowie. Mike made his West Ham debut in the 1-3 defeat by London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge 21st December 1996. The Hammers were not impressed with his overall performance in the matches played and decided to despatch him back to St. Andrew's. Mike joined Aberdeen for £175,000 in July 1997 then joined Bradford. Later went into management with Hartlepool in February 2003.

643= Paul KITSON ... (1997 - 2002)

One of Redknapp's most inspired signings. The Ferrari-driving striker was on the road to nowhere behind Shearer, Asprilla and Ferdinand at Newcastle United when 'H' saw him as the man whose goals could steer Hammers away from relegation. With proven scoring pedigree at Leicester City and Derby County. Paul was signed from the St James's Park outfit for a fee of £2.3m in February 1997, just days before John Hartson was transferred from Arsenal. Kitson made his Hammers debut  along with Hartson against his former club Derby County at the Baseball Ground 15th February 1997 but finished on the wrong ended of a 1-2 scoreline. The pair immediately hit it off "Kits" responded with eight strikes in 14 games as his lucrative 13-goal partnership with Hartson put Hammers on the fast lane to safety, which justified Harry Redknapp spending spree to ward off almost certain relegation at the end of the 1996-97 campaign.  A string of injuries to Paul disrupted the partnership for the start of the following season. At the end of the season the Geordie underwent a groin operation after failing to shake off a niggling problem. Paul's injury problems persisted and was allowed to join Charlton Athletic on loan at the end of the 99-00 campaign helping the Addicts back to the Premiership. Further loan spells to Crystal Palace and Birmingham City followed before he finally signed for newly-promoted first division Brighton & Hove Albion on a free transfer August 2002.

643= John HARTSON ... (1997 - 1999)

The former Luton Town striker joined Arsenal in January 1995 for £2.5 million and went on to record 70 appearances for the Gunners. John represented a huge punt when manager Harry Redknapp plucked the ill-disciplined, out-of-favour striker from the Highbury sidelines to become an Upton Park record  £3.2m signing. Made his League debut along-side Paul Kitson in the 1-2 defeat by Derby County at the Baseball Ground 15th February 1997. He responded with five goals in 11 starts to help stave off relegation and by the following Christmas, Hartson was a big fish in the Upton Park pond, leading the scoring charts with 17 goals from 20 starts. But with disciplinary problems on-and-off the field resulting in an inexcusable clash with Eyal Berkovic, on the kicking fields of Chadwell Heath which was the beginning of the end for the fiery Welsh dragon at Upton Park. Joe Kinnear paid a whopping £7.5 million in January 1999 which saw the in-form striker join the 'Crazy Gang' at Wimbledon. His time with the Dons was marred by injury, though he still managed a respectable goal tally, first in the Premier League, then the First Division following the club's relegation in 2000. Proposed moves to Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur and Charlton Athletic fell through due to doubts over the player's fitness. Hartson instead joined Coventry City on a pay-for-play deal in February 2001. In August 2001 he went north-of-the-boarder and signed for Glasgow Celtic in a £6 million transfer. He played for the Scottish Premier League club for five seasons and made 146 league appearances scoring 88 goals. By June 2006 he had moved on to West Bromwich Albion and later had a loan spell with Norwich City. These days Hartson is a regular pundit, and often appears on BBC Radio 5 Live's coverage as a match summariser.

 

Born: Whitham, Essex 02/09/1978

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645. Emmanuel OMOYINMI ... (1997 - 2000)

A strong, pacey and skilful player. League debut against Leeds United at Elland Road 1st March 1997 in a 0-1 reverse. Little Manny made his mark on the first team, scoring twice after coming on as substitute against Crystal Palace at the end of the  1997-98 season. A product of the Hammers very successful youth scheme, he was a member of the side that won the South East Counties League title in 1995-6. Gained valuable experience north of the border during a loan spell with Dundee United. Manny was to make the biggest headline of his career when coming on for the last eight minutes of extra-time in Hammers' quarter-final clash with Aston Villa in the Worthington Cup at Upton Park December 1999. The final 2-2 scoreline, led to penalties with Villa's Gareth Southgate repeating his England miss from ten yards which catapulted West Ham into a semi-final spot. Two days later it emerged that "Manny" had played two games in the same competition for Gillingham whilst on loan to the "Gills" earlier on in the campaign. West Ham were ordered by the Football League to replay the game which Hammers' lost 1-3, players records from original match expunged. "Manny" was despatched on loan to the other 'Irons'  Scunthorpe United for his own safety, as e-mail death threats were received by the club. Hammers club secretary Graham Mackell and football secretary Alison O'Dowd both resigned over the incident. Further loan spell at Barnet followed before being finally off-loaded to Oxford United on a free transfer.

646= Richard HALL ... (1997 - 1999)

Former England Under-21 captain who joined Hammers from Southampton in July 1996 for £1.9m. A tall, courageous central defender who has broken his nose no less than seven times. Started out at Scunthorpe United and after just 22 outings for the fourth division club, Richard incredibly found himself on the way to The Dell for £200,000 in February 1991. In 1993 he won the last of his 11 caps when he skippered the young lions of England to glory over their French hosts in the final of the prestigious Toulon tournament. Like Simon Webster, another ill-fated central defender who was earmarked for the skipper's armband, only to succumb to a career-ending pre-season injury. This time a whack on the foot in a friendly at Carshalton, just weeks after his arrival, saw his dreams fade and die. Made his long awaited debut against Middlesbrough at Upton Park on the 9th April 1997 in  a 0-0 draw, but this was the start of only 7 full appearances for the club before agonisingly quitting the game he loved in April 1999.

646= Steve LOMAS ... (1997 - 2005)

A pacy, hard working midfielder, Steve was signed via an eleventh-hour deadline day fax from Northern Ireland's training HQ from Manchester City  27th March 1997 for a fee in the region of £1.6m. Hammers' tireless, copper-topped, Duracell-like skipper started his career with Irish club Coleraine before being spotted by the Maine Road club. His consistent play has also earned him the captaincy of the Northern Ireland team. Lomas made his Premiership debut for the Hammers against  Middlesbrough at Upton Park 9th April 1997 in a 0-0 draw. The £1.6m fee paid to City looked a bargain in the light of reported £4m-plus bids from both Tottenham Hotspur and Blackburn Rovers a year later. The Northern Ireland international was again a wanted man, January 2001 this time by his former club "City" and Everton but choose to stay at Upton Park. Steve was released at the end of Hammers successful promotion campaign back to the Barclays Premiership and joined Queens Park Rangers in August 2005. After two seasons with the “Hoops”, Steve joined Gillingham in July 2007.

648. Lee BOYLAN ... (1997)

Product of the club's very successful youth scheme and member of the South East Counties Championship winning team of 1995-96. Signed professional forms July 1997. Premiership debut as an 89th minute substitute appearance against Sheffield Wednesday in a 5-1 victory at Upton Park on the 3rd May 1997. That one minute appearance in the Claret and Blue catapulted him into the Upton Park record books as the shortest playing time as a Hammer. Republic of Ireland Youth and Under-21 international. Lee was a nippy, strong forward - reminiscent of Tony Cottee. He had been banging in the goals for the youth and reserves team for many years. Unfortunately Lee never establish himself in the big time and was released at the end of the 1998-99 campaign to join Swedish club Trelleborgs on a free transfer and then with Exeter City before dropping into non-league football with Kingstonian, Hayes, Stevenage Borough and then joining Canvey Island in 2001. Boylan had great success with Canvey Island, scoring over 170 goals in five years, including 26 in 53 Conference games, and helping Canvey Island get promoted to the Conference in 2004. When Canvey Island resigned from the Conference in 2006, he joined Grays Athletic on a one-year contract but after starting only 16 games in the 2006–07 season, he joined Chelmsford City in February 2007 on loan for the rest of the season. At the end of the season, he joined Cambridge United on a free transfer and scored eleven goals in 32 league appearances in the 2007–08 season as Cambridge reached the Conference play-off final in May 2008, narrowly losing to Exeter City. He joined Stevenage Borough in June 2008 for an undisclosed fee.

HARTSON John to Steve