Some of soccer’s greatest legends have played for the West Ham Hammers (or Irons, since both are suitable nicknames). However, West Ham is also in line to claim its first major European trophy in almost 60 years when the Hammers face Fiorentina in the UEFA Conference League final in Prague on Wednesday, June 7.

Think they’re going to take it home?

Are there any U.S. players on West Ham?

There are no American players on the 2023 West Ham squad. However, in the past, players such as defender Jonathan Spector and midfielder Sebastian Lletget have represented the club.

Famous West Ham Players

Who were the most famous West Ham players? The historic answer is defender Bobby Moore.

Look around at most mid-table Premier League clubs, and you’ll find their legends have a handful of caps for England and are more endearing than national heroes. Bobby Moore, however, is on another level. He captained England to World Cup glory on home soil in 1966, making him not just a West Ham legend but a legend of the game.

These days, captain Declan Rice is notable, starring for both West Ham and the England national team. Look for him to get a transfer to a major club this summer. Other key current players include striker Michail Antonio, defender Kurt Zouma, and midfielder Lucas Paqueta.

Ranking the 10 Greatest West Ham Players of all Time

  1. Dimitri Payet

Position: Attacking Midfielder
Years with West Ham: 2015 to 2017
West Ham Awards/Honors: Hammer of the Year (2015-16), PFA Team of the Year (2015-16), UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament (2016)

For a year, the Reunion-island-born Dimitri Payet was the toast of both East London and all of France. Securing a £10.7 million ($15.8 million) move in 2015 from Marseille, the diminutive Frenchmen’s aura was something out of a dream.

Dazzling free kicks against Manchester United and Crystal Palace (among others) capped off arguably the most memorable domestic season in recent West Ham history. Payet’s nine goals and 12 assists helped rocket West Ham from 12th to seventh place in a romantic season that sent off the team’s legendary Boleyn Ground in sensational style. Those were some great West Ham player stats.

After a contractual dispute at the start of the following season, Payet was back at Marseille. Former coach Slaven Bilic is still perplexed over that.

  1. Frank Lampard Sr. and Frank Lampard Jr.

Positions: Left-back and Central midfielder
Years with West Ham: 1967 to 1985 and 1995 to 2001
Frank Sr. West Ham Awards/Honors: FA Cup Winner (1975, 1980), Second Division
Frank Jr. West Ham Awards/Honors: Intertoto Cup (1999)

The first father-and-son 2-for-1 duo to appear on a Betway Insider Top 10 list, the Lampards represented West Ham collectively over five decades.

Frank Lampard Sr. was an outstanding left-back who won two of the three FA cups in West Ham’s history. His 670 appearances for the Irons rank second all-time to longtime teammate Billy Bonds.

Frank Lampard Jr is more fondly known for a trophy-laden career at city rivals Chelsea FC after joining the West Ham youth team when his father was an assistant coach.  An impressive 14-goal season in 1999-00 put him on the radar of England’s wealthier clubs, and he earned a £11 million ($16 million) move in 2001.

The Lampards were born in East Ham and Romford, respectively.

  1. Scott Parker

Position: Midfielder
Years with West Ham: 2007 to 2011
West Ham Awards/Honors: Hammer of the Year (2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11), FWA Footballer of the Year (2010-11)

One of only two West Ham players to be named the Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year (the other being Bobby Moore), Parker also won Hammer of the Year in three out of his four West Ham seasons.

The Lambeth-born midfielder joined the club from Newcastle United as a 27-year-old in 2007, spending his prime in East London. Despite a fantastic final year, he couldn’t stop the club from suffering relegation during the 2010-11 Premier League season and transferred to Tottenham Hotspur. He is one of the West Ham international players (who have played for England) on this list.

  1. Paolo di Canio

Position: Forward
Years with West Ham: 1999 to 2003
West Ham Awards/Honors: Intertoto Cup (1999), Hammer of the Year (1999-00)

The Rome-born Italian-international forward Paolo Di Canio didn’t join West Ham until he was already 31 in 1999, and he was also coming off an 11-match ban for pushing a referee while at Sheffield Wednesday

A mercurial talent, the forward won over fans with his tricky dribbling and fantastic ball-striking ability, best summarized by his stunning volley against Wimbledon in 2000 (it ultimately won the Premier League goal of the decade).

Despite having previously turned down an approach from Manchester United, di Canio joined Charlton in 2004 after West Ham was relegated. In terms of name recognition, he is one of the more famous ex-West Ham players.

  1. Vic Watson

Position: Striker
Years with West Ham: 1920 to 1935
West Ham Awards/Honors: West Ham's all-time leading scorer  

Purchased for literally £50 in 1920 from Wellingborough Town FC, Vic Watson scored a West Ham-record 326 goals in just 295 total appearances, including 13 hat tricks.

Geoff Hurst, who ranks second in goals, is more than 70 goals behind Watson’s career total, so Watson’s record should be safe for a long time.

It’s hard to rank the Girton-born Watson any higher on this list of the best West Ham players of all-time due to the era he played in, but he needed to be represented. No matter the ranking, he will always be a West Ham legend.

  1. Declan Rice

Position: Midfielder
Years with West Ham: 2017 to present
West Ham Awards/Honors: West Ham Player of the Season (2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22), UEFA Europa League Team of the Season (2021-22), UEFA European Championship Runner-Up (2020)

The Kingston upon Thames-born Declan Rice has overseen the greatest period of success for West Ham in four decades, leading the team to a Europa League semifinal in 2021 (beating Lyon and Sevilla along the way) and a UEFA Europa Conference League final on June 7, 2023.

The explosive defensive midfielder has a knack for stunning solo runs for both club and country. Rice already has 41 England caps, and he’s only 24 years old. He will surely move on from West Ham this summer for a move expected to be around £100 million ($125 million). The club’s previous record sale was Dimitri Payet going back to Marseille for €29.3 million ($32.7 million) in 2017.

  1. Trevor Brooking

Position: Midfielder
Years with West Ham: 1966 to 1984
West Ham Awards/Honors: FA Cup (1975, 1980),  UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup runner-up (1976), 4x Hammer of the Year (1971-72, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1977-78, 1983-84), Member of the Order of the British Empire (1981)

Have you ever wondered who the Trevor Brooking stand at the old Boleyn ground and the new London stadium is named after? Well, I hope you don’t have to be told.

Trevor Brooking scored the winning goal in the 1980 FA Cup final against Arsenal -- the second FA Cup he won at West Ham. The midfielder is a member of the club’s all-time best XI and has the fourth-most appearances in club history, indicating just how popular he is with West Ham fans. On top of that, he was born in Barking, too!

  1. Billy Bonds

Positions: Defender, Midfielder
Years with West Ham: 1967 to 1988
West Ham Awards/Honors: FA Cup (1975, 1980), European Cup Winners’ Cup runner-up (1976), Hammer of the Year (1970-71, 1973-74, 1974-75, 1986-1987)

Woolwich-born Billy Bonds has the most appearances in West Ham history, having spent a remarkable 22 seasons as a Hammer. He was with the club for so long that his first and last Hammer of the Year awards came 16 years apart (1971 and 1987).

Bonds started his career playing next to Bobby Moore at the back and finished up at the club playing with a then 21-year-old Paul Ince, which is truly remarkable longevity. His 799 games played are more than 100 ahead of Frank Lampard Sr., who ranks second on the team’s all-time list.

Oh, and he just happened to win two FA Cups along the way.

  1. Geoff Hurst

Position: Forward
Years with West Ham: 1958 to 1972
West Ham Awards/Honors: FIFA World Cup (1966), FA Cup (1964), European Cup Winners’ Cup (1965), West Ham Hammer of the Year (1965-66, 1966-67, 1968-69), World Soccer World XI (1967, 1968, 1969), English Football Hall of Fame (2004), Member of the Order of the British Empire (1979)

Perhaps best known as the first man to score a hat trick in a World Cup final back in 1966, forward Geoff Hurst also had a dazzling club career at West Ham.

The World Cup champion, born in Ashton-under-Lyne, scored 242 goals in 500 West Ham appearances, punctuated by a 40-goal season in 1966. He helped guide the club to its first major trophies: the FA Cup in 1964 and the club’s first and only major European trophy to date, the 1965 Cup Winners’ Cup.

  1. Bobby Moore

Position: Defender
Years Active: 1958 to 1974
West Ham Awards/Honors: FIFA World Cup (1966), FA Cup (1964), FA Charity Shield (1964), European Cup Winners’ Cup (1965), FWA Footballer of the Year (1964), Ballon d’Or runner-up (1970), Hammer of the Year (1960-61, 1962-63, 1967-68, 1969-70), Office of the Order of the British Empire (1967), World Soccer World X1 (1968, 1969), English Football Hall of Fame (2022), World Team of the 20th Century, PFA Player of the Century, World Soccer Greatest XI of All Time (2013)

Bobby Moore is the only West Ham player in history to have ever been in contention for a Ballon d’Or. If this was a ranking of the greatest English footballers of all time, he might also end up as No. 1.

At age 25 in 1966, the defender from Essex captained England to a FIFA World Cup victory on home soil against Germany. Pele said of Moore: “He was my friend as well as the greatest defender I ever played against.” 

Oh, and he also played 644 times for West Ham (ranking third all-time). He won Hammer of the Year four times and is one of only two members of the club to have won FWA Footballer of the Year. His No. 6 is retired by West Ham.

Fun fact: Both Moore and Trevor Brooking were born in Barking.

Parameters of rankings

Rankings were determined based on three factors: total appearances tor West Ham, trophies won, and popularity among West Ham fans.

Although they did not make this list of the best West Ham players of all-time, Mark Noble, Carlton Cole, Carlos Tevez, and Rio Ferdinand are all deserving of honorable mentions.

Bet on Premier League Odds at Betway

Find Premier League odds on the Betway sportsbook. You’ll find all the latest money lines, over/under, 1 st half results, same game parlays, soccer live betting, and many more! All your Premier League betting needs will be covered in our

online sportsbook.

Visit Betway’s Premier League betting picks page for picks and predictions throughout the tournament.