West Ham United Football Club is a major part of the club’s community and has provided its fans with some major thrills and spills over the years. Many star players have served the east London club with distinction. Here are the ten players who have made the most appearances for the Hammers in the club’s history:
Billy Bonds (799 appearances from 1967–1988)
Bonds is a West Ham legend, having spent over 27 years with the club on and off the pitch. The versatile star started his career with London rivals Charlton Athletic before moving to the Hammers for £50,000 in 1967.
Bonds became a hero with the West Ham faithful captaining the club to the FA Cup on two occasions in 1975 and 1980. Meanwhile, he also picked up runners-up medals in the League Cup in 1981 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1976.
Bonds showed his commitment to the Hammers’ cause in 1984, as he retired from playing only to return due to the club’s lengthy injury list. He did eventually retire for good in 1988 at the age of 41 years and 226 days.
However, he did not leave the club, as he stayed as a youth coach. Bonds served as the Hammers’ manager from 1990 until 1994.
His legacy was acknowledged in 2019 when the club named the East Stand at their London Stadium home ‘The Billy Bonds Stand’.
Frank Lampard, Sr. (670 appearances from 1967–1985)
Lampard Sr. is another player who is a hero to the Hammers supporters, as he served the club for close to two decades. The left-back came through the youth ranks at the club before making his first-team debut in 1967 in a 3-2 home defeat by Manchester City.
The popular full-back was part of the Hammers team that won the two FA Cups in 1975 and 1980, as well as winning the Second Division title in 1981.
Lampard left the club in 1985 to join Southend United but only played for one more season after his Hammers’ exit. He later returned to the club in 1994 as assistant to Harry Redknapp, a role he held until 2001.
Lampard is the father of former West Ham and England midfielder Frank Lampard and the uncle of former Liverpool star Jamie Redknapp.
Bobby Moore (647 appearances from 1958–1974)
The legendary Bobby Moore represented the Hammers for a decade and a half while also starring for England for much of his playing career. Like the majority of players on this list, the stylish centre-half came through the youth ranks at the club. He made his first-team debut against Manchester United in 1958.
Although Moore is most renowned as the player who captained England to their 1966 World Cup victory over Germany at Wembley, he also helped his club team to the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup the following season.
Moore won many individual awards during his playing career, including winning the FWA Footballer of the Year award in 1964 and claiming the West Ham Player of the Year on four occasions in 1961, 1963, 1968 and 1970. His talent was recognised globally in 1970 when he finished as the prestigious Ballon d’Or award runner-up.
Moore’s legacy in the game lives on at the London Stadium, where he has a stand named after him. The World Cup-winning England captain also has a statue outside the national stadium Wembley, which was erected in memory of the defender in 2007.
Trevor Brooking (643 appearances from 1967–1984)
The popular Brooking is another club legend who also served his country with distinction during his playing career. The midfielder joined the Hammers as a youth player in 1965 before turning professional in 1967, with Brooking making his league debut in the same year in a 3-3 draw with Leicester.
Brooking’s 102 goals helped his team to two FA Cup triumphs and also promotion back to the First Division. His goal tally means that he is eighth on West Ham’s all-time goalscorers list. He also won the Hammer of the Year award on four occasions.
Brooking served as the club’s caretaker boss in 2003, winning nine of his 14 games in charge of the team and suffering just one defeat. However, the team suffered relegation under his charge in season 2002/03, but Brooking had only managed three games that season, two of which were won and one drawn. They went down with a record points total of 42 for a team relegated from the top flight.
Alvin Martin (596 appearances from 1977–1996)
The Liverpool-born defender started his youth career at his home city club Everton before moving to the West Ham youth ranks in 1974.
Martin’s first-team debut didn’t come until 1978, when he came on as a substitute in a game against Aston Villa. The centre-back went on to enjoy a Hammers career that came close to spanning two decades. He is the only West Ham player besides Billy Bonds to be awarded two testimonials.
The centre-back was part of the Hammers team that won the 1980 FA Cup and was in the Second Division Team of the year in 1981. In 1986, Martin was in the West Ham team that achieved their highest-ever finish of third in the First Division.
The reliable defender also won the Hammer of the Year award on three occasions in 1980, 1982 and 1983.
Mark Noble (550 appearances from 2004–2022)
The midfielder is a modern-day West Ham hero for his dedication to the Hammers’ cause over an 18-year playing career. His loyalty earned him the nickname ‘Mr West Ham’.
Noble made his league debut for the Hammers in 2005 in a 4-2 Championship defeat against Wolves. He went on to become the West Ham player with the most appearances in the Premier League, having made 412 appearances before retiring in 2020.
The tenacious midfielder helped the club to win promotion back to the top flight in 2005 and 2012. On an individual level, the Noble won the Hammer of the Year in 2012 and 2014 and was selected in the Championship team of the Year in 2012.
Jimmy Ruffell (548 appearances from 1921–1937)
The outside left came through the club’s youth ranks and made his league debut in 1921 against Bury. The Yorkshireman certainly left a mark on the London club, as he is third on West Ham’s list of top goalscorers, having found the net 166 times during his West Ham career. He was also their top goalscorer in the 1927–28 and 1934–35 seasons.
Ruffell appeared in the 1926 FA Cup final against Bolton Wanderers, which his team lost 2-0 at Wembley. The final was the first ever staged at the national stadium.
Steve Potts (506 appearances from 1985–2002)
The defender joined the Hammers as an apprentice in 1983 and made his first-team debut for the Hammers on New Year’s Day 1985 against QPR. Potts was a true club stalwart, as 17 of his 18-year playing career was spent with West Ham.
Potts captained the Hammers from 1993 until 1996 and was voted as Hammer of the Year twice in 1992 and 1994 before joining Dagenham and Redbridge in 2002 for just one season before his retirement. From 2011 onwards, Potts worked with the club’s youth teams from u-16s to u-21s.
Vic Watson (505 appearances from 1920–1935)
The forward joined West Ham in 1920 from Wellingborough Town and wrote his name in the club’s history books by scoring a record 326 goals in his career. During his Hammers career, Watson scored an impressive 13 hattricks and scored four goals in three games.
The centre forward helped West Ham to win promotion from the Second Division in season 1922–23, with the Hammers finishing as runners-up in the second tier. He was also a losing FA Cup finalist in 1923.
Geoff Hurst (504 appearances from 1959–1972)
Hurst has gone down in folklore as the man whose hattrick won England the World Cup in 1966 at Wembley. However, Hurst’s bread and butter was scoring goals for West Ham, and he did it superbly, as he scored 252 goals for the Hammers. Only Vic Watson has scored more career goals than Hurst in a West Ham shirt.
During his time with the club from the English capital, Hurst picked up a FA Cup winners medal in 1964 and also a European Cup Winners’ Cup medal in 1965.
As an individual, Geoff Hurst was voted Hammer of the Year on three occasions in the seasons 1965–66, 1966–67 and 1968–69. In 2004, Hurst was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.