Players From The Past

West Ham face Liverpool on Sunday in the first game of the season. As well as having numerous players represent both clubs West Ham have had a number of players from Merseyside who have had considerable influence on the club over the years. Kevin Nolan was one of the best Captains the clubs has ever had, was born in Huyton, while current player Aaron Cresswell was born on Merseyside beginning his professional career with Tranmere Rovers.

Below are 3 players from the Liverpool area who have had a significant impact on the Hammers over the years

Alvin Martin 1976-1996

Born in Liverpool Martin was on Everton’s books as a youngster but moved to West Ham in the mid-seventies where he would go on to serve the club for 20 illustrious years before departing for Leyton Orient in 1996.

Martin was part of the 1980 Cup Final winning side and the legendary “boys of 86” team that secured the club its highest ever top flight finish (3rd)

Strong and dominant in the air with a calm sense of authority Martin received 17 England caps during his career and perhaps unlucky not receive more, Martin played against Paraguay in the Mexico World Cup in 1986 but was dropped for the infamous game against Argentina.

Martin also has the odd distinction of having scored a Hat trick against three goalkeepers in West Ham’s 8-1 mauling of Newcastle in 1986.

Martin remained at West Ham through the turbulent late eighties/early nineties part of the clubs history and eventually left for Leyton Orient aged 37 in 1996.

Once retired Martin did manage Southend for two years but moved into the media where he is a popular contributor to TALKSPORT radio and Sky.

A class operator on and off the pitch Martin is rightly remembered for his loyalty and commitment to the club.

Ian Bishop 1989-1998

Bishop began his career with Everton and came to West Ham via Carlisle, Crewe, Bournemouth and Manchester City.

Bishop was a classy midfield playmaker who could pick a pass was the very definition of a West Ham style player. A huge crowd favourite for his playing style and his engaging personality away from the pitch Bishop played over 250 games for the club starring in the promotion teams of the early 90’s and the Cup run to the semi-final of the FA Cup in 1991.

Bishop left the club in 1998 and joined his former club Manchester City who were subsequently relegated to the 3rd tier of English football. Bishop was an integral part of leading the club back up the football league and into the Premier League, but the club only lasted one season in the Premier League before being relegated once more.

Now in the twilight of his career Bishop sought opportunities in the US with Miami Fusion and New Orleans Shell Shockers.

Bishop hung up his boots in 2004 and remained in the game in the US and is currently the Technical Director for Evergreen FC in Virginia.

Bishop is still a regular visitor to West Ham and is always guaranteed a warm welcome

Mark Ward 1985 -1990

Signed from Oldham in 1985 for £250,000 as a replacement for the departing Paul Allen, Ward played every game in the 1985-86 season which saw West Ham finish 3rd in the top flight.

A strong busy right sided midfielder, Ward had an edge to go with his guile and his gutsy determined performances made his a popular player with the fans in the late 80’s.

Ward left for Manchester City in 1990 as part of the deal that saw Ian Bishop and Trevor Morley move in the opposite direction. Ward stayed two seasons with City then moved onto play for his boyhood club Everton before moving down the Leagues to play for Birmingham before moving onto play in places as obscure as Iceland and Hong Kong as well as a variety of non-League Clubs through the 90’s.

Ward came back into the public consciousness in 2005 when he was imprisoned after police found cocaine with a street value of £645,000 in a property Ward owned. Ward admitted renting the property but nothing more and was sentenced to 8 years in prison after declining to name names for a lighter sentence.

Ward spent his time inside Walton prison and his description of his time behind bars in his book from right wing to B wing is as fascinating as it is harrowing. Ward has always admitted to making a “silly mistake” and is looking to re-build his life after incarceration. The man who Stuart Pearce described as his toughest opponent is still fondly remembered by the West Hams to this day.