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The United colours of West Ham


Filed: Wednesday, 16th June 2010
By: Staff Writer


With the World Cup now in full flow, why not take a break from the constant monotonous drone of the vuvezela and join KUMB as we take a look back at every foreign player to feature in the famous claret and blue (and some who didn't).

ARGENTINA

Javier Mascherano (2006-2007)
Classy midfield destroyer who arrived at West Ham out of the blue on summer transfer deadline day 2006 along with Carlos Tevez. The less successful member of the duo moved on to Liverpool after less than six months.

Lionel Scaloni (2006)
Anywhere but there, Lionel! Strong full-back who will always be remembered for feeding Steven Gerrard for the equaliser in the FA Cup final.

Mauricio Taricco (2004)
Signed by Alan Pardew on a free having left Tottenham. Tore his hamstring just 27 minutes into his United career - at Millwall - and promptly announced his retirement having genrously agreed to nullify his contract.

Carlos Tevez (2006-2007)
Hugely-popular figure for his tenacious never-say-die attitude. His controversial transfer eventually cost West Ham more than £30million.

AUSTRALIA

Hayden Foxe
Dubbed 'the white Rio' by Harry Redknapp, Foxe had to marry a French girl in order to get a work permit - and went on to play just 12 times for the club. More notably caught urinating in a plant pot during an Xmas do that got out of hand.

Richard Garcia (1999-2004)
Perth-born Academy product who left for Colchester on a free after five years at the club having failed to make the grade.

Stan Lazaridis (1995-1999)
'Skippy' Lazaridis was a pacy winger who is best remembered for a 35-yard thunderbolt against Newcastle at St James' Park. Went to Birmingham before returning to Oz.

Steve Mautone (1996-1997)
The much-travelled 'keeper was yet another one hit wonder, playing his sole game for the club against Nottigham Forest (in which he kept a clean sheet).

Trent McLenahan (2003-2006)
Another import from the Aussie Academy, McLenahan managed just three appearances for the Hammers having made his debut against Crewe in 2004 before signing for non-league Hereford.

Lucas Neill (2007-2009)
The only Australian to captain West Ham. Highly-paid full back who left the club after his contract demands were considered too expensive.

Robbie Slater (1995-96)
The Ormskirk-born Aussie signed from Blackburn and was here for just a solitary season. Slater the pundit can usually be found sharing his views on the Australian version of Fox Sports these days, for whom he covers the Premier League.

BELGIUM

Francois van der Elst (1981-1983)
One of the club's first successful foreign imports, during a period when they were still rare. Signed from New York Cosmos for £400,000, van der Elst scored 14 times in 62 appearances for United.


West Ham's first ever major foreign signing

BERMUDA

Clyde Best (1969-1976)
Long-serving striker who brushed aside the bananas and monkey chants that were rife at the time to become a valuable striker for the club (and one who is still warmly welcomed back these days).

BRAZIL

Ilan (2010)
Loan signing whose goals towards the end of the 2009-10 season were of vital importance in avoiding the dreaded drop. Still not considered worthy of a new contract.

BULGARIA

Svetoslav Todorov (2001-2002)
Fragile striker who failed to make much of an impact in the top flight. Later performed far better for Portsmouth in the Championship.

CAMEROON

Marc Vivien Foe (1999-2000)
An immense midfielder who was sold after just one season to facilitate the permanent signing of Frederic Kanoute. Tragically lost his life when suffering a heart attack whilst playing for his country against France at the age of just 28.


Marc Vivien Foe and Paolo Di Canio: the club's best ever dual signing?

Rigobert Song (2000-2002)
Signed from Liverpool as one of the replacements for the outgoing Rio Ferdinand, Song failed to settle in London and became one of the fans' hate figures. Went on to enjoy a successful club and international career.

CANADA

Alex Bunbury (1992-1993)
Signed by Billy Bonds but made just six appearances for the club before being moved on to Marítimo in Portugal.

Craig Forrest (1997-2002)
Almost always the bridesmaid, Forrest was number two at the club for nearly five years yet still managed to make 30 appearances for the Irons - somewhat less than the 56 he made for his country.

CHILE

Luis Jimenez (2009-2010)
Absolute waste of space who had been touted by Scott Duxbury as the player Gianfranco Zola intended to build his team around. Sent back to Italy halfway through his season-loan loan spell having failed spectacularly to deliver.

Javier Margas (1998-2000)
Popular figure who guaranteed his place in Hammers history when dieing his hair claret and blue. A committed centre half who famously promised a free stay to any travelling Hammers fan when he bought a hotel upon his retirement.


Suits you sir ... Margas, before and after

COSTA RICA

Paulo Wanchope (1999-2000)
Lanky, far from pleasing on the eye and responsible for some spectacular misses - but also scorer of some vital goals (see Metz).

CROATIA

Slaven Bilic (1996-1997)
An exceptional centre-half who walked out on the club having been offered more money to play for Everton. Often mentioned in recent seasons as a potential manager of the club.

Igor Stimac (1999-2001)
Big commanding centre half who was voted Best Signing in the 1999/2000 KUMB Readers Awards. SIgned from Derby for £600,000.

Davor Suker (2000-2001)
Former world-class striker who, according to Harry Redknapp, is said to have cost the entire income of the East Stand for that season (he was alleged to earn £26k per week, a phenomenal amount at the time). His one notable contribution was a late brace that earned a point at home to Man Utd.

CYPRUS

Yilmaz Orhan (1975-1977)
The only Cypriot ever to feature for the Hammers, Orhan - who was signed from Aveley - made eight appearances under John Lyall in the latter half of the 1975/76 season before moving half way round the world to join Team Hawaii.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Radoslav Kovac (2009-)
Initially brought in on loan, defensive midfielder Kovac became a permanent member of Gianfranco Zola's squad at the beginning of the 2009-10 season.

Jan Lastuvka (2008-2009)
Another of those one hit wonders who made just a single appearance for the Hammers (that coming in the embarrassing 1-0 Carling Cup defeat at Watford).

Ludek 'Ludo' Miklosko (1990-1998)
One of West Ham's longest-serving goalkeepers of recent years, Ludo, as he was popularly known, made over 300 appearances between the sticks before returning as a goalkeeping coach some years later. Fired midway through the 2009/10 season following a disagreement with then manager Gianfranco Zola.

Tomas Repka (2001-2006)
Part hate figure, part cult hero, the full-blooded full-back played for the Hammers in both the Premier League and Championship before making an emotional departure at the Boleyn.


'Super' Tommy Repka protests his innocence (again)

Pavel Srnicek (2004)
Goalkeeper who made three appearances for the Hammers as emergency cover. One of only two players to receive a 10/10 rating from tabloid newspaper The Sun (the other being Robert Green for his 2007 performance against Arsenal).

CONGO (THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF)

Herita Ilunga (2009-)
Solid full-back who had a great first season at the club on loan - then when handed a permanent contract, went missing entirely.

DENMARK

Marc Rieper (1994-1997)
Classy and under-rated centre-half who did the dirty work whilst partner Bilic often got the credit. SIgned from Brondby, left United to join Celtic.

EGYPT

Mido (2010)
Apparently paid just £1,000 per week. Many supporters still felt the club were hard done by.

FINLAND

Hannu Tihinen (2001)
Loan signing whose value was much over-exaggerated by virtue of a stunning team performance at Old Trafford in which he was involved. Looked set to sign a permanent deal before his club Viking raised the bar and West Ham told them to poke it.

FRANCE

Jeremie Aliadiere (2005-2006)
West Ham were one of three clubs the Arsenal trainee played for on loan during 2005-06 (the others being Celtic and Wolves). Made eight appearances for West Ham before being sent back to Arsenal halfway through his loan spell.

Christian Bassila (2000-2001)
Spent a season on loan at the club under Glenn Roeder but barely featured, making just htree appearances.

David Bellion (2005-2006)
Quite frankly rubbish striker who joined on a season-long loan from Manchester United. Marked his debut with a goal at Sheffield Wednesday in the Carling Cup, his only goal for the club.

Sebastien Carole (2004)
Loanee in the list by virtue of a single substitute appearance - one that lasted all of three minutes - in the 4-2 home win against Crewe.

Edouard Cisse (2002-2003)
Season-long loan signing who scored once (against Charlton) during his 25 games for the club.

Laurent Courtois (2001-02)
White-booted full-back who barely made an impact in the Premier League. Played just eight times for United.

Kaba Diawara (2000-2001)
Another former French Arsenal trainee who failed to impress during his season at the Boleyn Ground. 11 starts but no goals for West Ham.

Julien Faubert (2007-)
Another who overcame a rocky start to become a regular first teamer. The only player ever to go on loan from West Ham to Real Madrid; a unique scenario unlikely to ever be repeated.

Marc Keller (1998-2001)
A Harry Redknapp signing, the six-times-capped left-sided midfielder failed to become a regular first teamer during his three years at the club and ended his career in England with Portsmouth and Blackburn before retiring.

Bernard Lama (1997-1998)
'We've got Bernard Lama, he smokes marijuana ...'


Former French international Bernard Lama

Sebastien Schemmel (2001-2003)
Cracking full-back who went bonkers, citing his maother-in-law's poor health as a (bizarre) reason. Player of the year in his first full season at the club, ditched after the second for his continual no-shows.

Youssef Sofiane (2002-2005)
A Glenn Roeder signing, Sofiane made two fleeting appearances for the Hammers before having his contract terminated by mutual consent.

David Terrier (1997-1998)
Full back, signed from Metz, who made just one appearance for the first team before joining Newcastle.

GERMANY

Savio Nsereko (2009)
Hugely controversial signing - said to have cost the club up to £9million - who was clearly nowhere near ready for the Premier League. The fact that he was signed from the club owned by Gianluca Nani's father-in-law also raised one or two eyebrows, given the vast fee paid.

GHANA

John Pantsil (2006-2008)
You say Paintsil, we say Pantsil... A flamboyant dresser who often raised eyebrows when turning up for work at Chadwell Heath in some of his more outrageous African clobber.

GUINEA

Titi Camara (2000-2003)
One of the most-loathed players to ever play for the club. Former Liverpool striker Camara failed to score a single goal for West Ham's first team and then had the temerity to attempt to sue the club after it cancelled his contract.

HOLLAND

Ray Atteveld (1992)
On loan from Everton, Atteveld became the first Dutch player to feature for the club when he made his one and only appearance for United in a 2-1 defeat at Hillsborough.

Jeroen Boere (1993-1995)
Fairly bog-standard striker who became part of Hammers folklore after being sent off less than half-an-hour into his debut. Sadly passed away in 2007 having made his home in England.

Marco Boogers (1995)
Possibly the most controversial foreign signing ever. Signed from Sparta for £800,000 he ws sent off on his debut against Man Utd for a filthy tackle on Gary Neville before returning to Holland. Urban myth states that he was found in a caravan, although the truth was that he simply returned to Hollandhaving decided the Premier League was not for him.


The perfectly balanced Marco Boogers gets left with the spare XXXL shirt

HUNGARY

Peter Kurucz (2009-)
Young 'keeper who joined in 2009 as Rob Green's understudy. Made his one appearance to date as a sub for Green in the 4-0 home defeat to Man Utd (for his part, he kept a clean sheet during his few minutes on the pitch).

ISRAEL

Yossi Benayoun (2005-2007)
Brilliant little playmaker who had a great first year at the club, culminating in a MOTM performance at the 2006 FA Cup Final before it all turned sour. Joined Liverpool after promising to sign a new contract with United.

Eyal Berkovic (1997-1999)
Fantastic playmaker who formed a wonderful partnership with John Hartson before the Welshman decided to end their relationship with a boot to the Israeli's head during a particularly lively Chadwell Heath training session. The presence of Sky cameras meant the incident was recorded on camera and led to the media ban that remains in place today.

Yaniv Katan (2006)
A £100,000 capture who was just about correctly priced. Made just two starts for the Irons (both in the league) before being sent back to Haifa - initially on loan - by Alan Pardew, who told him that he was surplus to requirements.

ITALY

Alessandro Diamanti (2009-)
Exciting attacking player with a world class left foot who scored several vital goals duing the 2009/10 season.

Paulo Di Canio (1999-2003)
Possibly the finest foreign import ever to grace the Boleyn. Scored 51 times in 128 appearances for Harry Redknapp's side, including the only goal of a memorable FA Cup fourth round tie at Old Trafford.

David Di Michele (2008-2009)
Diminutive striker who was responsible for one of the most laughable attempts at winning a penalty ever (against Liverpool, you may recall). One of the better loan signings.

IVORY COAST

Samassi Abou (1997-1998)
Harry Redknapp signing, and a cult figure who was basically a bit shit. Responsible for the 'booo!' chant that was tragically copied by any club with a black player who had an 'ooo' sound in their name.

JAMAICA

Jobi McAnuff (2004)
As English as anyone but qualified to play for Jamaica whom he featured for once back in 2002. Made 14 appearances in claret and blue.

Tyrone Mears (2006-2007)
Another player as English as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding but qualified for Jamaica though his parentage.

MALI

Frederic Kanoute (2000-2003)
Extremely talented former French under 21 striker who went on to enjoy a hugely successful career after leaving east London. Averaged just over a goal every three games in his 84 appearances for West Ham.

MEXICO

Guillermo Franco (2009-2010)
Experienced striker known as 'The General' who became extremely popular during his year at the club. Not good enough however for Messrs Sullivan and Gold who refused to offer him an extended at the end of the 2009/10 season.

NORWAY

Ragnvald Soma (2001-2002)
One of the squad players on whom Rio Ferdinand's £18million fee was wasted. Made seven starts for the Hammers before returning to relative obscurity in Scandinavia.

PERU

Nobby Solano (2007-2008)
Supremely talented winger who arrived at the Boleyn on a free in the twilight of his career. Made 23 appearances during his one season at the club, scoring a notable winner at Craven Cottage.

PORTUGAL

Paulo Alves (1997-1998)
Loan signing from Sporting who managed just a handful of appearances during his spell in east London.

Luis Boa Morte (2007-)
Committed winger never afraid to put the boot in where it hurts. Currently considering a one-year contract extension.

Dani Carvalho (1996)
Commonly known as 'Dani', Harry Redknapp once remarked that he was so handsome he didn't know whether to 'pick him or f*ck him'.


He's no Iain Dowie ... Dani smoulders in a nineties photo shoot before legging it sharpish from an admiring Harry Redknapp

Manuel Da Costa (2009-)
Young centre-half looking to ressurect his career having failed to deliver on some early promise. Enjoyed a good latter half of the 09/10 season alongside Matthew Upson.

Paulo Futre (1996-1997)
A world-class player during his heyday, Futre's knees had gone by the time he arrived in London and managed just nine appearances for the club.

Hugo Porfirio (1996-1997)
On loan winger who memorably scored a belter at Wrexham in the snow. Many Hammers felt he was worth a permanent deal but that failed to transpire.

ROMANIA

Ilie Dumitrescu (1996-1997)
Signed from Spurs for £1million by Harry Redknapp during his 'Foreign Legion' phase, Dumi made just 13 appearances in a troubled season for both player and club.

Florin Raducioiu (1996-1997)
Striker who was famously caught shopping in Harvey Nicholls the day before a big game when he should have been with his team mates. Scored twice in 11 apperaances for Harry Redknapp's mid-90s side.

SENEGAL

Henri Camara (2007-2008)
Another horrible loan-signing (will we ever learn?) who failed to score a single goal for the club.

SERBIA & MONTENEGRO

Sasa Ilic (2000)
But of a joke goalkeeper whose only appearance for West Ham came in the crushing 4-0 defeat at home to Everton, described here on KUMB at the time as 'the worst goalkeeping debut ever witnessed'.

SLOVAKIA

Vladimir Labant (2002)
Signed by Glenn Roeder from Sparta Prague for £1million, Labant failed to settle in England and injury curtailed his career. Eventually shipped back out on loan to Sparta.

SOUTH AFRICA

Benni McCarthy (2010-)
Widely considered to be a massive failure despite being at the club for only four months - his vast waistline being the central issue, and one that led him to miss out on the 2010 World Cup Finals.

Berry Nieuwenhuys (1940-1942)
A guest player (contracted to Liverpool) who featured for the Hammers during the Second World War. He also featured for Arsenal before returning to Merseyside after the war where he was part of the 1946/47 championship winning side.

SPAIN

Kepa Blanco (2007)
On-loan signing who made just one start during his four months at the club. Scored his only goal for the Irons on his debut against Liverpool.

Diego Tristan (2008-09)
Another fairly ineffective loan signing who will be chiefly remembered for a stunning free kick against Stoke at the Brittania Stadium.

SWEDEN

Niclas Alexandersson (2003)
The Swede, now retired, joined West Ham on loan for a month under Trevor Brooking's watch back in 2003.

Freddie Ljungberg (2007-2008)
£3million signing from Arsenal who ended up costing the club many millions more due to his ridiculous salary courtesy of Messrs Curbishley and Magnusson.

SWITZERLAND

Valon Behrami (2008-)
Tireless midfielder with an engine like no other. Arrived from Serie A in the summer of 2008 for a fee believed to be around £5million.

Fabio Daprela (2009-)
Exciting young left-back who looks to have a great future ahead of him. One of the first members of Scott Duxbury's much-maligned 'project' to feature for the first team.

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Shaka Hislop (1998-2002, 2005-2006)
Twice-signed popular 'keeper who featured in the 2006 FA Cup Final and that years' World Cup FInals.


'What you talkin 'bout Anton?' Shaka pays tribute to the recently departed Gary Coleman

UKRAINE

Sergei Rebrov (2004-2005)
Free transfer who came via White Hart Lane. Made 27 appearances - scoring the grand total of one goal - during our last spell outside the top flight.

UNITED STATES

Ade Coker (1971-1975)
Born in Nigeria, nurtured in London but played five times for the United States in the mid-1980s, Coker managed to make just ten appearances in claret and blue.

Ian Feuer (1994-1996, 2000)
Twice signed by Harry Redknapp, the 'keeper made just one appearance for the US in 1992. Which happened to be just two less than he made for the Hammers.

John Harkes (1995-1996)
An interesting one in that he was signed on loan from the MLS, rather than a club. Played 12 times during his season-long loan spell at the Boleyn.

Jonathan Spector (2006-)
Former Man Utd full-back who came in under Alan Pardew's watch. A handy utlity player who cam under heavy fire from some supporters last season despite playing the majority of it out of position.

URUGUAY

Walter Lopez (2008-09)
One of those players that led Alan Curbishley to walk out of the club. Rejected by the manager following a trial, the left-back was later signed by Gianluca Nani in order to strengthen the squad. Barely featured.

***

Some of those who joined West Ham but failed to feature for the first team: Rami Shaaban (Sweden); Moses Ashikodi (Nigeria); Dieter Eckstein (West Germany); Petr Mikolanda (Czech Republic); Gabor Kiraly (Hungary); Sven Andersson (Sweden); Raimond van der Gouw (Holland).


Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.







Your Comments


by Niran Ade-Onojobi
02:45PM 20th Aug 2010
''Good old Clyde, the best among the imports.''

by Hypnotoad
09:52PM 19th Aug 2010
''Ironically I remember Scaloni actually playing decent till the 90th minute. The only time he managed it during his tenure!''

by Oli Essex Hammer
08:30PM 28th Jul 2010
''Lionel Scaloni was probably one of the worst players I've ever seen but somehow kept his position all season. Then the FA Cup; all he had to do was kick it into Row Z, but he passes it to Steven Ggerrard and we lose!''

by Bald Hills Hammer
12:26AM 24th Jul 2010
''What about Steve Potts? Did he never play for the USA?''

by 10 Iron
05:31PM 7th Jul 2010
''Lovely trip down memory lane, could never remember that Ven Der Elst from Belgium fellas name until reading this. Did Margas ever buy a hotel? Cheers again for the memories.''

by KKKs
03:23PM 29th Jun 2010
''lol at 'We've got Bernard Lama, he smokes marijuana ...'''

by Andrew Chase
03:24AM 28th Jun 2010
''This will bring back some memories. I did laugh about the Dani comment.''

by DAVID ALLARS
10:55AM 23rd Jun 2010
''Great article. Brought back happy memories of when I first took an old friend of ours (now sadly deceased) to Upton Park. He was a Yeovil Town supporter and it was a bit of a culture shock for him to stand on a full North Bank amongst the banter and the chanting.

I think it was for Clyde Best's debut home match.as my memory is not that good, if anyone can tell me when that was and against which team it would be great.''

by Dan
09:40AM 21st Jun 2010
''Tyrone Mears playing for Jamaca was a funny one. He heard a rumour that his absent father was Jamaican...played for Jamaica...then found out he was really from somewhere like Sierra Leone!''

by Whitters
02:09PM 17th Jun 2010
''Very interesting article, a lot of names there I'm glad I'd forgotten about. It's amazing how few would be regarded as a sucess.

One point of pedantry though, but shouldn't the Irish Republic be on this list too? That should keep you occupied for a few more evenings.''

by ricky
01:41PM 17th Jun 2010
''Hugo Porfirio was a player we should have signed on a permanent deal but typical West Ham, let the good ones slip through the net. I've a feeling we could be saying the same about Ilan!''

by prague hammer
10:22AM 17th Jun 2010
''Can we include Stevie Potts? I know he was only one when he moved over...''

by Gnome
07:43PM 16th Jun 2010
''Some blasts from the past there!

How about the one that got away? We tried to sign Israeli midfielder Mordechai Spiegler after the 1970 World Cup. I believe he may have featured in a pre-season friendly or two and Ron Greenwood was keen on signing him. Unfortunately FA rules at the time prevented clubs from signing non UK/Commonwealth players and Spiegler ended up in France, finishing his playing career alongside Pele at New York Cosmos.''

by oldman
07:08PM 16th Jun 2010
''How about Mordecai Speigler who Greenwood wanted to sign after the 1970 World Cup? I seem to remember he played some pre-season games. In line with practice a the time couldn't get a work permit and so left, I think for France.''

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