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Tony Carr's greatest hits: the top 20

Filed: Wednesday, 27th July 2016
By: Staff Writer

Tony Carr MBE officially left West Ham United FC today after 50 years' service at the club.

And in order to mark this momentous occasion, in honour of a one-club servant and living legend we decided to look back at the 20 players who emerged from Carr's 'Academy of Football' having commanded the biggest transfer fees (which add up to some £80million altogether)...

21. Mervyn Day
July 1979: £100,000 (Leyton Orient)

Mervyn Day had the potential to be one of the best goalkeepers in England but, according to popular myth, was never the same player after he got married! He was signed as a schoolboy by Ron Greenwood in 1971 but worked alongside Carr when he arrived at the club two years later.

20. Chris Cohen
June 2006: 250,000 (Yeovil)

A good friend of current Hammers captain Mark Noble, Cohen was a very highly-rated young midfielder who emerged from the Academy as part of Carr's second wave in the mid noughties alongside the likes of Anton Ferdinand. Born in Grays, he joined the Hammers aged just six and remained at the club for some 14 years before joining Yeovil.

19. Gary Alexander
July 2000: £300,000 (Swindon)

The Lambeth-born striker spent two years under Carr's wing as an apprentice before moving on to Swindon in the summer of 2000. Has since done the unspeakable and joined Millwall in 2007, where he spent three years.

18. Matthew Rush
August 1995: £350,000 (Norwich City)

The player who famously took a right-hander from Alvin Martin during training in front of the nationa's assembled press. Now a sports scientist by trade.

17. Paul Allen
June 1985: £400,000 (Tottenham)

The youngest FA Cup Finalist until A Forgettable from Millwall stole his title during their 2004 thrashing by Manchester United, Allen was the first young player of note to be sold by the club - the start of a policy that saw West Ham throw their future away over the course of the next 15 years.

17. Rob Hall
July 2013: £450,000 + clauses (Bolton Wanderers)

Once considered as one of the best players to come through the Academy, Hall's undoubted talent all but disappeared once he arrived at Bolton - since when he has tipped up at League One Oxford, who he joined earlier this month on a free transfer.

16. Alan Dickens
June 1989: £635,000 (Chelsea)

Plaistow-born Dickens joined West Ham as a youth and represented the England Under 21. After nearly 200 appearances for West Ham he moved to Chelsea in a £635,000 switch, where the fee was set by tribunal.

15. Hogam Ephraim
January 2008: £800,000 (Queens Park Rangers)

A former England Under 19 international, Ephraim joined West Ham as a trainee in 2004 but made just one first team appearance in a 4-2 Carling Cup win at Sheffield Wednesday before moving to QPR in 2008.

14. Elliott Ward
June 2006: £1m (Coventry)

Perhaps unfairly cast as the least intelligent member of the squad by Mensa member Bobby Zamora (ok, we made that bit up), Ward broke into the first team under Alan Pardew during the 2004/05 Championship season but was soon surplus to requirements once the Hammers returned to the top flight.

13. Daniel Sjolund
June 2000: £1m (Liverpool)

Another who failed to break into the first team, Sjolund used to partner Jermain Defoe at youth team level. Whereas Defoe eventually broke into the first team, the Finn had to face the ignominy of being sold to Liverpool (where he also failed to make an impression).

12. Junior Stanislas
August 2011: £1.1m (Burnley)

'Felix' Junior Stanislas joined West Ham as a ten year old back in 2000 and signed his first pro deal in 2006. Since moving to Burnley he has worked his way back into the top flight as part of Eddie Howe's squad at Bournemouth.

11. Stuart Slater
August 1992: £1.5m (Celtic)

He didn't want to go, but tricky winger Slater was sold by West Ham to Liam Brady's Celtic after six years as a pro and apprentice and 150-odd appearances for the Hammers.

10. Paul Ince
September 1989: £2m (Manchester United)

Although closer to mentor John Lyall than Carr, the two enjoyed a healthy working relationship during the mid-to-late '80s. Ince famously left West Ham after initially refusing to play before ensuring years of ridicule and scorn by posing in a Manchester United shirt whilst still employed by the Hammers.

9. Tony Cottee
August 1988: £2.2m (Everton)

TC. Loved the club so much he came back twice. But Everton had his best years.

8. Michael Carrick
August 2004: £2.75m (Tottenham)

If it wasn't "part of the Carrick deal" between 2004 and 2010, it didn't count. (Sorry, in-house joke there).

7. Glen Johnson
July 2003: £6m (Chelsea)

Johnson was clearly going to be a star - yet West Ham fans saw him make just 15 first team appearances before he was sold to Chelsea in the summer of 2003's post-relegation fire sale. 54 appearances for England were to follow and more than 350 career appearances.

6. Joe Cole
August 2003: £6m (Chelsea)

Yeah, this one hurt as we knew it was the beginning of the end of the greatest squad we never saw at the Boleyn Ground. Joe, who had been chased by all and sundry since the age oif 16 was sold to Chelsea for a paltry £6.6m following West Ham's releation in 2002/03. Cole returned to the club, unseccessfully, some years later.

5. Jermain Defoe
February 2004: £7m (Tottenham)

Former Charlton striker Defoe only joined West Ham at the age of 16 but we'll include him for the purposes of this list, if only so we can mention the appalling manner in which he engineered his departure from the club (by handing in a transfer request the day after West Ham were relegated).

4. Anton Ferdinand
August 2008: £8m (Sunderland)

The first of the two Ferdinand brothers to feature on our list, Anton was sold - against his wishes - to Sunderland just before the transfer window 'slammed shut' in August 2008. If you want to know more about the circumstances behind that, listen to our Podcast featuring Anton and Marlon Harewood.

3. James Tomkins
July 2016: £10m (Crystal Palace)

The last of Carr's prodigy's to sell for many millions, central defender Tomkins spent almost 20 years at West Ham before being sold to Palace (virtually against his knowledge) recently.

2. Frank Lampard
July 2001: £12m (Chelsea)

It looked like a brilliant deal at the time for West Ham but the Blues certainly got value for money in the end as Lampard went on to make more than 500 appearances for the West London side and 106 for England - just two less than Bobby Moore.

1. Rio Ferdinand
December 2000: £18.5m (Leeds Utd)

Then-Chairman Terry Brown insisted the club-record deal must go through as transfers as we knew them were about to disappear. Meanwhile Harry Redknapp insisted the deal go through as he'd end up trousering 300 grand as a result. The only losers were West Ham fans and Rio himself, who had to spend a couple of years in West Yorkshire...

And the total value of the above sales? £82,335,000.

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.

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