John Sissons 1962-1970 263 Apps
A product of the youth system, Sissons was a schoolboy star playing for his county Middlesex and England schoolboys as an inside forward. Ron Greenwood switched him to be an out an out winger with some success. Sissons would go on to play 263 times for the club including the clubs first FA Cup win in 1964 in which he became the youngest scorer in a Wembley FA Cup Final and the second youngest player to play in a final behind Howard Kendall who was representing West Hams opponents Preston. Sissons also played in the Cup Winners Cup victory the following year playing in every game on the way to the final.
A tricky pacy winger, Sissons was perhaps unfortunate to be playing in a rather unfashionable position and as a result he would not get the plaudits he deserved.
After 8 years’ service to the club Sissons moved on Sheffield Wednesday where he played over a hundred games and won the club player of the year in 1972 before being signed by ex-Hammer John Bond for Norwich in 1974 staying only a season before moving to Chelsea. Sisson stayed only one more season in England before playing with some success in NASL with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, John eventually moved to South Africa where he went on to be a partner in a successful motor parts company.
Pat Holland 1969-1981 278 Apps
A local boy from nearby Poplar, Holland served the club for 13 years, playing an integral part in the FA Cup win in 1975 and the run to the Cup Winners Cup Final in 1976. Holland would go on to play just short of 300 times for the club. He moved on to Leyton Orient as player coach and had spells as reserve team manager at QPR before returning to Orient as youth team coach before his big break in 1988 when he moved to Tottenham Hotspur’s setup. Holland stayed 7 years at Spurs before returning once again to Leyton Orient in 1995 this time as manager. Holland’s time with Orient was short lived and a poor first season followed by a slow start to 96-97 season saw Holland sacked from his post.
Holland has not held a Managerial position since but he has worked for MK Dons, Millwall, Arsenal and Tottenham in a variety of scouting and coaching positions, Holland also owned a bar in Shenfield and a pub in Barking, he is currently working for Arsenal as a scout.
Alan Devonshire 1976-1990 432 Apps
Affectionately known as Dev, the silky skilled winger is often cited as one of the club’s greatest players. Signed from Non-League Southall for £5,000 Devonshire would go onto to feature in two of the clubs greatest achievements winning the FA Cup in 1980 and finishing 3rd in the league in 1986. Always a firm fan favourite he would often join the fans travelling home on the tube to his West London home after a match at Upton Park. Devonshire had two significant injuries during his time with the club missing 19 months between 1984 and 85 with snapped knee ligaments and a year in 1987 with a torn Achilles tendon, both injuries had an impact on his playing style most notably his pace but such was his undoubted ability he still had a huge influence over matches when he played.
The amount of games Dev played reduced markedly after his second injury and as West Ham went into decline in the late 80’s/early 90’s Devonshire was finally moved onto Watford in 1990. Such greats as Tony Cottee, Billy Bonds and Tony Gale all credit Dev as being the best player they played with at the club, He played 8 times for England and since retiring has gone to have a successful career managing in the Non-League.
Trevor Sinclair 1998-2003 203 Apps
Signed from QPR for £2.7 million in a deal that included Iain Dowie and Keith Rowland moving the other way, Sinclair would establish himself as one of the clubs most popular players in recent times.
A quick, direct player with an eye for a goal Sinclair would have a major impact on the side helping them to 5th in the Premier League in 1998-99 season, the clubs highest Premier League finish in his first full season. Trevor played in a variety of positions for the club, both Wing back positions, either wing and as an occasional striker. Despite suffering a serious injury in the 2000-2001 season Sinclair recovered his form enough to be part of the England World Cup squad in 2002 he played four games at the tournament and was widely recognised as being one of England’s players of the tournament.
Sinclair moved onto to Manchester City after relegation in 2003 and went onto to play for Cardiff in the 2008 FA Cup final as a late substitute in the their loss to Portsmouth.
Sinclair is now a pundit of BBC Radio 5 Live and Match of the Day 2 and remains as popular with West Ham fans as ever.