Paolo Futre 1996-97
Highly decorated in Portuguese and European football, Futre was one of the most sought after players in Europe during the late eighties and early nineties. By the time he joined West Ham injuries had diminished his fitness but not his talent.
Sadly his time at West Ham is mainly remembered for his refusal to wear any other shirt apart from the number 10, which is alleged to have been taken off John Moncur to appease the Portuguese playmaker. Moncur was alleged to have earned himself a 2 week stay at Futre’s holiday home in the Algarve as a reward a little insight into the baffling world of 90’s football at West Ham.
Futre had most notably played for Porto where he won the European Cup in 1987 delivering a man of the match performance in the final against Bayern Munich. He also played for Atletico Madrid where he was a firm fans favourite despite his injury problems and he returned back to the Spanish club having only played a handful of games for the Hammers.
Futre’s career was winding down with injuries a constant in his final years his last club was Yokohama Fugels in Japan.
Such was Futre’s talent he featured in the top 100 players of the 20th Century poll run by World Soccer in December 1999. His style of play drew comparisons with Diego Maradona and it’s really is a great shame he retired from game at the relatively young age of 32
Post retirement Futre has worked as Sporting Director at Athletico Madrid but has subsequently moved into Property development.
Futre was an outstanding talent and one the best players of his generation it was footballs and in this case West Ham’s loss his career was curtailed by injury.
Luis Boa Morte 2007-2011
Boa Morte was signed from Fulham for £5million in January 2007 in order to bolster West Ham’s fight for survival from a seemingly impossible position. Known and loved by Fulham fans for his work rate and direct style of play, Boa Morte always flattered to deceive in the claret and blue.
Boa Morte suffered a cruciate knee injury in the close season of 2009 meaning he missed the whole of the 2009-2010 and he always struggled to recreate his form from his Fulham days.
Boa Morte featured 28 times in the 2010-2011 playing his last game for the club in the 3-0 home defeat to Sunderland after relegation was confirmed. His contract was terminated by mutual consent in the summer of 2011.
Boa Morte moved to Greek club AE Larissa to join former Fulham Coach Chris Coleman but his stint in Greece was cut short due to the clubs financial issues and he moved on to Orlando Pirates in South Africa. Boa Morte only managed 2 games for the Soweto club before returning to England firstly with Portsmouth and finally with Chesterfield.
Boa Morte’s career petered out having left Fulham which was a shame as he did have the credentials to be a fan favourite at the Hammers but his injury really diminished him as a player and he struggled to settle anywhere having left West Ham in 2011.
Ricardo Vaz Te 2012-2015
Vaz Te was signed in the January transfer window of 2012 and he was on a hot streak in front goal having scored 12 goals for the Yorkshire club in the first half of the season. Ricardo continued his form scoring with regularity helping the Hammers to the Play Offs.
Ricardo scored in the semi-final and most notably the winner in the final against Blackpool firing West Ham back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
Vaz Te was a victim of both Allardyce’s pragmatism and injury during the first season back in the top flight. He began the season in the team scoring in the win over QPR but dislocated his shoulder in the very next game and was subsequently ruled out for 3 months.
Allardyce had moved the team on by his return and players who had contributed to promotion were subsequently moved on and it appeared that Vaz Te for all his success early on in his West Ham career appeared to be surplus to requirements.
Injuries and lack of opportunity meant that Vaz te played very few games until his contract was terminated by the club in January 2015.
The Portuguese striker was quickly snapped up by Turkish side Akhisar Belediyespor on a six month contract he then returned to England with Charlton on a free transfer in November 2015 but he was released early from his contract and returned to Turkey.
As of July 2017 Ricardo is plying his trade in the Chinese Super League with Henan Jianye.
Although Vaz Te only featured sporadically for the club in the final 2 years of his contract he is fondly remembered for his contributions in the promotion season most notably the 87th minute winner against Blackpool in the 2012 play-off final