David Kelly 1988 – 1990 48 (16) Apps 14 Goals
Signed by John Lyall for £600,000 from Walsall in the summer of 1988 as replacement for the outgoing Tony Cottee, Kelly struggled to find form in a struggling team and as such had a largely unsuccessful time with the Hammers.
Prolific in the lower leagues for Walsall Kelly only found the net 6 times in his first League season which saw the Hammers relegated in 1989, he didn’t fare better in his second season where he only scored 2 goals in 24 games.
After two seasons of underachievement Kelly moved onto Leicester for £300,000 in March 1990.
Kelly qualified to play the Republic through his Dublin born Father, and scored a Hat trick on his debut against Israel in 1987. Kelly is perhaps most famous for scoring the goal that sparked the Lansdowne Road Riot in 1995 leading to the game being abandoned due to rioting by the English Fans.
Kelly played 26 for the Republic scoring 9 times.
Frederique Piquionne 2010-2012 40 (22) 11 Goals
Freddy joined the club from Lyon for £1.2 million Euro’s following a relatively successful spell on loan at Portsmouth which saw him score the goals which helped the club reach the 2010 FA Cup Final.
The Frenchman started well at the club scoring the winner against Tottenham will always endear you to the fans, but it became apparent very quickly that Piquionne was not consistent enough to be a benefit to a struggling side. As always there are mitigating circumstances Freddy was playing in the worst West Ham side in recent history managed by West Ham’s worst ever manager. Piquionne clearly had talent he had played for Monaco and Lyon previously but he always gave the impression that he wasn’t up for the fight not a trait that will endear a player to the passionate Hammers fans.
Piquionne’s time with the club is perfectly summarized by him scoring a goal to put West Ham in front in a crucial game against Everton at Goodison Park. A good finish prompted unheralded passionate celebrations from the big Striker who jumped the advertising hoardings in glee, forgetting that he had been booked earlier in the game. Piquionne was promptly sent off leaving West Ham to face the Everton onslaught with only 10 men. Of course Everton equalised in the dying minutes costing West Ham a precious 2 points in their struggle avoid the drop. Piquionne has gone on to play for Doncaster and Portland Timbers and is currently plying his trade for Indian side Mumbai City.
Wellington Paulista 2013
A Brazilian striker signed on loan from Cruzeiro in January 2013, Paulista’s arrival was greeted with some excitement he had a very good scoring record in the Copa Libertadores for the Brazilian club.
He was hawked around to various Premier League clubs by his agent for nearly 3 years before West Ham finally took the plunge, David Sullivan was quoted as saying he expected the Brazilian to have the same impact of previous “wildcard” signings Demba Ba and Ilan. West Ham were in need of goals to help them maintain their Premier League status in the first season back in the top flight, but sadly the Brazilian did not make the impression his reputation promised it would. He was an unused substitute in two games but would never make an appearance for the club. He returned to Brazil and is currently playing for Brazilian side Chapecoense.