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How many siblings have played for West Ham?
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

How many siblings have played for West Ham?

Rio Ferdinand and his brother Anton are undoubtedly the most famous but how many siblings have played for West Ham United?

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The Ferdinands instantly spring to mind as the most recent and high profile to represent West Ham.

But Hammers fans might be surprised to learn that no less than seven sets of brothers have played first team football for West Ham.

George and Jack Hilsdon

Chronologically, first up are the Hilsdon brothers, George and Jack.

George Hilsdon was a striker who netted 35 goals in 92 appearances for the Hammers over two spells between 1904 and 1914.

George Hilsdon was so prolific for West Ham’s rivals Chelsea he had his own weather vane on the top of the old West Stand as pictured here during the Division 1 match between Chelsea and West Ham on March 29,1986 at Stamford Bridge. West Ham won the game 4-0. Photo by Hugh Hastings Chelsea FC via Getty Images

His time at West Ham was sandwiched between a spell at bitter rivals Chelsea where he scored a remarkable 107 goals in 194 appearances.

Jack Hilsdon was older than George and makes it on this list by virtue of a single appearance against Luton back in 1903.

George Hilsdon was at West Ham when the next set of brothers represented the club – the Denyers.

Albert and Frank Denyer

Albert Denyer was another forward who scored 16 goals in 46 games for West Ham between 1912 and 1914.

He went on to play for Swindon where he played over 300 matches and scored 49 goals.

His brother Frank Denyer plied his trade at the opposite end of the pitch as a defender and managed just two league games for the Hammers in 1913-14.

West Ham wing half Norman Corbett having a knee massage from trainer Billy Moore in 1948. Photo by George W. Hales Fox Photos Getty Images

David, Norman and Willie Corbett

It would more than two decades until West Ham had their next siblings feature for the first team.

David Corbett played four games for the Irons in 1936-37 and his younger brother Norman enjoyed a much lengthier stay, playing from 1937 until 1949, making 173 appearances. There was even a third Corbett brother, Willie, who appeared for West Ham during the war years.

One name most West Ham fans will instantly recognise is Ted Fenton.

Ted and Benny Fenton

Ted was a player with the Hammers from 1937 until 1946, turning out 146 times. He also famously led West Ham to the Second Division Championship as manager in 1958.

But did you know his brother Benny also played for the Hammers? Benny Fenton played 22 games for West Ham, scoring nine goals between 1937 and 1939.

Ted Fenton as manager of West Ham in circa 1960. Photo by Central Press Getty Images

He later went on to play for Millwall, Colchester United and Charlton Athletic. Benny and Ted actually played together in the same team four times – the first brothers to do so at first team level for West Ham.

Anton and Rio managed this in a West Ham match at Upton Park too – but that was Mark Noble’s non-competitive testimonial.

Bill and Andy Nelson

The Nelson brothers were next.

Bill Nelson played twice in 1954 and younger brother Andy was part of the Championship squad four years later under Fenton.

Andy Nelson played 17 games in the late 1950s before leaving for Ipswich.

John and Clive Charles

John and Clive Charles were the next brothers to play for West Ham’s senior side.

Fullback John was the captain of the FA Youth Cup winning team in 1963. Younger brother Clive was also a fullback but played just 15 times before joining Cardiff City in 1973.

John Charles, front row right with the West Ham squad of July 1968. Photo by Daily Mirror Mirrorpix via Getty Images

Like the Fenton brothers, John and Clive also appeared in the same West Ham side together when the pair lined up in the semi-final of the Combination Cup away to Ipswich Town reserves in April 1970.

Alan and Paul Curbishley

Younger West Ham fans will remember Alan Curbishley having managed the club to the Great Escape in 2007. Lifelong Hammer Curbs and his brother Paul Curbishley represented the club between 1974 and 1978.

Alan played a total of 195 games but there is some dispute over whether Paul ever made a first team appearance.

The seventh set of brothers to play for the West Ham first team was of course the Ferdinands.

Photo by John Peters Manchester United via Getty Images

Rio and Anton Ferdinand

Rio – considered one of the best defenders of the modern footballer era – played 160 games over five years for West Ham before being sold to Leeds for £18m, a world record for a defender at that time. He would break his own record by moving to Manchester United for £30m.

His younger brother Anton managed one less game – 159 – for West Ham before being sold to Sunderland for £8m in 2008 as a result of the club’s financial difficulties.


Shelveys and Lees could have made it nine

It could have been more. Jonjo Shelvey came through the West Ham academy behind his brother George – who the midfielder claims was a better player than him.

But when West Ham released George, Jonjo opted to leave the east Londoners as well.

Elliot Lee and his older brother Olly both came through at West Ham. The Lees could be the eighth siblings to feature for West Ham but there is some discrepancy over whether Olly made a substitute appearance in a cup game.

Striker Elliot made four first team appearances for the Hammers, but Olly’s official tally shows he never made an official appearance before being released in 2012.

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