10 Things you may not have known about West Ham’s influence over the England team through the years
1. 41 Players have been picked for England while playing for West Ham, most did not make 20 caps before either leaving West Ham or never being picked again. Bobby Moore is West Ham’s most capped England player with 108 caps, while 23 of the 41 players won 3 caps or less in their time with the Hammers.
2. George William Webb was the first West Ham player capped by England. Webb was a centre-forward from Poplar who made a goalscoring debut in a 3-0 win over Wales at the Den in March 1911. Webb played one more game 19 days later against Scotland and was never picked again. Webb remained an amateur throughout his time at West Ham and his work commitments did hamper his time on the pitch. Webb was fiercely protective of his amateur status and fell out with Manchester City following his transfer from West Ham in 1912. Webb discovered that City had paid a transfer fee which he believed went against his amateur principles. Webb is described in the press at the time as “fast with a great shot while a hefty physique made him more redoubtable.” Webb continued to work in his family’s toy manufacturing business throughout his playing career but sadly died from consumption in 1915 just 4 years after his England debut.
3. Matthew Upson was the last West Ham player to score for England, netting a header in the 4-1 defeat against Germany in the 2010 World Cup.
4. Upson and former Hammers David James and Joe Cole all played their last game for England in the 4-1 defeat. Former West Ham players Glen Johnson, Frank Lampard and Jermain Defoe also featured in the game.
5. West Ham’s all-time top scorer Vic Watson played 5 times for England in a 7 year period between 1923 and 1930, scoring 4 times.
6. 6 of West Ham’s FA Cup final side were capped by England in the 20’s. One of the most notable was left back John Trearsdern who when appraising his England debut in 1923 said simply “I was the best player Scotland had.” Just two weeks later Trearsdern played in the FA Cup Final for West Ham, fans circled the pitch due to overcrowding and one Bolton fan held Trearsdern back allowing the Bolton player David Jack to smash a shot past Ted Hufton with such force it knocked a fan who was pressed up against the net unconscious.
7. West Ham centre-half Jim “Tiny” Barrett made his England debut against Ireland in 1928, unfortunately for Tiny he only lasted 4 minutes in what would prove to be his only appearance for his country, making his the shortest England international career on record.
8. Upton Park hosted one England game, a 3-1 defeat to Australia in 2003 which was Wayne Rooney’s debut, making him the youngest England international.
9. Former West Ham player Frank Lampard has taken and scored the most penalties for England, scoring 9 out of the 11 he has taken, a conversion rate of 81.8%.
10. Of course West Ham contributed 3 players to England’s winning World Cup team of 1966. Captain Bobby Moore, hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst and England’s other goal scorer that day Martin Peters. That was 51 years ago last July! To put into context, David Moyes was 3 when England won the World Cup!