West Ham’s five greatest wingers of all-time

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One of the most endearing aspects of the Boleyn Ground was the tight caldron atmosphere generated on game days.

Before the West Stand was developed, fans would be within touching distance of the action, making for an unnerving experience for visiting players.

During those times, the West Ham way was about fast attacking play, epitomised by flying wingbacks and wingers steaming along the touchline next to what was the old Chicken Run.

Of those who have run the wing for the Hammers, here are five of the club’s greatest wide players of all-time:

Click on the Upton Park pitch to reveal all
Upton Park

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  • G cuell says:

    I would like to suggest th followng 1jimmy ruffle 2 Harry hooper 3 malcolm musgrove4 peter brabrook 5 john sissons.

  • Cb says:

    Hope list not in order

    Devonshire should be number 1 by a mile

    Nobody else even remotely close

    The likes of harry redknapp, sissons, Paul Allen etc should all be ahead of lazaridis

  • Kieran says:

    No etherington!!?!

  • Darren says:

    Stuart Slater and Mark Ward

  • Mr Moon says:

    We had a wonderful winger called Johnny Ayris – who sadly met Chopper Harris one day and was never the same again. Also , should Martin Peters be classed a winger ?

  • stevieb says:

    keith robson,graham paddon

  • ton g says:

    peter Brabrook Johnny Sissons Harry Redknapp Jimmy ruffle. I saw John Bond play many times – he was not a winger. Good Back! John Ayris could have been good had a great debut I think against Burnley. I saw chopper boot him in the air!

  • stevieb says:

    late 60s chant “we got albert tatlock on the wing”(coronation street pensioner)

  • kv says:

    Cant beleive mark wards not in there, he was an excellent player

  • roy says:

    terry woodgate circa 1946/1950

  • Alan says:

    Harry Hooper must be among the best wingers we have ever had. John Bond was a great right back (and occasional centre forward!) but he was not a winger by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Bob wheeler says:

    As a young boy I idolised Hary Hooper. He was fast, tricky and could score goals. Given the ball in his own half he would tear down that right wing, terrifying the opposition. I was broken hearted when we sold him I think to Wolves. In came Mike Grice but Harry was irreplacable. Harry never shone at Wolves in the same way as he did at the Hammers. I remember seeing him in the foyer of the Odeon cinema at Gants Hill and saying hello. He grinned and responded.

  • Bob wheeler says:

    Other wingers that come to mind include Ken Tucker (often fell over his own feet), Malcolm Musgrove (fast and direct), John Sissons, Alan Sealey and Peter Brabook. Of those five I think John and Peter were the best. Remind me of more modern wingers! I saw John Bond play centre forward on a few occasions but I can’t remember him tearing down the wing. As a target man he scored a few goals and yes he had a powerful shot. In my opinion John and Noel Cantwell were the best full back pairing West Ham ever had.

    Remind me of some more recent wingers please.

    I moved to the North West 46 years ago so had to support Hammers from afar. As we all know the Hammers do not travel too well so I haven’t seen too many away wins. John Bond went on to manage Manchester City and after he retired from all football I saw him on a number of occasions shopping in Hale Barns (Cheshire). Once I told him I saw him play centre forward for the Hammers. He laughed at the memory. A few years later I saw him crossing the road in Hale Village and I shouted out “come on you Irons”. He turned with a big grin on his face, obviously not expecting to hear that chant 220 miles from Green Street.

    Paolo played on the left didn’t he? Could he be deemed a winger?

    This year Stuart Downing has put in some great performances so he must be up there at the top of our lists.

    Food for thought!

  • Ron says:

    The best wingers I saw were Eric Parsons,Harry Hooper,John Sissons,Alan Devonshire and Trevor Sinclair. Hooper was certainly the most exciting with his lightning speed,shooting ability and pin point centres.I used to meet Harry at the local dances and often travelling on the buses.He had no side at all and would always be open to talk.For a couple of seasons he was “West Ham” and the cry from the old chicken run was “give it to Harry”. Arguably the top spot would have to go to Dev. Not least for his loyalty and years of consistency but we have had no one since to match him or the others. De Canio was mainly wide but a central attacker.

  • Mike says:

    Lot’s of memorable players listed. As real wingers I would probably say Harry Hooper, Johnny Sissons, Harry Redknap, Matthew Etherington, and Eric Parsons.

  • Dave Twitchett says:

    Terry Woodgate, Ken Tucker who one could chat to in his Barking Road sweet shop and Hooper

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