Considering the history of football in this country, it would be a pretty tall order to find any man, woman or child who would disagree that West Ham have had their fair share of big game players.


From 1966 World Cup heroes Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, to club legends like Billy Bonds and Sir Trevor Brooking, the Hammers' history is littered with stars who performed well on the big stage.

David Moyes

Here though, we'll focus solely on players from the modern era. While on-field success has been limited during this period, there are still many players who have earned places in the Irons' history. Whether that's from helping the team avoid relegation or guiding them back to the promised land, each of these players proved their worth to the club.


Here are seven of West Ham's best big game players, each of whom the current crop can look to take inspiration from...


Dimitri Payet

Dimitri Payet

Going on strike and refusing to play is never a good look for any player, and while the circumstances of Payet's departure in 2017 left a bitter taste in the mouths of ​West Ham fans, they will surely still have fond memories of the man who brought the X-factor to east London for two years.


Joining from Marseille in the summer of 2015, the Frenchman was a revelation during his first season in England. With nine goals and 12 assists in the league, the winger propelled the Hammers to a seventh-place finish - their second highest finish in Premier League history. It was a mighty fine way to bid farewell to the Boleyn Ground.


Biggest Moment:​ A stunning 30-yard free kick at Old Trafford to earn the Hammers a 1-1 draw and a replay against Manchester United in the 2016 FA Cup quarter final.


Marlon Harewood​

Marlon Harewood

Have there been many greater sights for West Ham fans in recent times than the jubilant image of a pumped-up Marlon Harewood wheeling away in celebration while ripping his shirt off?


Goals don't come much bigger than an 89th minute winner over London rivals ​Arsenal. It was a goal that raised the roof of Upton Park and earned the striker a place in West Ham folklore. 


But that wasn't the only time Harewood scored a vital goal on the big stage for the Hammers, nor was it the first time his jersey was disposed of in the process...


Biggest Moment: Sending the club to their first FA Cup final in 26 years, scoring the only goal of the game in West Ham's 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the semi final at Villa Park back in 2006.


Carlton Cole

Carlton Cole

Though obviously not the most prolific English striker of recent times, it's worth noting that Cole was the top league goalscorer for West Ham for four consecutive seasons from 2008/09 to 2011/12 - admittedly, those leading goal tallies of 11, ten, 11 and 15 might say more about the lack of goals elsewhere at the club as opposed to Cole's individual goalscoring prowess.


The striker, who last played professionally in Indonesia in 2017 before announcing his retirement, spent nine long years at West Ham. It might have just been the seven years had the Hammers not failed in numerous attempts to sign another striker during the 2013 summer transfer window.


Luckily for Cole, after being released at the end of the 2012/13 season, the club came crawling back with their tail tucked firmly between their legs and brought the Englishman back for a further two seasons.


Biggest Moment: Scored in the 2012 Championship playoff final as West Ham beat Blackpool 2-1 and returned to the Premier League at the first time of asking.


Paolo Di Canio

Paolo Di Canio

​Paolo Di Canio is not only one of the finest players to don the West Ham shirt in the Premier League era, but he's also one of the biggest characters in the club's history.


Arguably the most beloved West Ham player of the past 20 years, the passionate Italian always had fans on the edge of their seat. With that infamous referee-pushing incident behind him, the forward excelled during his three-and-a-half seasons in claret and blue. He scored 47 league goals, making him the club's all-time top Premier League goalscorer.


Sadly, the legend himself couldn't prevent West Ham being relegated - with a record high 42 points - in 2002/03. Not that it tarnished the great man's legacy.

Biggest Moment: Regardless of whether a match in March 2000 between mid-table West Ham and relegation-battling Wimbledon can be considered a 'big game', just sit back and enjoy one of the finest goals in Premier League history. A goal that truly summed up the Italian's genius. 


Scott Parker

Scott Parker

Another West Ham star who failed to fend off the threat of relegation for the club, but good-golly did Scotty Parker do everything in his power to try and prevent it.


After signing from Newcastle in 2007, Parker orchestrated the Hammers' midfield brilliantly for four years, but the tenacious Englishman saved his best until last. In spite of West Ham's relegation in 2010/11, Parker was magnificent all season. So good, in fact, that he was voted Player of the Year by the Football Writers' Association.


Following the club's relegation to the Championship, few could begrudge Parker his move to ​Tottenham as the midfielder looked to nail down a place in Fabio Capello's England side.


Biggest Moment: Scored a long-range stunner to fire the Hammers towards safety with a vital 3-2 win over Wigan Athletic in 2010.


Carlos Tevez

Carlos Tevez,Mark Noble

Avert your eyes, Mr. Neil Warnock.


Carlos Tevez's move to West Ham - along with compatriot Javier Mascherano - is probably the most controversial transfer deal in Premier League history. Regardless of the fines and subsequent legal battles, it was a brilliant move by the Hammers.


Never before had one man single-handedly saved a club from relegation in the way Tevez did in 2006/07. The Argentine scored seven goals in the second half of the season and inspired West Ham to a great escape, also picking up the Hammer of the Year Award.


Biggest Moment: Scored the only goal of the game as West Ham beat ​Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford on the final day of the season, securing the club's top flight status as Sheffield United failed to beat Wigan on the same day.


Bobby Zamora

Bobby Zamora

Boyhood Irons fan Zamora endeared himself to the West Ham faithful immediately upon his arrival in January 2004, scoring the winning goal on his home debut against Cardiff City.


The striker's West Ham career went from strength to strength and he truly showed his ability to step up on the big stage for the club during his first full season, as a third-place finish gave the Hammers a playoff spot.


After scoring one in the first leg and two in the second leg of the playoff semi final against Ipswich Town, Zamora steered the Hammers to the final where they would face Preston North End for a place in the Premier League...

Biggest Moment: And guess what? Zamora fired the club to a 1-0 victory over Preston in the Championship playoff final, sending West Ham back to the Premier League after two years away.