Standing as the first professional team to represent Essex, West Ham actually emerged from the bankruptcy of amateur team Old Castle Swifts in 1895. Forming 3 years prior, the Castle Swifts' founding employer Donald Currie, lost interest in the team and refused to continue paying for the team. With popularity of football growing at the time, interest for the team's purchase continued and it finally fell to philanthropist Arnold Hills, who stepped, up to assume the new role as team owner. Changing the team name to Thames Ironworks FC, it is Hills who is predominantly remembered as founding the team.
Impressively, while Thames Ironworks FC, began their campaign on a strictly amateur basis, the team proved to be so successful that by 1898, the team went completely professional, joining the Southern League Second Division. Winning the Southern League in their first attempt they were once more promoted, however the following year, despite being recognised as a fully fledged competitive team, they finished second from bottom and only through a play-off did the team manage to remain in First Division. At the turn of the century, in a bid to infuse a new era for the team, Thames Ironworks officially changed their name to West Ham United Football Club. Suffice to say, it is because of this that West Ham retains their nickname of "The Irons" and "The Hammers", referencing their workman roots!
For the next 20 years, the team fell under the leadership of former player Syd King, and, despite a number of home ground changes, the team retained their "working class" reputation. Suffice to say climbing the local leagues through the years, West Ham eventually found themselves elected to the Football League's Second division, promoting to the top division in 1923. Fast forward almost 100 years, filled with promotions and relegations, the team continues to defend their place in top tier football, making West Ham one of the most exciting teams to follow! So if you're looking for a team to watch, you really can't go wrong with West Ham tickets, which can now be found at Ticketbis!