The club were founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks FC and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United. In 1904 the club relocated to their current Boleyn Ground stadium, which is also known as Upton Park.
The team and supporters are known as "The Hammers", in part because of the club's origins as Thames Ironworks and also, erroneously, due to the club's name. They are also known as "The Irons", "The Cockney Boys" "The Academy of Football", or just "The Academy".
They have won three FA Cups, in 1964, 1975 and 1980, and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965.
Ron Greenwood is West Ham's most successful manager, having won the FA Cup and Cup Winners' Cup. The FA Cup was won with a 3-2 victory over Preston North End at Wembley, with goals from John Sissons, Geoff Hurst and Ronnie Boyce. The following year saw a 2-0 defeat of 1860 Munich earn them the Cup Winners' Cup. Alan Sealey scored both goals.
Greenwood established a production line of young talent that because of the cultured way in which they played football earned the club the nickname of "The Academy of Football".
Three of the The Academy's most famous graduates were Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. The trio were all part of England's victorious team in the 1966 World Cup. It is often joked that, because in the final Hurst and Peters scored all four goals while Moore was captain, that it was actually West Ham that won the cup.
The youth set-up enjoyed a second period of productivity in the late 1990s with the emergence of England players Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Glen Johnson, Joe Cole and Michael Carrick.
In 1975, the Hammers won their second FA Cup. Captained by Billy Bonds, they defeated Fulham 2-0 with both goals coming from Alan Taylor. Taylor, who had only signed from Rochdale in January, also scored twice in the quarters and semis.
In 1980, second division West Ham famously defeated the mighty Arsenal by one goal to nil to win their third FA Cup. Trevor Brooking scored the winner with a rare diving header, and they remain the last team outside the top flight to have won the cup.