Kevin Keen 1983-1993
Something of a teenage prodigy in his early career, Keen joined the Hammers from Wycombe in 1983. He represented his country and youth level on numerous occasions eventually making his first-team debut in 1986 having helped the reserve team win the Combination League the preceding year. Keen would experience two relegations and two promotions during his time with the club and would feature in both the League Cup and FA Cup semi-finals.
Keens final game for the club saw him help the team gain promotion in the last game of the 1992-93 season. Despite being runner up in the Hammer of the year poll, Keen was allowed to leave the club for Wolverhampton Wanderers for £600,000. He played a season with the Black Country club before moving to join former manager Lou Macari at Stoke City. Keen would remain with the Potters for five and half seasons scoring the winning goal in the first Potteries derby at the new Britannia Stadium, but his time at Stoke came to an end in 2000 with the club in the third tier of English football having been relegated the season before.
Keen eventually finished his career with Macclesfield Town in 2002 and returned to West Ham as under 17 academy coach and worked his way through the ranks to eventually serve as reserve team management and twice take temporary charge of first team affairs following the resignations of both Alan Pardew and Alan Curbishley and was formerly appointed first team coach in 2007.
Keen served one more game in charge of the first-team West Ham following the sacking of Avram Grant in 2011.
His involvement with the Hammers ended when he joined Liverpool in July 2011 where he served under Kenny Dalglish, spending just a year at the club until the moved onto West Brom following Liverpool’s appointment of Brendan Rogers.
Keen then spent a season and a half with the Baggies as first-team coach before being sacked along with head coach Steve Clarke, who he later joined at Reading before being sacked again in 2015.
Since his time at Reading, Keen managed Colchester United before returning to coaching with Crystal Palace in 2016.
Michael Hughes 1994-1997
A Northern Irish international signed from Strasbourg initially on loan in 1994, he became one the first players to move on a Bosman when the move was made permanent on July 1st, 1996. Hughes scored in one the most famous Upton Park games of recent history the 1-1 draw with Manchester United in 1995 which secured Blackburn the title.
A gifted and stylish midfielder Hughes won admirers for his tenacity and hard work as much as his guile. He moved onto Wimbledon in 1997 whom he served with distinction and then moved on to Crystal Palace where he became a firm favourite with the fans during their promotion push in 2004 which of course ended with Palace defeating the Hammers in the play-off final at Cardiff. Hughes stayed with the Eagles until 2007, when he moved on to join former Manger Ian Dowie at Coventry eventually moving on to become player coach of St Neots Town, working with former Hammer Steve Lomas.
Hughes is now back in his homeland working at his first club Carrick Rangers where he is chief executive and majority shareholder.
Matty Holmes 1992-1995
A diminutive left winger signed from Bournemouth for £60,000 in 1992, Holmes was a creative spark on the left-hand side of the West Ham midfield and helped the club to promotion in the 1992-93 season. Holmes impressed for West Ham in the Premier League with his diligent play and creative threat so much so that champions Blackburn paid £1.2 million for him in the Summer of 1995,
Holmes could not force his way into the team at Blackburn and was eventually moved on to Charlton in July 1997. Sadly Holmes professional career was cut short when a tackle from Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Kevin Muscat caused an injury so severe that a surgeon told Holmes he was very fortunate to avoid having to have his leg amputated. He bravely tried to return to professional football undergoing a series of operations but he could only return for 20 minutes of first-team football for the rest of his stay with Charlton. Holmes contract with Charlton came to an end in 2000 and he left for Dorchester Town.
Holmes was finally awarded a sum of £250,000 for damages resulting from the tackle by Muscat.
Holmes is now heavily involved in youth coaching, he runs coaching schools in the Dorset and Hampshire areas aimed at primary school children. He also works for Bournemouth running their primary school age centre of excellence.