Heroes and villians from the archives of a shared history

The road from Anfield to Upton Park is a well travelled route, but have West Ham or Liverpool got more from those who played for both clubs?

With West Ham and Liverpool taking to the field at the Boleyn Ground this month, we explore the considerable transfer activity between the two clubs over recent years.

In honour of the considerable links between the two clubs we have compiled a team composed of stars who have played for both clubs the ‘Liverham XI’. Hammers fan Dave Meagher and Walter Cullen, representing Liverpool, give their verdict on how well these players performed during their spells at each club.

David James

DM: Hilarious character. Very talented keeper and all-round fun guy. He almost single-handedly kept the Hammers afloat during the relegation season of 2003 and stayed faithful to the cause for a season in the Championship until Manchester City came calling. Also scores highly on the ‘amusing hairstyles’ section! Verdict: 8/10

WC: A ‘model’ professional! The only goalkeeper to have played for both clubs and one of the most talented of his generation, ‘Calamity’ never realised his potential for Liverpool or England. Career highlight? Had to be ‘that suit’ at the 1996 FA Cup Final. 6/10

Glen Johnson

DM: Drafted into a sinking ship as a mere 17-year-old he showed remarkable maturity but Uncle Trev’s heroes of 2003 couldn’t dodge relegation and Chelsea pounced to steal the talented youngster. His subsequent career has never quite fully realised that early potential but he was truly excellent for the Hammers. 8/10

WC: The arrival of Brendan Rodgers has finally got Glen playing like he did at West Ham. Rob Jones, whose single appearance for the Hammers in the 1999 Intertoto Cup, made him eligible for selection, and almost gets the nod at right back, though. 7/10

Neil Ruddock

DM: Had a decent two year spell at Upton Park helping us to a European placing in 1998. Always pushing the limits, Naughty Neil picked up more than his fair share of bookings – usually for hauling back opposition forwards as his declining pace became a millstone. 7/10

WC: Provided much needed steel to Liverpool’s defence when signed from Spurs in 1993 for £2.5million. Amidst all the tomfoolery it was sometimes missed that he was a decent footballer. Didn’t survive long after the arrival of Gerard Houllier in 1998 and was transferred to West Ham for £300,000. 6/10

Rigobert Song

DM: Signed for £2.5m from Liverpool to replace Rio Ferdinand in 2000. Did not live up to expectations and was farmed out on loan to Koln and then Lens. Grew up in the strangely named Nkanglicock in Cameroon. 4/10

WC: Performed reasonably well for the Reds but mainly as a right back. Never quite matched his international success and slipped off the selection radar before being released to West Ham. 5/10

Julian Dicks

DM: Absolute legend! 100% uncompromising and committed. His skillfulness was often underestimated by opponents, including a deadly left foot. Amazingly for a defender, he averaged a goal every five games over a 262 game Hammers career. Currently wielding his wand with the West Ham Ladies. 10/10

WC: An uncompromising left back who came to Liverpool in a swap deal involving David Burrows and Mike Marsh. Why? West Ham seemed to get all the benefit and then took Dicks back for next to nothing. Yet another example of the poor transfer policy of that era at Liverpool. 3/10

Paul Ince

DM: Although he upset Hammers faithful during a messy departure, he was a top performer whilst at the club. Ironically his greatest performance was probably against Liverpool in a 4-1 League cup mauling where he scored all four Hammers goals. Provided much subsequent amusement as ‘a big time Charlie’ under Alex Ferguson at Man United. 8/10

WC: The ultimate box to box player. Came to Liverpool after a successful career with West Ham, Manchester United and Inter Milan. Like Neil Ruddock, was one of the infamous team of Spice Boys who did not survive the arrival of Gerard Houllier. Solid performer. 6/10

Javier Mascherano

DM: One half of the crazy signing that ultimately cost the Hammers much financial heartache. Appeared lost and strangely out of his depth during his spell in East London and seemed relieved to escape to Liverpool. Subsequent glittering success with Barca and Argentina continues to perplex Hammers fans. 4/10

WC: Signed from West Ham in 2008 and dubbed a ‘monster of a player’ by Rafa Benitez. Two seasons that established him as one of Europe’s finest central midfielders were to follow before a £24 million transfer to Barcelona. Left a gap in midfield which Raul Meireles struggled to fill. 9/10

Joe Cole

DM: All round likeable guy, young Joey was a thrilling prospect who delivered lots of eye catching trickery but without major product whilst at West Ham. Another for whom circumstances conspired to force a premature exit but fondly remembered at Upton Park and it was great to have him recently return. However, Big Sam obviously thinks he’s spent – this season at Villa will demonstrate. 7/10

WC: Though arrived to the club as Roy Hodgson’s first signing, he failed to deliver the form he showed for Chelsea and was sent on a lengthy loan spell with Lille. Too slow these days to fit in to the Brendan Rogers system and was allowed to return to his beloved Hammers. 3/10

Yossi Benayoun

DM: Classy midfielder who performed with gusto during his two periods with the Hammers before moving to the Hammers retirement squad at Harry Redknapp’s QPR. Clever and with a good eye for breaking through defences, Yossi always kept the opposition on their toes! 7/10

WC: Moved to Liverpool from West Ham in somewhat controversial circumstances in 2007. Was starting to really develop as a player until transferred to Chelsea in 2009. Known to pub quiz aficionados as ‘the only player to score Premiership, Champion’s League and FA Cup hat tricks ‘. 8/10

Craig Bellamy

DM: An ‘interesting’ character — moody and unforgiving of underperforming colleagues but a real game changer with his pace and finishing. Hammers career blighted by injury and petered out as we came off the rails (again) allowing him to go to Man City for £14million. 6/10

WC: Joined Liverpool in 2006 and after one moderately successful season (involving an alleged incident with a putter), became West Ham’s record signing in a £7.5 million transfer. Returned to Anfield for another season in 2011, which saw him partner well with Andy Carroll. 6/10

Andy Carroll

DM: A game changer who, when available, makes the Hammers a difficult team to play against due to his superb physicality and aerial presence. Will we ever get a decent run from the big lad? 7/10

WC: Andy Carroll’s £35 million transfer from Newcastle made him the most expensive British footballer of all time (hard to believe Luis Suarez cost ‘only’ £23 million on the same day). Used by Rodgers to emphasise his footballing philosophy but you’d have to wonder if he couldn’t be useful as an impact substitute in those tight games? 6/10

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