West Ham confirms that Declan Rice will be leaving the club for a British record transfer fee.
The 24-year-old England midfielder leaves the Hammers with 245 senior appearances for the club, the last of which ended in triumph last month as he won the UEFA Europa Conference League trophy in Prague, ending the club’s 43-year drought for a significant honour.
The Chadwell Heath Academy of Football is where the Kingston-born midfielder started his Claret and Blue career as a 14-year-old in 2013 before making his first-team debut against Burnley in May 2017. Since then, he has advanced and is now recognised as one of the top young talents in football.
Declan made his full England debut in March 2019 and has since gone on to win 43 caps. Rice won the Hammer of the Year award three times in 2020, 2022, and 2023 and finished as runner-up in 2018 and 2019. After Mark Noble retired in the summer of 2022, Rice was named West Ham United Club Captain. He had a successful final season as David Moyes’ squad won just the second major European championship in the club’s history.
Joint-Chair David Sullivan said: “I am sorry to see Declan leave us, but I believe that everyone at West Ham United should be very proud of the part we have played in his journey from the Academy of Football at Chadwell Heath to becoming the most valuable young player in English football.
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“I would like to make it clear to our supporters that we did not want to sell Declan. We wanted to build our team around him and made a series of improved, long-term contract offers to secure his future. However, once Declan made it clear that he wished to move on and seek a new challenge, the Club felt it would not be right to stand in his way, acting in the best interests of West Ham United.
“He leaves with the sincere thanks, respect and love of everyone here, having earned his place in history alongside the great Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds as the only players to have captained West Ham United to a major trophy. More than that, he has always given absolutely everything for the football club throughout his time with us.
“Declan will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Hammers fans and everyone here at the Club. We wish him well for the future and he will always be an inspiration and an example to any young player coming through our Academy.”
Manager David Moyes also spoke about the departing player saying: “I’d like to personally thank Declan for everything he has done during his time at West Ham United. Obviously, it is sad when we say goodbye to someone who has been with us for so long but we must now look forward.
“West Ham United is a huge Club and, as history shows, no player is ever bigger than the Club. Our entire focus now is on building upon the success we enjoyed last season, adding to our talented UEFA Europa Conference League title-winning squad as we enter our third consecutive season in Europe, and continuing to develop the best young talent through our successful Academy.