A list of all West Ham's rivals: Find out who the Hammers biggest opponents are

A list of all West Ham's rivals: Find out who the Hammers biggest opponents are

Helix Odhiambo
updated at October 24, 2023 at 11:00 AM

The Hammers have become a consistent club in the Premier League, competing with some of the best teams in England. Most of West Ham's rivals come from London, where the team is based. The club has produced top talents and continues entertaining its fans with high-end football.

West Ham United rivals
West Ham United players line up ahead of their UEFA Conference League group B match against Anderlecht at London Stadium, London, on 13 October 2022. Photo: Adam Davy
Source: Getty Images

Founded in 1885, West Ham is one of the most competitive teams in England. They are in West London and play their home matches at the London Stadium. The list of West Ham United's rivals has also grown since its formation. Read more about the club's top football enemies and the root of the hatred.

Who are West Ham's rivals?

The Hammers have bitter rivalries with several clubs in the Premier League and the EFL Championship. Some animosity goes beyond football, rooted in numerous factors like politics, history, life experiences, or geographical closeness.

Who are West Ham's biggest rivals?

The most publicised rivals of the London-based club include Chelsea, Millwall, and Tottenham Hotspur. Their matches involve a lot of tension as players fight to the death to maintain a good reputation. Here is a breakdown of the top 10 West Ham United's rivals in the club's history.


Are Arsenal and West Ham rivals?
Arsenal players applaud the fans after their Premier League match against West Ham United at London Stadium on 16 April 2023 in London, United Kingdom. Photo: Gaspafotos
Source: Getty Images

Are Arsenal and West Ham rivals? The Gunners are among the greatest West Ham's rivals in the Premier League. The two clubs often fight for bragging rights in London on the pitch. Their fans are always fired up and ready to defend their clubs.

The Gunners are in North London, while West Ham are on the Eastern side. They are involved in the North vs East identity battle. It is also one of the hotly-contested London derbies in the Premier League.

Sheffield United

Who are West Ham's most disliked rivals?
Tomas Soucek (C) of West Ham United takes a shot during their Premier League match against Sheffield United at London Stadium on 30 September 2023 in London, England. Photo: Henry Browne
Source: Getty Images

The feud between Sheffield United and the Hammers began in 2007 after Carlos Tevez helped West Ham remain in the top flight at the expense of Sheffield. The Argentine guided the club to strings of victories in the last games of the 2006-2007 season. He scored a final-day winner against Manchester United to keep them safe.

However, the recruitment of Tevez and his fellow countryman Javier Mascherano brought controversy after the Hammers allegedly breached transfer policies of third-party ownership. The court found them guilty and fined them around $6.69 million. Sheffield protested and got an out-of-court compensation of about $24.3 million. Since then, the fixture between the two has continually created tension among fans.


Are Chelsea and West Ham rivals?
Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas (4) gets in a scuffle with West Ham United players during their Premier League match at Stamford Bridge on 19 March 2016 in London, England. Photo: Catherine Ivill
Source: Getty Images

Chelsea is one of the most successful teams in football. They have consistently participated at the highest levels and attracted top European talents. So, how are Chelsea and West Ham rivals?

Their animosity intensified following the Blues' habit of poaching West Ham's best players. Chelsea lured John Terry, Joe Cole and Frank Lampard to leave the Hammers. Terry and Lampard became Chelsea legends after guiding the club to numerous titles.

Is West Ham vs Chelsea a derby? The two clubs are based in London, making the fixture a derby. Chelsea occupies the Eastern side, while West Ham the Western part. Their clashes often depict the East vs West rivalry.

Tottenham Hotspur

West Ham rivals in the Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur players (white shirts) attacking West Ham United players during their FA Premier League match at Upton Park in London, England. West Ham won 2-1. Photo: Mike Hewitt
Source: Getty Images

Spurs are among the most popular clubs in the English top flight. They are known for their attacking football. So, are Tottenham and West Ham rivals? The atmosphere fans create when Spurs and the Hammers meet makes the fixture unique.

Spurs and the Hammers are London rivals, often battling for the city's supremacy. Players switching sides also intensified the fierce competition between the two sides.


Why are Millwall and West Ham rivals?
West Ham United's Alvin Martin (R) gets away after a fight with Millwall players (blue and white kits) during a Premier League game in November 1992. Photo: Paul Marriott
Source: Getty Images

Millwall is the only West Ham's rival playing outside the Premier League. They are in the second division (EFL Championship). Their animosity with the Hammers dates back to the early 1900s, originally called the 'Dockers derby'. It remains one of the fiercest derbies in English football. So, why are Millwall and West Ham rivals?

The two teams were formed and supported by shipmen, shipbuilders and workers with rivalry in their businesses. The feud stretched to other areas like football. Over the years, the fixture between the two has experienced violence and hooliganism, as fans fight like animals.

Millwall vs West Ham deaths and injuries were high during the 70s and 80s. A Millwall fan died in 1976, followed by a tragic stabbing of the Hammers supporter in 1986. Their 2009 fixture also experienced riots outside Upton Park, leading to several injuries and the stabbing of a Millwall fan.

Who are West Ham's most disliked rivals?

According to a 2019 poll, the Hammers' fans named Tottenham Hotspur their most hated rivals, followed by Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool. West Ham and Spurs have endured a long, unfriendly history that the fanbase despite each other.

What is the biggest rivalry in London football?

What is the biggest rivalry in London football?
A melee breaks out after Tottenham Hotspur got an equaliser against Arsenal during their Premier League match at Emirates Stadium on 2 December 2018 in London, United Kingdom. Photo: James Williamson
Source: Getty Images

The North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur is the best rivalry in the Premier League. The fixture delivers an incredible atmosphere as the two teams strive to establish dominance over the other. Arsenal and Spurs have different approaches to football, making their games attractive. While the Gunners focus on entertaining fans, Tottenham's motto is to fight and win at all costs.

Are Aston Villa and West Ham rivals?

Aston Villa is an English club based in Birmingham, England. The Hammers are not among their strongest rivals in the Premier League. Villa's main adversaries are West Brom, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United, Coventry City, and Birmingham City.

Are Newcastle and West Ham rivals?

Newcastle United is among the oldest and most celebrated football clubs in England. They have established iconic rivalries with several top teams, excluding the Hammers. Newcastle's main rivals include Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Sunderland.

West Ham's rivals have given them stiff competition, challenging the Hammers to improve. The club has faced Premier League relegation twice since its formation. The fans' passion and team culture continue to attract some of the best football talents on earth.

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Helix Odhiambo photo
Helix Odhiambo
Helix Odhiambo is an award-winning Kenyan journalist and content creator with over 6 years of experience. In 2016, he won the Goal Blaze Correspondent Award for young writers.