Declan Rice: Fairy-tale ending to his East London love story

Published on 12 June 2023 at 20:00

Declan Rice: Fairy-tale ending to his East London love story

West Ham defeated Fiorentina and won the Europa Conference League in Prague with to a last-minute goal from Jarrod Bowen, ending their 43-year drought for a major trophy.

Declan Rice, the club's captain, led the team to victory in what was likely his last game for the team, following in the footsteps of Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds. Bonds led West Ham to the FA Cup in 1975 and Moore led them to the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965.

Declan Rice 

Growing up in the London the former Ireland international was in Chelsea's academy from the age of 7 till 14 before moving onto West Hams academy.

After rising through the West Ham academy, Rice made his debut in the 2016–17 season and has since played 245 appearances and scored 15 goals for the club.

He played three times for the Republic of Ireland before deciding to go for England, with whom he has received 41 caps and appeared in all five of their World Cup games last year.

With 48 appearances across all competitions,  four goals and four assists, the No. 41 has had another stellar season.

The club captain, who has made eleven appearances with one goal and one assist, has been a major contributor to the club's success in the UEFA Conference League.

Rice's finest performance occurred in the quarterfinal matchup with KAA Gent, where he had a passing completion rate of 92.6% for the entire season. A spectacular left foot flick by the No. 41 secured a spot in a second straight European semi-final in front of an electric London Stadium.

Where Does He Go Next?

Rice's contract has one year still remaining, but West Ham have the option to extend it until the summer of 2025, giving them the upper hand in negotiations for a sizable transfer price.

The News coming out of Germany earlier in the week by the news outlet 'Ran' and the BBC this morning is that the a move to Arsenal for the 24 year-old midfielder, "has been a done deal for a while". 


Following the final whistle of the conference league final West Ham chairman David Sullivan announced the news that every hammers fan was dreading. 

 "99%" sure captain Declan Rice will leave the club this summer."

"We gave the promise last summer that if he gave us his all, we would let him leave the club. "It's a fair and proper thing to do."

It's going to be a busy summer ahead for the midfielder.

With nothing confirmed by either club or the player himself, his focus for the coming weeks will be on England's Euro 2024 qualifying campaign, the Three Lions who face Malta away from home before returning home to face North Macedonia at Old Trafford.


Josh Lucas

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