West Ham United midfielder Jack Wilshere says Paolo Di Canio made him fall in love with football

West Ham United midfielder Jack Wilshere has named Paolo Di Canio as the player who made him fall in love with football.

The Italian spent four-and-a-half seasons with the Hammers, scoring 51 goals in 141 appearances before leaving for Charlton Athletic ahead of the 2003-04 season.


Di Canio was the Hammer of the Year after his second season at the London club, winning the BBC Goal of the Season for his a flying volley against Wimbledon.

Apparently, the Italian was inspiring a young Wilshere who attended his first West Ham game in April 2000, and he took to Twitter to react thus to the club’s post:

Wilshere is a lifelong Hammers fan, but the England international started his professional career at Arsenal after spending seven years within their youth ranks, making his debut as a 16-year-old against Blackburn Rovers in September 2008.

The 28-year-old played 197 games for Arsenal before moving to West Ham in July 2018 on a free transfer.

Injuries have limited Wilshere to jut 16 appearances since his arrival at the London Stadium, but he has regained full fitness and is expected to play a huge role in the side’s survival bid when Premier League action resumes later this month.