James Tomkins

James TomkinsFull name: James Oliver Charles Tomkins

Date of birth: 29 March 1989

Height: 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)

Playing position: Centre back / Defensive midfielder

Bio:  Aged seven, Tomkins was spotted while playing for his local Sunday League side and signed into West Ham United’s youth academy. Initially a striker, he eventually switched to his current position in central defence. He signed scholarship forms in 2005. Prior to making his first team debut, his career had been marred by several injuries.

Tomkins made his Premier League debut on 22 March 2008 in a 1–1 draw away to Everton. As first choice centre backs James Collins, Danny Gabbidon and Matthew Upson were all out injured during various times in the season, he enjoyed an extended run in the first team for the remainder of the season, winning the Young Hammer of the Year for 2007–08.