May 21 2013 Latest news:
Nathaniel John, West Ham Correspondent
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Wales international joins in £2m deal from Aston Villa
West Ham have re-signed Wales international centre-back James Collins from Aston Villa.
The 28-year-old has signed a four-year contract at Upton Park after the Hammers had an undisclosed bid, thought to be around the £2 million mark, accepted by the Midlands club.
Collins initially joined West Ham seven years ago in July 2005, in a joint £3.5m deal with Cardiff City that saw the centre-back move to east London along with compatriot Danny Gabbidon.
During his four-year spell with the Hammers, Collins played 54 times, including a key role as the club reached the FA Cup final in 2006, before the famous great escape from relegation the following year.
“It’s great to be back,” Collins said.
“Obviously having been here before and coming back and seeing some of the same old faces is great.
“As soon as I knew the interest was there from West Ham I couldn’t wait to get down and sign. I had a great affinity with the club and the fans when I was here the first time and I enjoyed my time here so much last time that it wasn’t a hard decision to make, to be honest.
“I’ve got so many good memories – getting into the FA Cup final in my first season and then the way we escaped relegation that year was one of my fondest memories in football.”
The defender struggled to hide his delight at returning to West Ham – a club he felt he didn’t want to leave in the first place.
“I think everyone knew that I didn’t really want to leave when I did because I was enjoying my time here so much,” he added.
“I’ve come back and I’m a much better player this time around so I can’t wait to get cracking and show the fans that I am a better player and can put in the performances on the pitch.”