James Tomkins’ move from West Ham United to Crystal Palace marks the first time that the central defender has played for another professional club other than the Hammers, except for a short seven-game loan stint at Derby County in late 2008.
He was a part of the Upton Park academy when Alan Pardew managed the East Enders between 2003 and 2006, but he would have to wait another two years to be handed his senior debut when he started a Premier League game against Everton which ended in a 1-1 draw.
After his stint at the Rams the following campaign gave him futher first-team experience, the 21-year-old began to establish himself in the Hammers side and having been capped by England at all age groups, he made his first under-21 appearance in June 2009 and would ultimately finish with 10 to his name.
In the 2010/11 season West Ham were relegated from the Premier League, but this gave Tomkins a real chance at nailing down a first-team place which he did successfully. He played in 44 of their 46 league games as well as all three play-off matches as he helped his side instantly return to the top-flight by beating Blackpool and was named in the PFA’s Championship Team of the Year.
That form saw him called up for Stuart Pearce’s Great Britain squad for the 2012 Olympic Games when Tomkins represented Team GB twice – in a pre-tournament friendly against Brazil and during the competition itself against the United Arab Emirates as Britain reached the quarter-finals.
Since the Hammers regained their Premier League status, the 27-year-old has continued to hold down a first-team spot, and last season played 30 times in all competitions including a first taste of European football as West Ham competed in the Europa League. He also scored three times in the Premier League – his best ever haul at that level.
to watch the video interview with James on Palace TV.
to see some images from the signing on the club's instagram account.