West Ham has shot to the top of the premier league of personalised registration numbers when the licence plate WE57 HAM went for a record-breaking £57,000 at auction.

A fierce bidding war raged at the DVLA personalised registrations sale in Essex as dozens of die-hard fans of the club battled it out for the ultimate Hammers status symbol.

And that sent the price rocketing and forced the winning bidder, who bid anonymously over the Internet, to smash the previous record for a football-related registration – the £36,000 paid for AR53 NAL in 2004.