Gabbidon hails former team-mate

Collins left the Hammers and joined Aston Villa in a £5million deal.

“I have lost my mate, my best man at my wedding, a real pal. I feel like I have had my right arm cut off,” explained Gabbidon.

“I’m disappointed he has gone, he has done really well for West Ham. Villa have got themselves a very good player. He will go on to do better things for them.

“The club needed to bring in a striker and they needed to sell before they could do that. In defence we have got plenty of cover and the club felt they could let James go.

“Villa have also signed Richard Dunne, and their fans will be talking about that. But by the end of the season they will be talking about James.”