West Ham have announced that first team coach Stuart Pearce has stepped down from his role at the club.

In what is an unexpected move, the former Hammers defender as said that he is moving on to pursue other challenges.

“It is with a heavy heart that I have made this decision to leave West Ham United,” said Pearce. “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work at the Club over the past two years, but I have decided that now is the right time to step away and pursue other opportunities and challenges.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank David Moyes, David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady for giving me the opportunity to return to West Ham. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here – the football club is united at all levels and that is very pleasing to see.

“It has been fantastic to work with the players and staff every day at Rush Green, a very special environment that I will miss greatly. I wish everyone at the Club all the very best for the future and will always have a special place in my heart for West Ham United.”

David Moyes said: “We thank Stuart for his hard work and dedication over the past two years. He has been a great help to myself and the team, and a popular figure who we will miss around the training ground. On behalf of all of the players and staff, I wish him every success in the future.”