Sam Allardyce and a host of West Ham stars were ripped off in a £60,000 Christmas hampers and champagne scam, a court has heard.

Stephen Ackerman of Hillcroft, Loughton, faces 13 counts of fraud and a further five counts of fraudulently using bank cards to purchase goods or services to a total of £62,040.

Mr Ackerman, 48, is said to have turned up at the Hammers' Chadwell Heath training ground offering Fortnum & Mason hampers and Dom Perignon champagne among other luxury items in December 2014.

He allegedly raked in £7,310 from manager at the time Allardyce, striker Andy Carroll as well as defenders James Tomkins and Aaron Cresswell.

The bookies' favourite to succeed Roy Hodgson in the England hot seat was then fleeced out of a further £13,000 in unauthorised transactions, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Carroll, Tomkins, full-back Joey O'Brien and medic Stijn Vandenbroucke also lost a total of £41,730 in unpermitted payments, jurors heard.

Mr Ackerman is said to have arrived with “all the trappings of a successful businessman” promising delivery of goods in time for Christmas which never arrived.

He is accused of introducing himself as businessman Mark Kingston, selling his luxury goods from a stall set up at the training ground.

Allardyce said he was introduced to a “smart and very well spoken” man.

After splashing out £270 at the stall the former Bolton and Newcastle United manager's bank account was defrauded of a further £13,000 in unauthorised transactions, it is alleged.

The Sunderland boss gave evidence via video-link from the city's magistrates' court for around 15 minutes Mr Ackerman looked on.

The manager confirmed he bought 12 bottles of champagne and wine and said: “Tim De'Ath, our player liaison officer, said that there was this very good display in for Christmas goods.

“Hampers from very creditable companies, obviously, and he said these hampers were on display and I went in and chatted away.”

Allardyce said he asked the man calling himself Mark Kingston whether he could get Laurent Perrier champagne and Sancerre wine, which were not actually displayed on the stall.

The salesman was then directed to speak with the manager's PA, Anita Taylor, who completed the purchase using Allardyce's Barclays credit card shortly after 2.30pm that afternoon.

“Anita had my details which she always kept because, obviously, at this time of year a lot of people come in offering goods to the staff,” he added, saying visitors included Clarin’s and John Lewis.

But by December 16 Allardyce noticed a number of transactions had been made with his card which he had not permitted.

“I had a phone call from my bank asking had I authorised a transaction for £1,272 from Harrods and I said I had not,” he told jurors.

“So I had provided the bank information that I had not authorised any of those transactions.”

The court heard these unauthorised transactions totalled just over £13,000.

Allardyce described Kingston as smart and well-spoken with a “very good array of products” but he could not pinpoint an exact accent after five or 10 minutes talking with him.

“A good salesman I would say,” he added.

“Very smart, excellent in terms of how he would sell his goods and how good the variety was and they would obviously get delivered to you at a later date.”

Following Allardyce's evidence, the jury were directed that they would eventually be directed to find Mr Ackerman not guilty of defrauding medic Vandenbroucke of £480 in unauthorised transactions.

This followed his earlier evidence that no extra money had been taken from his bank.

Mr Ackerman is said to have first approached Club 195 in Epping to get in touch with Hammers representatives.

The club, frequented by reality stars and footballers, named its VIP Suite after then-club captain Kevin Nolan, 34, who himself is said to have handed over £920 to Mr Ackerman.

The defendant admitted meeting one of the proprietors, Scott Cummins, on November 18 2014 using the alias Mark Kingston.

Jurors were shown CCTV of him arriving at the meeting in a dark Range Rover which is said to match that driven by a man going by the same name at the West Ham training ground on December 12.

Mr De’Ath, who is also chef to the England national team, brought him into the Chadwell Heath complex.

He flew back from West Ham's pre-season tour of Austria to tell jurors about his responsibilities and how he introduced Kingston to the club after being put in touch with him by Nolan.

Jurors heard the former captain “basically said there was a guy that he knew that was selling Christmas hampers and had a company.

“He asked me to give him a call to come into the training ground to see if the players wanted to buy any Christmas hampers.”

The mystery salesman arrived at around the same time as the players between 10.30am and 11.00am.

“We have got a small reception area and I asked for a table to be set up to display the hampers,” he said.

Mr De'Ath himself told the court that he purchased three cases of Laurent Perrier and about six bottles of Crystal champagne, which he described as being “cheaper than what you would pay in the shop.”

“I never actually paid for anything,” he added.

“He said he would find out a price for me first.”

Jurors were told that most of those buying goods from Kingston used their cards in the chip and pin reader.

“I think that was a Friday and he said that delivery would be coming on the Monday,” said the liaison officer.

“A lot of [the footballers and staff] said that they were for Christmas presents so they got them before Christmas.”

A week later, Mr De'Ath phoned the man he knew as Mark Kingston to see where the goods were.

He visited the website he was provided with,, which was taken offline after the Friday.

Mr De’Ath added: “His phone had then gone as well.

“There was no dialling tone.”

The salesman told Mr De’Ath he had also been to Chelsea football club, and asked if he knew any others.

Mr De'Ath told jurors he informed Kingston that he had a contact at Norwich City FC who used to work with him at West Ham.

Jurors heard one distinctive feature which stood out to him was the salesman’s broken nose.

He then fingered him out of a nine-person identity parade months later on March 17.

Another who made the 750-mile trip to give evidence was Vandenbroucke who, jurors heard, initially handed over £650 before he was scammed of a further £480.

The physiotherapist confirmed he had purchased 20 bottles of champagne along with three bottles of port.

He, too, recalled the man’s “funny nose”.

Others said to have been defrauded include Allardyce's former assistant and recently departed Blackpool boss Neil McDonald, who lost £60 in undelivered goods.

West Ham head of performance analysis Jamie Osman and head of academy technical and recruitment analyst Jamie Benson lost £90 and £180 respectively.

Performance analysts Joshua Andall and Charlie Radmore are each said to have paid £60 and £180.

First team support analyst Oliver De Gruchy was also stung for £270.

Mr Ackerman denies 17 counts of fraud and one of possessing an article for use in fraud.

The trial continues.