?epka with Sparta Prague in 2010
|Full name||Tomá? ?epka|
|Date of birth||2 January 1974|
|Place of birth||Slavi?ín, Czechoslovakia|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Centre back|
|2001-2006||West Ham United||167||(0)|
|2011-2012||Dynamo ?eské Bud?jovice||24||(1)|
|1996||Czech Republic U21||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Tomá? ?epka (born 2 January 1974) is a Czech former professional footballer who played as a defender for Baník Ostrava, Sparta Prague, Fiorentina, West Ham United and ?eské Bud?jovice, and the Czech national team.
?epka began his career with Baník Ostrava, where he played from 1990 to 1995. He then joined Sparta Prague, where he spent almost three years, before moving to Italian Serie A club Fiorentina. He joined Premier League club West Ham United early in Glenn Roeder's tenure as manager, for a then club record fee of £5.5 million in September 2001.
?epka was sent off on his West Ham debut for two bookable offences, missed a match through suspension, and was sent off again in the third match he played for the club. He went on to form a central defensive partnership with Christian Dailly before the club's relegation to the second-tier Championship, although he gained a reputation for his disciplinary record, and received ten yellow cards that first season.
After relegation at the end of the 2002-03 season, the appointment of Alan Pardew as manager saw ?epka move to right-back. In the summer of 2005, after the club had regained their Premier League status, he was re-signed by Pardew on a two-year contract, albeit on reduced terms, but left the club in January 2006 to return to the Czech Republic to be with his family. He played his final match for West Ham on 23 January against Fulham.
In December 2011, ?epka left Sparta Prague following a mutually agreed early termination of his contract.
After the termination of his contract with Sparta Prague, he signed with Dynamo ?eské Bud?jovice, becoming a stable member of the first team and helped his team to avoid relegation in the 2011-12 season. However, his contract was terminated by his team in November 2012. After negotiations with 1. FK P?íbram had broken down, he accepted a non-player role with Baník Most. After three months, ?epka quit his manager role due to disagreements with new club leaders.
After making his international debut for Czechoslovakia in June 1993 against the Faroe Islands, ?epka played 45 times for the Czech Republic between 1994 and 2001. He missed UEFA Euro 1996 due to a two-match suspension for a red card. However, he played for his country at Euro 2000, where the Czech Republic was eliminated in the group stage.
?epka is notorious for his lack of self-control, aggression and disciplinary problems. During his professional career, he received twenty red cards (see table below). One scandal included attacking game officials and a TV cameraman in September 2007.
|Dynamo ?eské Bud?jovice||1|
|West Ham United||4|
|Czech Republic national team||2|
|Czech Republic national under-21 team||1|
?epka was married for 16 years to Renáta ?epková, with whom he has a daughter Veronika and a son Tomasso. In May 2012, they divorced. In December 2011, he became engaged to a model Vla?ka Erbová. Their son Markus was born on 19 May 2012. The pair married in July 2013, but divorced in 2016.
In August 2018, ?epka received a six-month jail sentence for advertising sexual services on the internet in the name of his ex-wife. The sentence was later reduced to a community order.
In February 2019, ?epka was sentenced to 15 months in jail for fraud, pending appeal, after a Prague court heard how he sold a luxury rental car which he did not own. Two weeks later, ?epka was sentenced to nine months in jail after two previous suspended sentences for driving under the influence were converted into jail terms due to his other convictions.
West Ham United