WHO Poll
Q: 2022 Summer Transfer Window - How many 1st team players will we sign before August 6th
a. None as Sullivan will wait until the last week before he gets his scattergun out the cupboard
25%
  
b. A couple of freebies paraded as superstars, usual hype to follow
27%
  
c. I'm more optimistic as surely they know we need to strengthen, 3-4 with decent money spent.
46%
  
d. Who gives a toss as we have a great squad already, I've already ordered the new replica kit, socks and all and can't wait to wear it at our first game, down the pub of course, I bleed claret & blue
2%
  



Irish Hammer 3:48 Thu May 12
What Mark Noble means to West Ham
Yes it’s another Noble article. But he fucking deserves it ⚒️⚒️⚒️⚒️⚒️⚒️⚒️⚒️

What Mark Noble means to West Ham

https://twitter.com/westham/status/1524043183201693701?s=21&t=dBSVqjv7-rRlbr3iRsGakQ

Five years ago, Mark Noble was having a catch-up with childhood friend Darren Behcet.

It was nothing too dissimilar from their previous chats over the phone, but it was a reminder to Behcet that Noble is as genuine as they come.

When the future West Ham United captain was 17, he bought an apartment in Gidea Park, near Romford in Essex, off a team-mate, Richard Garcia.

Fast forward to 2017 and Behcet was living in Beckenham, in south east London, with his wife and newly-born son. But he wanted to move to another area and brought it up during his chat with Noble.

What surprised Behcet was Noble offering to let him and his young family stay at the Gidea Park flat. The midfielder even helped him decorate the place.

That kind gesture is something Behcet will never forget. He lived there for three years before moving to the West Country in 2020 to take up a role as Plymouth Argyle’s first-team goalkeeping coach.

This Sunday, against likely 2021-22 Premier League champions Manchester City, Noble will make his last competitive home appearance as a West Ham player. It will be an emotional occasion for many at the London Stadium, with the now 35-year-old retiring as a player at the end of the season.

We often hear about his loyalty to the club.

He has been West Ham’s on-field leader for so long, having made 548 cup and league appearances since making his debut last age 17 in August 2004 and sticking with his boyhood club through thick and thin. Speaking at their players’ awards night this week, Noble said: “When you get to play for West Ham and you get to captain the club you support, I can honestly say that I have probably lived everyone’s dream in here.”


Close friends share stories of his generosity over the years.

Joey O’Brien remembers asking a favour of Noble, years after he had left West Ham. The full-back was then back in his native Republic of Ireland coaching Dublin club Shamrock Rovers’ under-15s and wanted to arrange a game against quality opposition. He contacted his former team-mate, who then put him in touch with the academy director at West Ham.

“Mark didn’t have to do that and without him, I probably wouldn’t have been able to bring over my boys and play a game against them,” said O’Brien, a West Ham player for five years until 2016. “That, for me, shows a lot about what he is as a person. I left the club a long time ago and for me to pick up the phone and ask Mark for a favour, and for him to not have any issues with it, meant a lot to me.”

After Jack Collison was forced to retire as a player aged just 27 in February 2016 because of persistent knee injuries, Noble recommended him for the under-16s manager’s role at West Ham the following year. He held that position for a year before being promoted to manage the club’s under-18s. Noble looked out for a friend.

He helped Collison again when the latter moved on and was working in the US.

In April 2020, during the UK’s first national lockdown, Noble joined a video call at 11pm British time to give advice to the under-17s at MLS side Atlanta United who Collison was coaching at the time. He spoke about his love for his boyhood club and the setbacks he endured in his career.

“It was one of the best Q&As I’ve seen,” said Collison.

Noble is a rare breed in this era of modern football. After away games, he makes it his duty to sweep up in the West Ham dressing room before he boards the coach — and there is a backstory to that.

“One of my friends is the chief executive of Sheffield United, and we played them away years ago. I left my wedding ring in the dressing room and when I went back our dressing room was messy,” Noble said. “From that day onwards, I said that would never happen again.”

rice-noble
Noble celebrates West Ham’s victory over Seville in the Europa League with Declan Rice (Photo: Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)
His character and influence have rubbed off on younger team-mates, with Ben Johnson now taking it upon himself to sweep the away dressing room when West Ham are on their travels.

The Young Hammer of the Year award has been renamed the Mark Noble Young Hammer of the Year Award in honour of the retiring captain. It is a credit to his determination and improvement that Johnson became the inaugural winner of the award under its new title.

With long-term contracts appearing less meaningful, and the frequency with which players move within the game, it will surely be a long time before we see a player make more than 500 appearances for any one club again. Noble is that elusive, treasured golden ticket.

His willingness to put others first gives you an idea of the type of person he is.

This is a player who went out of his way to tell Said Benrahma he would score ahead of their 4-0 win over Norwich City last weekend. The playmaker scored twice. In the first half. He was the one who helped calm David Martin’s nerves before his memorable West Ham debut away to Chelsea in November 2019. And this is a player who, most importantly, has acted as a father figure to many players in the academy.

When Emmanuel Longelo, Jamal Baptiste, Aji Alese, Harrison Ashby, Sonny Perkins, Freddie Potts, Keenan Appiah-Forson made their European debuts in the Europa League group stage game against Dinamo Zagreb, the midfielder kindly gave his shirt to Longelo.

For his testimonial in 2016, Noble made sure friends Darren Blewitt and Robert Hatton were also part of the occasion. This is someone who never forgets his own.

No record signing can compare to what Noble means to West Ham. Supporters have many precious memories, including Noble impatiently carrying Ander Herrera off the field as he dawdled while being substituted so a 2016 FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United could restart, his strike against Leicester City in 2018 or the role he played in the club avoiding relegation from the Premier League in 2006-07.

He has not been afraid to speak out against the club’s owners — such as when they sold Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion at the start of last season. Although the attacker has subsequently struggled to live up to expectations at the Championship side, Noble showed his passion for West Ham by questioning a decision that was unpopular with his fellow fans.

He also cares about important matters off the field.

In April 2020, Noble made a donation of £35,000 to help provide food and medicines to isolated and vulnerable people in Basildon, Essex. After training it was not uncommon to see Noble serving hot meals to hungry children at east London’s Stratford Circus Arts Centre.

mark-noble
Noble will play his last match for West Ham at the London Stadium on Sunday (Photo: Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)
The money he received for his testimonial was donated to Dylan Tombides’ DT38 Foundation, Help for Heroes and Richard House Children’s Hospice. When he married long-term partner Carly, with whom he has two children, Lenny and Honey, they asked if those in attendance could donate to charity.

About the only thing missing in Noble’s playing career is a senior cap. He played for England at under-16, under-17, under-18, under-19 and under-21 level. He made his first England appearance in May 2002 just before turning 15 and, over the course of seven years, played 47 times across the age groups. He captained the side that lost to Germany in the final of the 2009 Under-21 European Championship. That was his last appearance in an England shirt.

“I think it’s criminal that he has never been given the opportunity to play for England,” said Jimmy Hampson, the scout who helped get Noble to West Ham. “Yes, there were some good players in front of him, but Noble definitely deserved to be called up to at least one squad.”

His dad, Mark Snr, said: “I was just buzzing that my boy played for West Ham and, if he’d had a bit of pace, maybe he’d have got a senior England cap, because he certainly had the football brain.”

O’Brien, who won five caps for the Republic of Ireland, tried to work the charm to get Noble to switch international allegiance but his efforts were in vain.

It is rather fitting Noble will wear an England shirt once more — albeit for the 2022 Soccer Aid UNICEF match next month, and will do so when the popular, celebrity-packed charity event is held at the London Stadium.

After that?

Noble intends to take a much-needed holiday with his family this summer. Of the many options he is contemplating, it seems he is more inclined to pursue a role as a sporting director rather than as a coach out on the training field.

Whatever happens, Noble will always be associated with West Ham United — his club, and a place where his legacy will live on.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Charoo 4:18 Fri May 13
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
I love him, end of an era, he played well with good players who gave him the option of a forwards, was limited when playing in shit sides with no one in front of him wanting the ball, which was when he played sideways and backwards a lot.

Always gave his all, genuinely loves the club, sets a good example to the young players, welcomes the overseas players and explains what the club means.

Loved an inside hook, little touch and down to win a free kick in a tight space. Great from the penalty spot, Spurs at home first game of the season and Man U at home this season his two most memorable misses out of the 4 from 42 he has missed, but 38 out of 42 finding the net is impressive.

The other players seem to like and respect him, he bans phones a lot as one of his captains rules which is spot on.

Now is the right time but I’m sad to see his era end from a West Ham fan to West Ham fan perspective.

Contrary to what people think of him as a footballer I think he’ll get a cracking send off Sunday and rightly so.

Alwaysaniron 1:30 Fri May 13
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
scouse kid 1:01 Fri May 13

ag ag ag

scouse kid 1:01 Fri May 13
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
I would love it if Fordstar had to give Noble some award on the pitch on Sunday

Niblets 11:30 Fri May 13
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
'no one came in for him'

My all time favourite when it comes to this particular club legend.

Moncurs Putting Iron 11:13 Fri May 13
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
Thanks for the article Irish, provided a great talking point.

Lets not forget this was written by an Outsider and has quite a few on here have said is syrupy and sycophantic.

The thing is that is not needed. We all know he isnt perfect (Burnley manhandling) And we all know he isnt and never has been a Superstar talent.

But he has been something quite unique in this day and age and anyone who doubts that he bleeds C&B really has no heart.

Pub Bigot 11:00 Fri May 13
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
I love the bloke, and I'm glad he's getting a send off for his services and appreciation from the majority of West Ham supporters.

Good luck Skip ⚒

Hermit Road 9:11 Fri May 13
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
Been stealing a living for the last 5 years but I suppose the board will consider they got good value from him over that time. He definitely put the work in for them

Alfs 4:52 Fri May 13
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
Nobes is a legend, but fuck me, what a load of sycophantic bollox this is.

legrandefromage 3:49 Fri May 13
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
Better than Potts not as good as Bonds.

Arguably more important off the pitch than on it, especially over the past few seasons. Hope they can find a new role for him.

Capitol Man 3:21 Fri May 13
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
It was interesting hi to pick out Lucas Neil as the right back of choice and captain of his side. Neil seems to have been his role model for how he captained and led the side. All the current players seem to look up to him.

Mickey Rat 3:16 Fri May 13
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
Nice article Irish, not many premiership fans have a player they can identify with as one of their own. A much underated player by some ignorant fans and media top 6 sycophants but many of the top players in the prem have paid testiment to how difficult he is to play against.
A humble but great player and example to the youngsters coming through the club on how to behave.
Pretty sure I'll be getting a bit of grit in my eye on Sunday
Mark Noble's Claret n blue army anyone?

PwoperNaughtyButNot 7:49 Thu May 12
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
New Jersey 6:56 Thu May 12
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
I was looking at the records of other players who had been with their clubs for a long while and saw that Phil Jones had been with Man Utd for over 10 years but also had 27 full England caps, compared to zero for Noble, strange fucking world


I have this weird memory, which I hope is false, that Phil Jones actually got a couple of those caps playing in centre midfield for England.

ironsofcanada 7:23 Thu May 12
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
Play on the pitch and a string of WHO antagonists aside, it is just nice to be able to support one player for that long, warts and all.

New Jersey 6:56 Thu May 12
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
I was looking at the records of other players who had been with their clubs for a long while and saw that Phil Jones had been with Man Utd for over 10 years but also had 27 full England caps, compared to zero for Noble, strange fucking world.

colinos 6:51 Thu May 12
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
Bungo 6:35 Thu May 12

Spot on - most sensible post I've read on this site for a long time.

the coming of gary 6:43 Thu May 12
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
.. i remember years ago someone (on here) saying Noble looks like a Tommy in an old war film
.

Bungo 6:35 Thu May 12
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
There ought to be some room in this for praise of his hair.

Over the years, he has resolutely stuck to having a normal bloke's haircut, avoiding the dyes, shaved side bits. tram lines and idiotic square fringes of some of his contemporaries (Foden, I'm looking at you).

In years to come when various pictures of him adorn the walls of the stadium, at least they won't have to try and avoid the shots of the worst embarrassing hair periods.

Fo the Communist 6:30 Thu May 12
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
Noble is a bit of a throwback to days when football was not quite so media, Big 6 and money-driven as it currently is.
I also think he's a decent bloke in an age of self-obsessed footballing cunts - he's a link to the days when football was just better.

The article is not the best testimony to him but that's not his fault. Besides him manhandling the fan at the Burnley protest, I think he thoroughly deserved all the plaudits.

Stowie.40 6:22 Thu May 12
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
It’s all getting a bit sickly this. Hardly difficult being a ‘great’ servant whilst being paid absolute fortunes. I don’t get this guff about modern day players being loyal. Truth is this is at least a year to late, his ego wouldn’t let him retire last year cos he wanted fans in the stadium.

Manuel 6:17 Thu May 12
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
Lol, it gets better..

''Joey O’Brien remembers asking a favour of Noble, years after he had left West Ham. The full-back was then back in his native Republic of Ireland coaching Dublin club Shamrock Rovers’ under-15s and wanted to arrange a game against quality opposition. He contacted his former team-mate, who then put him in touch with the academy director at West Ham''

Well, well, the man is a saint! He actually put Joey in touch with someone. LOL. This is a joke, right?

He EVEN did a video call with some kids in the States for Jack Collison..I mean imagine that...give this man a medal!!

BBondsBootlaces 6:12 Thu May 12
Re: What Mark Noble means to West Ham
isn't it odd that for all the respect he commands the other players are happy leaving him to sweep up the changing room floor?

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