It’s hard to imagine West Ham without ‘Mr. West Ham’ himself, and Mark Noble shares that same view.
The club captain has been with the Hammers his entire professional career which is now close to thirteen years young after making his debut for the club as a 17-year-old in 2004.
Noble eats, sleeps, breathes West Ham and he acknowledges the privileged position he is in and he says himself in an interview with whufc.com how he appreciates being able to captain the club after coming through the ranks.
“Walking around the place, I know all the coaches at Under-7, Under-8 and Under-9 level, sometimes I go and watch the youngsters train and I feel like I’ve been there and done it myself, coming up through the ranks with the Club.
“I’ve managed to captain this fantastic Club, which is something very few players get to do, captaining the club they support, so it’s a major honour for me. I don’t think I’ll appreciate it fully since I stop playing.
Mark Noble has followed in the footsteps of the likes of Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paolo Maldini by being a one-club man and acknowledges that there won’t be too many more in the future.
“There aren’t many of us now, because football is forever changing, managers change and obviously relegation battles mean players move on, so I think it would be very hard for players now to keep in the team they support and stay there after coming through the Academy. I can’t see it happening.
Nearly thirteen years in, Noble can’t imagine himself playing for any other club than West Ham and he’d like to end his career at the club but knows that football’s an ever-changing landscape and you can never predict the future.
“I would like to finish my career here, that’s what I’ve always thought. I can’t see myself playing for another football team, but football is such a changing world so you can’t ever tell what’s going to happen next season.
Under contract until 2021, Noble will be 33 by the time his current contract expires but he’s given no guarantees that he’ll play on beyond the expiry of his current deal.
“As I said, I’ve got three years left on my deal here and I’m not sure my body will let me go far past the age of 33, to be honest!”
Now 29, Noble is in his prime and will be the skipper of the club for the foreseeable future and it really is tough to imagine West Ham without him. Hopefully, unlike James Tomkins before him, Nobes can continue playing for the Hammers for his entire career.