A Fitting & Noble Farewell For West Ham’s Mark Noble

A Fitting & Noble Farewell For West Ham’s Mark Noble

After a fast-paced game that West Ham drew 2-2 with Man City at the London Stadium, effectively taking the Premier League title race to the last matchday; for West Ham, it is a Europa League run that will be talked about for years to come, but the occasion was a special one for other reasons.

Come the final whistle, the air inside the London Stadium was fading with the exuberance and the celebrations of the result against City and soon turned poignant & emotional for the send off of one West Ham’s very own; their leader from the moment he made his debut, Mr. West Ham himself, Mark Noble.

As the cameras zoomed in on the West Ham stalwart in the tunnel, standing alongside his children; his son wearing the number 16 shirt and his daughter with spray painted hearts & designs and the number 16 scrawled on her white top, it was fairly certain that Noble had flashes of all his 18 years of service for the Hammers, all circling, spiraling and weaving, through his head.

The crowd of fans inside the London Stadium broke into applause from every corner of the stadium in the 17th minute of the game in unison, as a tribute to Noble, which was a heart warming and emotional moment for their skipper as he broke into soft tears. He came on with quarter of an hour to play against City and the result, in the end was a great one for the Hammers.

As the announcer began his introduction and asked the crowd to cheer for Noble, the Hammers captain began to get teary eyed, soaked in sweat, and stood there with a heavy heart, with his hair well oiled and combed, hugging his children slightly & lovingly, and staring out into the stadium from the tunnel. His face depicted another side of Noble, devoid of his aggression & industry on the pitch where he carried West Ham on his able shoulders in the heart of their midfield over the years.

The announcer then welcomed Noble on to the pitch, where he was greeted by players, their families, the staff and others, as they stood alongside the walkway for him.

It’s certain that Noble was overwhelmed with emotion and as the announcer began talking to him, it was fitting for the Hammers old warhorse, who amassed 549 appearances for West Ham over the course of 18 years at the club after making his debut at the age of 17 in 2004.

Noble is a local lad, born in Canning Town, close to a mile or two from Upton Park, and wore his heart on his sleeve for the Hammers over his longstanding career with the club.

Standing with the announcer, Noble said, “I’ve got a lot of family here today… and when I say a lot of family I mean 60,000,” in what was an apposite line that made the crowd erupt into applause as they began to chant “Mark Noble, whoa whoa!”.

Noble stayed a loyal servant to the Hammers throughout his career in the top flight, and his character and never say die attitude and all his midfield robustness and tireless work ethic, made him a fan favourite and their club captain for 5 years running since 2017.

It’s certain that David Moyes and all of the West Ham backroom staff and players will miss Noble’s presence in the dressing room, with the Europa League run upto the semi-finals making it one of the most celebrated seasons for the fans.

Standing and trying to muster the words to say, with his voice shaking and overcome with emotions, Noble ended his address to the West Ham fans rather poetically, and nobly, when he said, “….And I hope that in the last 18 years I’ve done you proud.”

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