I can still vividly remember Mark Noble’s first penalty for West Ham away at Birmingham City – then owned by Gold and Sullivan – in August 2007 with his spot kick proving to be the winner in a tight encounter at St Andrews.
I was 20 and it was my first proper ‘lads’ away day. An unforgettable day and it really was the start of a series of events that have resulted in our individual journeys with West Ham being somewhat intertwined.
Sure Noble made his debut in 2004 but the subsequent loan moves that followed meant it wasn’t until the start of 2007 that he got a fair crack of the whip and by the start of 2007/08 season, he was a firm favourite in the line-up.
Thirteen and a bit years from that moment, Mark has seen West Ham relegated and promoted, qualify for Europe and move home.
He’s also taken over the armband as club captain and enjoyed a testimonial that’ll live long in the memory of all those present on that warm day.
Undoubtedly the highs and lows of his time as a West Ham player is documented in-depth throughout the existence of Blowing Bubbles after we launched in August 2012.
Who knows, maybe when he finally hangs up his boots, he’ll join Phil Parkes and George Parris in being one of our columnists?