‘Mark Noble’s given his career to the badge and to us — the fans’

We take a visual walk down memory lane through the lens of our photographers over the past decade

We’ve all got many memories of Mark — and if you close your eyes, you’ll see a veritable kaleidoscope of your favourite Mark Noble moments flash before you for years to come.

His goals, his games, his passion, his frustrations; it’s all firmly implanted in every minute of the modern West Ham era. 

In taking a wander down our own memory lane, I’ve been trawling through the Blowing Bubbles photo archive to compile a series of photos that shows the Mark Noble we’ve grown to love. 

However — and we’re showing his age here — Mark Noble’s senior playing career has actually gone on longer than Blowing Bubbles has been in print!

So here’s 10 of our favourite Mark Noble photos from 2012 until today, and why they best represent one of the greatest ever players in claret and blue.

(10) The smile says it all! Mark’s been around for a lot of low lows at West Ham — but he’s also been around for some high highs and taken great joy in West Ham wins. He’s not just a player, he’s a lifelong fan — and a smiling Noble has been symbolic of some of our great wins, including the infamous ear to ear grin in his post-match interview after West Ham unexpectedly beat Arsenal 2-0 in 2015 that will long live on in memes.

(9) It’s not all been sunshine and claret and blue rainbows. Nobes has seen the club he loves in some dark times — he’s been relegated, he’s seen protests on and off the pitch, and he’s been on the wrong end of a number of embarrassing cupsets, including this one, when West Ham were beaten 4-0 in the EFL Cup by Oxford United — a League One side at the time. 

(8) What this photo should show is two senior England internationals sharing a smile at one of their testimonials, but instead the honour was only ever bestowed on one of them. One of the great disappointments of Mark Noble’s career will be the lack of a senior call-up — a harsh fate, given he captained the England U21s side to runner up status at the European U21s Championship in 2009. The man absolutely deserved an England call up — but the call never came.

(7) When Nobes goes in for a challenge, he goes in hard. Most of the time it pays off, but even as Captain, discipline was never his strongest suit. In his 408 Premier League appearances, he’s received 82 yellow cards — basically a yellow card every five games. 

(6) As well as being a midfield maestro, Mark Noble is a goal scorer — especially when it comes to penalties. In 2020, Mark Noble was the player with the second highest conversion rate for penalties in the world — only Robert Lewandownski pipped him to the post. 

(5) West Ham’s Academy of football was for a long time the stuff of legend. While Noble won’t be one of the former academy graduates with medals in claret and blue, he will be remembered as a club legend. No one has given more blood, sweat and tears in claret in blue than Mark Noble has — and he has well established himself in recent years as a mentor to the next generation. He’s paved the path for Declan Rice and Ben Johnson — and they are all the better for having spent time playing with the Academy success story that is Mark Noble.

(4) Throughout Noble’s career, he’s been racking up the numbers — and on 29 November, 2014, Nobes became West Ham’s Premier League record appearance maker with 205 appearances. In April 2021, he hit a new record when he made his 400th Premier League appearance for West Ham. He is one of only eight players in the Premier League’s history to reach that total for a single club. Loyalty may be dead across the league, but they sure do make them from a different mould in Canning Town. 

(3) We never took the boy out of east London, but we never really took the east London out of the boy either. Nobes bleeds claret and blue and passion — and sometimes that boiled over on the pitch. He’s never been the tallest or the strongest player, but he never feared a scrap up either. Whether it was squaring up to Pogba, carrying the time-wasting Ander Herrera off the pitch, or tackling a pitch invading West Ham fan, Mark Noble could hold his own against anyone.  

(2) He’s Mr West Ham through and through. Throughout his career, Nobes has always set a strong example and displayed great leadership on and on the pitch. Many of his teammates have talked about how much he’s done to keep morale up on and off the pitch — and there’s no off-pitch drama here. Just a local lad who walked home from his first senior appearance and kept his feet firmly on the ground ever since. 

(1) Mark Noble is West Ham United. He’s spent his life living for the club, he’s given his career to the badge and to us — the fans. He’s never forgotten to thank the fans after the games, and now it’s our turn to make sure he knows just how grateful we are for everything he’s given to us over the years.

Thank you, Mark. For everything.

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