This morning it has been confirmed that West Ham United's longest-serving player Mark Noble has put pen to paper on a new contract which ties lifelong fan Mark Noble to West Ham until 2020.
A player who has seen it all at the Hammers, Noble stuck with the club through relegation to the Championship and with his trademark dogged displays dragged the East London side back into the Premier League.
Noble's performances have been a factor in keeping the side in the top flight for the past three seasons, benefitting from progression under Hammers boss Sam Allardyce.
Noble delighted to secure future
Noble couldn’t hide his excitement at the new contract telling the club’s official website, “I'm obviously over the moon because it takes me until I'm 33.” Before summing up his attitude to the game with four simple words, “I love playing football.”
The traditional tough tackling English midfielder is firmly a fan’s favourite, making over 300 appearance in claret and blue, so the news of his new contract is sure to send a buzz about the Boleyn Ground.
Since the stadium move was confirmed every aspect of West Ham United has implications on the upcoming switch from Upton Park to the Olympic Stadium, Mark Noble’s new contract is no different but it is certainly positive.
The current vice-captain is striding into his peak now at 27 years old and with Kevin Nolan a few years his senior and no longer assured of a place in the team, it is likely that he'll handed the captain’s armband officially before the move and lead the claret and blue of West Ham United out of the tunnel for that first match at the Olympic Stadium.
No matter whether he is captain or not, West Ham fans can rely on Noble giving everything to the cause, whilst he is not the most naturally gifted midfielder to grace the game, his commitment and loyalty to the club are second to none.
Claret and Blue Changes
Since joining the club at the kick start of the millennium Noble has witnessed West Ham in many different ways. The midfielder watched academy breakthroughs like Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole and Jermain Defoe leave for pastures new, before playing under a number of bosses to take the hot seat at the Boleyn Ground, from Gianfranco Zola to current incumbent Sam Allardyce (the less said about Avram Grant the better).
Change is now common in football with most players going through three or four clubs in a career, but aside from a couple of youth loan switches, Mark Noble is a different breed, a player that represents a different time in football, his loyalty and humility are part and parcel of what makes Mark Noble already a club great and one who will go down in West Ham folklore. He is the next in a line of claret and blue legends, Moore, Brooking, Bonds… Noble.