Mark Noble will return to West Ham United, just months after retiring from playing, to work alongside David Moyes as the club’s Sporting Director.
It ended a 22 year spell at the club, and 18 years in the first team, in which he played 550 times for the east London club in all competitions.
Fans gave him a huge reception in the 16th minute, due to his shirt number, and did the same again when he was substituted off late in the game.
However, just months later, the former midfielder is due for a comeback at the London Stadium, this time getting a big role alongside the manager.
On Thursday, the club announced that he would be taking the role of Sporting Director, officially starting his new role on January 2nd 2023.
The 35-year-old’s role will see him be involved with “academy development, player recruitment, and player and staff wellbeing,” alongside Moyes, or Moysey to some journalists, and his main focus will be on academy players moving through the system to the first team.
“I’m really happy to be coming back and can’t wait to get started. I’d like to thank the Club for giving me the opportunity – it’s a great honour for me to take up this role at West Ham United,” Noble said in a club statement.
“I’ve spent the last 24 years as a player here, first in the Academy and then in the first team, and obviously have a deep knowledge and understanding of the Club.
“Throughout my playing career, the one thing I strived for more than anything was constant improvement, on and off the pitch. That became even more important to me when I was named club captain in 2015, and the last seven years have given me such great experience and preparation for the next stage of my life and career.
Noble says farewell to the London faithful. Image: Alamy”In particular, the last two years, as my playing days began to naturally wind down, gave me a fantastic opportunity to really spend some time educating myself and gaining greater knowledge and understanding of the work that goes on behind the scenes.
“This Club has made some fantastic strides forward in that period and I am really looking forward to coming back at such an exciting time.
“I see it as a position that I can grow and develop in both personally and professionally. There are always difficult decisions to be made in football, but along with my colleagues at the Club,
“I will continue to put the best interests of West Ham United first. The last two seasons have been a time of great progress, and I want to help us to continue moving forwards in the right direction.
Noble and Moyes will work together. Image: Alamy”I believe in the ambition shown by the Board and I am excited about helping to build on the success that has been delivered so far.
“I feel that it is a great opportunity for me to make a real contribution and help the Club in a number of different ways, and I can promise everyone in the West Ham family that I will give it absolutely everything I have.”
The Hammers haven’t had a good start to the season and currently sit in 18th place in the Premier League, having only won once in the league so far.