Mark James Noble (born 8 May 1987) is an English footballer who plays as a central midfielder and is captain of West Ham United. He has played almost all his youth and first team football for West Ham apart from two short loan spells, at Hull City and Ipswich Town. He has played for England at U16, U17, U18, U19 and U21 levels. He captained the U21 side, scoring three goals in 20 appearances. Noble is the longest serving player in West Ham's current squad, having been in the first team since 2004. He is West Ham's first-choice taker for penalty kicks and has won the club's Hammer of the Year trophy twice.

In 2014, he was ranked in the top five penalty takers in the top European leagues and was in the top 10 in the world based on the percentage of penalties successfully converted since 2009. Noble has played more Premier League games for West Ham than any other player.

Club career

Early career

Born in Canning Town, East London, Noble played for Barking Colts and moved to Arsenal's academy at age 11. However, his father, who would drive him to training, could not always arrange the time to get Noble to training sessions due to the distance from their home in Beckton. Local side West Ham United showed an interest and Noble signed as a youth player. He became the youngest player ever to appear in their reserve team, aged 15. He became a trainee in July 2003 and made his debut in the senior team at the age of just 17 in the League Cup in August 2004 in a 2โ€“0 win against Southend. He made his league debut in the Championship in January 2005, in a 4โ€“2 defeat away at Wolves. On 30 May 2005 Noble played in the 2005 Football League Championship play-off Final which saw West Ham beat Preston North End, 1โ€“0 to return to the Premier League. He had entered the game as an 82nd-minute substitute for Shaun Newton.

Noble won the Young Hammer of the Year and the runner-up to the Hammer of the Year awards despite making his debut only four months previously. Upon West Ham's return to the Premiership, he featured in only five Premier League games in the 2006โ€“06 season including those against Tottenham Hotspur on 20 November 2005 and against Manchester United on 27 November 2005, but after a game against Blackburn Rovers on 10 December 2005 he found regular playing time harder to come by and was sent out on loan. He did not play for West Ham at all in 2006.

Loan Periods

Noble was subsequently loaned to Hull City where he made five appearances. His Hull debut came on 18 February 2006 in a 1โ€“0 away defeat by Cardiff City. Noble's loan ended early after he suffered an injury to his lower back.

Noble signed a three-month loan with Ipswich Town in August 2006 in the hope of gaining necessary first team experience. Whilst there he played 13 games in the Championship, and scored his first professional goal on 12 September in a 2โ€“1 home win over Coventry City.

Return to West Ham

Noble scored his first goal for West Ham, the first their 3โ€“0 win at home against Brighton & Hove Albion in January 2007 in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, from an assist by Carlos Tevez. On 4 March, he scored his first Premiership goal and the opening goal of the game, against Tottenham Hotspur at Upton Park in a game West Ham eventually lost 4โ€“3 in the final seconds. He played 11 games in all competitions scoring three goals in the 2006โ€“07 season.

2007โ€“08 season

Noble established his place in Alan Curbishley's side during the 2007โ€“08 season, starting nearly all games when fit. He scored his first penalty for the club on 8 August 2007 in a 1โ€“0 away win against Birmingham City after Colin Doyle had fouled Craig Bellamy. He was out for several weeks in November 2007 after he had played through an injury for the last several months without letting the medical staff know. In January 2008, Noble scored the only goal in a 1โ€“0 victory over Liverpool from the penalty spot, after Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher had brought down Fredrik Ljungberg in the last few seconds of 2nd half added time. His performance in the match was described as "exceptional".

2008โ€“09 season

The 2008โ€“09 season did not start well for Noble as he was sent off for two bookable offences in a 3โ€“0 loss away at Manchester City, the first away game of the season. After serving his suspension he came back to score an equaliser against West Bromwich after West Ham went a goal down with West Brom coming back to win 3โ€“2. This was one of five goals he scored in the season with three coming from the penalty spot. After Alan Curbishley left in September, he remained in the first team under new manager, Gianfranco Zola. He celebrated his 100th appearance for the Hammers by scoring against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, on 21 March 2009 to secure a 1โ€“1 draw. In April, he signed a contract extension tying him to the club until 2013.

2009โ€“10 season

Noble began the 2009โ€“10 season well, scoring West Ham's first goal of the new season, in a 2โ€“0 win over Premier League newcomers Wolverhampton Wanderers. Under Gianfranco Zola, Noble established himself in central midfield in a diamond that included Scott Parker as his partner and Jack Collison and Valon Behrami on the wings. He would only score one other goal during the season, a penalty after Habib Beye had fouled Zavon Hines, in a 2โ€“1 home win against Aston Villa on 4 November 2009.

2010โ€“11 season

With West Ham now managed by Avram Grant, Noble continued to be a regular member of the first team. He played 26 of a possible 38 games in the Premier League missing a month of the season after an appendectomy as West Ham were relegated after finishing in 20th and bottom place. He scored four league goals, all were penalties including two in one game. On 2 April 2011 against Manchester United his two penalties had put West Ham 2โ€“0 up only for Wayne Rooney to score a hattrick which, with another goal by Javier Hernรกndez, won the game 4โ€“2 for Manchester United.

2011โ€“12 season

During the 2011โ€“12 season with West Ham now back in the Championship, Noble scored eight goals, seven of which were penalties, his only goal from open play coming in a 4โ€“0 away win against Barnsley. Having twice previously been runner-up, Noble was named Hammer of the Year for the 2011โ€“12 season. In May 2012 Noble played in the 2012 Football League Championship play-off Final at Wembley Stadium against Blackpool which West Ham won 2โ€“1 to return to the Premier League after a one-year absence. By the end of the season he had played 49 games in all competitions missing just one of their Championship games.

2012โ€“13 season

In September 2012, Noble signed a new three-year contract with an option for a further two years. In February 2013 he was out injured having been diagnosed with a compression of the thoracic outlet. He did not return until 17 April 2013 in a 2โ€“2 home draw against Manchester United. The missing games saw Noble's tally for the season at 31 games in all competitions with four goals scored. Three goals were penalties with his one-goal from open play coming in a 4โ€“1 home win against Southampton on 20 October 2012.

2013โ€“14 season

Noble scored three goals in the 2013โ€“14 season, the only one from open play being the second goal in a 2โ€“0 away win over Cardiff City in January, despite the team being down to ten men after a James Tomkins sending off. On 6 May 2014, Noble received his second Hammer of the Year, beating runner up Adriรกn and third placed James Tomkins. On the same awards night, Noble also won 'Players' Player of the Year'.

2014โ€“15 season

Noble missed a penalty in a 0โ€“1 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on 16 August 2014, the opening game of the season, but scored his first goal of the season in the next home game, on 30 August, a 1โ€“3 home defeat by Southampton. On 29 November 2014, Noble became West Ham's record appearance maker in the Premier League, with his appearance against Newcastle United being his 205th Premier League game, overtaking Steve Potts. Noble signed a contract extension which would keep him at West Ham until 2020, with an option for a further year, on 26 February 2015.

2015โ€“16 season

Noble's first goal of the season came from the penalty spot in a 3โ€“4 home defeat by Premier League newcomers, A.F.C. Bournemouth on 22 August 2015. The following week he scored the second goal in a 3โ€“0 away win against Liverpool. This was West Ham's first win at Anfield since 1963. Noble made his 350th senior appearance for West Ham United on 6 February 2016, in a 1โ€“0 defeat away at Southampton. The following week he scored his third goal of the season, netting West Ham's equalizer in the 77th-minute of their 2โ€“2 draw away at Norwich City.


On 22 December 2015, Noble was granted a testimonial by West Ham following his long service to the club. The game was played on 28 March 2016 between a West Ham XI and a West Ham United all-stars team made up of former players, with all proceeds going to charity. It was the final testimonial match at West Ham's Boleyn Ground stadium before their move to the Olympic Stadium in August 2016.

The game was won 6-5 by the West Ham XI in front of 36,000 spectators and featured a goal by Paolo Di Canio and two by Dean Ashton, including a bicycle kick described as "stunning".

International career

Noble captained the England U18 team. He was a member of the England U19 team that beat Serbia and Montenegro U19s 3โ€“1 in the 2005 European Championship semi-finals, although they subsequently lost the final to France.

Noble made his debut for the England U-21 team on 11 June 2007, coming on as substitute in the 82nd-minute for Tom Huddlestone in England's 0โ€“0 draw with the Czech Republic during the European under-21 Championships in the Netherlands. He established himself in the starting eleven for the remaining matches and scored twice in a dramatic semi-final penalty shootout against the Netherlands where they lost 13โ€“12. On 11 September 2007, Noble scored his first international goal, for the Under-21 team, against Bulgaria, in a 2โ€“0 victory, followed by two more against the Republic of Ireland on 16 October.

Noble captained the U21s at the 2009 European Championships as regular captain Steven Taylor had to withdraw due to injury. The Young Lions ended the tournament as runners-up, losing 4โ€“0 to Germany, with Noble playing his last match for the U21s.

Noble is also eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland national side through his Cork born grandparents. In August 2014, despite stating on numerous occasions about his ambition of playing for England, it has been reported that he has made himself available for the Irish national team.

Career statistics

As of match played 10 September 2016
Club statistics
ClubSeasonLeagueFA CupLeague CupOtherTotal
West Ham United2004โ€“05Championship130302030210
2005โ€“06Premier League500010โ€”60
2006โ€“07Premier League102110000113
2007โ€“08Premier League3132030โ€”363
2008โ€“09Premier League2934210โ€”345
2009โ€“10Premier League2720010โ€”282
2010โ€“11Premier League2644051โ€”355
2012โ€“13Premier League2841010โ€”304
2013โ€“14Premier League3830010โ€”393
2014โ€“15Premier League2824010โ€”332
2015โ€“16Premier League377501030467
2016โ€“17Premier League4000003272
Hull City (loan)2005โ€“06Championship500000โ€”50
Ipswich Town (loan)2006โ€“07Championship1310000โ€”131
Career total3393924317112239245
  1. Appearances in Football League Championship play-offs
  2. Appearances in UEFA Europa League



West Ham United


Personal life

In May 2016, Noble was granted freedom of the Borough of Newham for his services to the borough.