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.
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 2–0 win against Southend. He made his league debut in the Championship in January 2005, in a 4–2 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, 1–0 to return to the Premier League. He had entered the game as an 82nd-minute substitute for Shaun Newton.
Noble captained the England U18 team. He was a member of the England U19 team that beat Serbia and Montenegro U19s 3–1 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 0–0 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 13–12. On 11 September 2007, Noble scored his first international goal, for the Under-21 team, against Bulgaria, in a 2–0 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 4–0 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.
Former Youth Teams
Former Senior Teams
Former Club Staff