Mark Noble returns to West Ham as sporting director

The 35-year-old made 550 appearances over 18 years for the Hammers

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Mark Noble is returning to West Ham United as sporting director just months after retiring from football.

The 35-year-old made 550 appearances over 18 years for the Hammers before calling time on his career at the end of last season.

But in a surprise move he is going back to his boyhood club in a newly-created role that begins in January.

“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,” he said.

“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.

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“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.

“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.”

The position will see Noble work closely with manager David Moyes providing “input, advice, and assistance across all aspects of the football operation”, the club say.

Moyes said: “I am really pleased to welcome Mark back and to have the opportunity to work closely with him again. He was a great asset and strength to me as a player and a captain, and I know he will give the Club and myself fantastic support again in this role.

“As Mark has said, it is an opportunity for him to develop and grow in the position and he will have our full support in doing so. There is nobody better qualified when it comes to understanding West Ham United and its ethos, and to bring new ideas to take the Club forward in the right direction.

“I know from my dealings with Mark throughout his time as a player – and particularly when we were going through the hugely challenging Covid-19 pandemic – that he possesses all of the necessary skills and attributes, and the right personality and character, to be a huge success in this role.”

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