West Ham United 2 Manchester City 2 15th May 2022

Hammers Say Farewell To West Ham Legend Mark Noble

Hope this post finds everyone safe and well.

Its been a busy week or so for me so I haven’t had a chance to get this post together sooner. One of my sons is doing very well with his cricket, he is only 11 but has already been scouted for a team on his bowling alone – he is a left hander like me. I’m the first to admit I don’t know much about cricket, but we have been told he is very talented bowler and a very good batsman. I’ve been busy taking him to training and matches and me and the boys do karate and have been in a completion recently. Our youngest was at the 02 singing in Young Voices which is an amazing event for children from across London. The boys are at the age where they have a busier social life than me and my wife, so I spend most of my time dropping and collecting and driving and watching and supporting whatever they are doing. Exhausting but well worth every minute.

This was probably the hardest post to do not just because it was the last home game of the season, and that me and my boys and brother have to move to make way for more expensive seating, but it was the final home game of Hammers legend Mark Noble.

There were so many emotions before the match as I have watched Noble play for the Hammers ever since I first got my season ticket at Boleyn ground and have gone through so many ups and downs mixed with joys and despair in almost equal measure following the team.

It’s not easy being a Hammer, but I wonder how it has been for Mr West Ham himself throughout his playing career and all the changes and battles and celebrations commiserations he has been through with various players and managers.

The mould was broken after they made Noble as you will not get a player who will be as dedicated to a team as Mark has been to West Ham, a boyhood fan who grew up in Canning Town supporting the Hammers and living many youngster’s dream of playing for the club you watched as a child from the stands. It has been wonderful seeing so many young fans as well at the stadium and who knows which one those may grow up to play for the club and who have had Noble as their inspiration.

The respect and high regard Noble has not just amongst his fellow team mates, but the staff and players and managers who have had the pleasure of playing and working alongside Noble was clear to see in the build up to the game and the excellent video tribute shown before and after the match.

The other emotions were of the game itself, and I’m not the first to admit I was worried how we would do against a rampant City side who had everything to play for in the final games of the season. It has been great to see so many important league places decided on the final day and City proving they’re worth with a comeback victory against Palace to seal Premier League title again.

Even as we went 2-0 with excellent goals from Bowen, myself and those around me knew City had it in them to get back into the game. And so they did, but it wasn’t until Mahrez penalty was saved by Fabianski that we felt an upset could be on the cards. Another excellent performance and proof again that we can make an atmosphere at the London Stadium as the crowd cheered on the team and hoped that even Noble could sign off with one last goal infant of an emotional home crowd as he came on in the final stages of the game.

As often as there are special moments of pure joy and magic, there are those times when things just don’t happen and despite that, it was a respectable result against the champions to be and a great send off to one of our own who will be greatly missed as he closes the door on his playing career.

There is time to reflect on what could have been this season, but there is also time to reflect on what Noble brought to the team and the club and whether he will be a presence for years to come, an example to younger players coming into the game and someone who brought so many memorable moments to those of us who have been part of his journey as a player.

Thank you Mark Noble for your services to the team, to us as fans and the club and we all wish you the very best for what you choose to do next. We all look forward to seeing you again at the club.

There were so many images that I wanted to include in this post, but I had to do some editing down otherwise you’d all be scrolling down forever! I hope you enjoy the photos from the match and I hope you have all enjoyed my photo diary posts this season. I have been truly blessed to have had some much positive feedback and support from you during what has been a trying year, I just hope my photos have been able to capture the season for those of you who may not get to the games, and also as a memory for those who do. Please take care everyone. 


PS The two guys at the start of the photos are Man City fans who were giving respect to Noble and West Ham and when asked for their score prediction, they thought it would be 3-2 to City! They said it was going to be a hard game for them. Nice guys, very friendly and happy to chat away.

Published by dawudmarsh

Photographer based in London.

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