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Mark Noble to return to West Ham as sporting director

Mark Noble has completed a course at Harvard Business School to prepare for the role (Credit: West Ham United)

West Ham United has announced that former captain Mark Noble will become the club’s sporting director in January.

The midfielder retired earlier this year after making 550 senior appearances for the Hammers over 18 years. 

His new role will see him provide manager David Moyes and the Board of Directors with “input, advice and assistance” across all aspects of the teams football operation. 

“This will include Academy development, player recruitment, and player and staff wellbeing – with a particular focus on ensuring players both progressing through the ranks and new to the Club are nurtured in the West Ham United football philosophy and values,” said a spokesperson for the club. 

“Based between our three principal sites at London Stadium, Rush Green and Chadwell Heath, the 35-year-old will also play a key role in supporting the continued football development and ensuring strategic alignment across the club and the West Ham family, including our partners and supporters at home and across the globe.”

Earlier this summer, Noble completed an Entertainment, Media and Sports Business leadership course at Harvard Business School in the United States. 

“I’m really happy to be coming back and can’t wait to get started,” said Noble. “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.

“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.

“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. 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.”

Manager David Moyes said he was “pleased” to have Mark back, describing him as a “great asset”. 

“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,” added Moyes. “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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