– Former captain Mark Noble will return to West Ham United as the club’s sporting director from 2 January, 2023.
– The ex-midfielder ended his playing career this summer after making 550 appearances for the Hammers.
– The newly created role will see Noble, 35, work with manager David Moyes and the club’s board of directors across all aspects of its football operation.
– “I’m really happy to be coming back,” said Noble. “It’s a great honour to take up this role at West Ham United.”
– He added: “I see it as a position that I can grow and develop in both personally and professionally.
– “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.”
– But for two brief loan spells in 2006, Noble spent his entire career with local team West Ham after joining their academy aged 11.
– In his final season he helped the Hammers reach the Europa League semi-finals and this summer he completed an entertainment, media and sports business leadership course at Harvard Business School in the US.
– “There is nobody better qualified when it comes to understanding West Ham United and its ethos,” said Hammers boss Moyes.
– “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.”
– West Ham’s joint-chairman David Sullivan added: “Mark rightly wanted to spend some precious time with his family after 18 years of non-stop devoted service as a player, but there was never any doubt that he would come back in a senior role in the near future.”