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Evening Standard

West Ham unveil ‘The Mark Noble Arena’ to honour club captain

West Ham have re-named a pitch at their Chadwell Heath academy The Mark Noble Arena in honour of their departing club captain.

Noble, who himself came through the club’s academy after a brief spell at Arsenal as a schoolboy, is retiring after Sunday’s final game of the season, ending an 18-year professional career.

The midfielder received an emotional send-off on his final home outing against Manchester City at the London Stadium last Sunday and could make his 550th career appearance for the Irons in this weekend’s trip to Brighton.

His contribution to the development of the club’s young talent has already been recognised with the renaming of the club’s Young Hammer of the Year award earlier this month and a second honour has now followed, with the pitch to be adorned with “bespoke artwork and imagery paying tribute to Noble’s career and status as one of the greatest Academy graduates of modern times”.

“I am truly honoured to have this new Academy facility named after me. Chadwell Heath has a very special place in my heart – it’s where I first kicked a ball for West Ham United, where I grew up as a player and as a person, and where I learned so much from so many good people,” Noble said.

“There is so much great work that goes on behind the scenes at the Academy – all the coaches and support staff who devote their time to developing the players on the pitch and also instilling the standards and values off the pitch that are so important. It’s wonderful that they have such fantastic facilities here at Chadwell Heath now, because it has helped to create a really special environment.”

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