On this day - 8 May


Mark Noble
Born: 8 May 1987
Clubs: West Ham United, Hull City (loan), Ipswich Town (loan)

West Ham United's longest current servant Mark Noble is today celebrating his 28th birthday. Born in Canning Town, the midfielder made his senior debut for the club at the Boleyn Ground in August 2004, in a League Cup tie against Southend United.

He would, however, have to wait until January 2007 to score his first goal in claret and blue, notching in a 3-0 FA Cup third-round victory over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Two months later, and Noble was celebrating a first league strike for the club, famously netting the opener in a 4-3 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur. A then 18-year-old Noble would go on to play a huge hand in the club's 'Greatest Escape.'

Some seven years on and the east Londoner has 287 West Ham appearances to his name with 33 goals and counting. The midfielder's fine performances over the course of the 2013/14 season earned Noble both the Players' Player of the Year award and his second Hammer of the Year award at the Club's end of season awards night.  

This season, Noble has continued to impress at the heart of midfield, scoring twice in 31 appearances. 

Classic match

Watford 1-2 West Ham United
8 May 2005

Alan Pardew's West Ham United secured a Championship Play-Off place with this final-day victory at Watford's Vicarage Road.

The Hammers occupied sixth spot prior to kick-off, but were only above Reading courtesy of goals scored. With that in mind, West Ham had only to match the Royal's result, or indeed scoreline at Wigan Athletic to book their place in the end-of-season lottery.

It would take the visitors until the 42nd minute to break the deadlock, when Elliott Ward picked out his central defensive partner Anton Ferdinand who swept home on the volley, before racing the length of the field to celebrate in front of the traveling fans.

West Ham doubled their advantage from the spot with 20 minutes still to play, with Marlon Harewood slotting home after Andy D'Urso had penalised James Chambers for handball.

Though Heidar Helguson netted a late consolation for the Hornets from the spot, Pardew's men need not have worried. Wigan Athletic, then vying for automatic promotion with Ipswich Town, ran out comfortable 3-1 winners at the JJB Stadium to seal the Royals' fate.

Complete record - 8 May

1981 West Ham United 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday (Division Two)
1982 West Ham United 1-1 Manchester United (Division One)
1985 Everton 3-0 West Ham United (Division One)
1991 West Ham United 1-0 Bristol Rovers (Division Two)
1993 West Ham United 2-0 Cambridge United (Division One)
1999 Everton 6-0 West Ham United (Premier League)
2005 Watford 1-2 West Ham United (Championship)

Played 7, Won 4, Drawn 1, Lost 2, Scored 7, Conceded 11