Noble named Club captain

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has named Mark Noble as the Hammers’ new Club captain.

The midfielder, who is West Ham’s all-time leading Premier League appearance maker and the Club’s longest-serving player, was announced as the new skipper in a short ceremony before training at Chadwell Heath.

Noble, who succeeds Kevin Nolan, has thanked the manager for putting faith in him to lead the squad during the Hammers’ historic final season at the Boleyn Ground.

“When you are at a massive Barclays Premier League club like West Ham United playing in the best league in the world, to be captain and be brought up in the same area is something very special for me, for my family and the fans because they can relate to it,” the No16, who was born and raised in Canning Town and has amassed 328 appearances in Claret and Blue, wrote in his new Official Programme column.

“I have stood in for Kevin Nolan in the past and, in my eyes, he has been a top captain for this Club. He has brought the dressing room together and done all the stuff on the inside that nobody sees.

“I’ve watched Kev and how he dealt with things and I’ve learned a lot from him and hopefully I can be as good a captain as he was.”

Noble has already captained the side to victory at Arsenal and Liverpool this season and hopes to lead the Hammers to their first home Barclays Premier League victory of 2015/16 when Newcastle United visit on Monday evening.

Having also scored in West Ham’s last two fixtures, the 28-year-old is enjoying his own personal form at present and plans to put in another positive performance against the Magpies.

“I’ve got a bunch of great players here and over the last couple of weeks their performances and attitude have made things much easier for me as captain,” he revealed.

“I think it helps that I have been at the Club for a long time and I know everyone and how it all works, and the experience I have had playing for West Ham in the Premier League, and I am looking forward to being the buffer between the players and the manager.

“I captained the team at Liverpool and to lead the team out at Anfield for our first win their in 52 years, and scoring in front of The Kop was special and those memories will never leave me.”

A sellout crowd will fill the Boleyn Ground on Monday evening as Bilic’s side search for three points that would take West Ham up to fifth in the table.