Ashton revels in special goal

Dean Ashton netted a sublime overhead kick during Mark Noble's testimonial
Having marked his return to the Boleyn Ground with arguably his best goal in a West Ham shirt, striker Dean Ashton described his delight at being able to mark such a special occasion with just as special a strike.

The former England international reeled back the years with a sumptuous overhead kick from Ian Bishop’s floated cross.

Just minutes later, Ashton netted his second of the game to cap off a memorable day at the Boleyn Ground to celebrate Mark Noble’s testimonial.

Speaking to WHTV after the game, Ashton said: “It was like I was 23 years old again, I don’t know what I was doing! To be able to play here again, in front of a full stadium and be able to score a goal like that means so much to me.

“Now that we’re leaving; if that’s my last ever goal at Upton Park, what a goal to finish on.

“It was just one of those instincts. John Bishop dinked a lovely little ball over and it was pure instinct really, I’ve done that in the past, now the only problem is how much that’ll hurt tomorrow!

“Today’s goal was up there with the scissor kick at Old Trafford, obviously a different occasion but in some ways just as special.”

While the former Hammer had every right to be proud of his outstanding effort, Ashton continued to describe how happy he was for his former teammate Mark Noble.  

He continued: “It was an absolutely amazing turnout, and you know what, Nobes deserves it after all he’s done for the club.

“Not only he is a fantastic football player but he’s given a hell of a lot to the club, and he’s a top bloke. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t get on with him. The thing that he shows most is his passion and that is what this club is all about. He’s shown that in abundance as well as a touch of class.”

Alongside Ashton, there was plenty of familiar faces, both old and new who made a triumphant return, including the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Paolo Di Canio and Ludo Miklosko, as well as many, many more.   
Reflecting on the special event, in the midst of special events to mark the final season at the Boleyn Ground, Ashton reflected: “Everyone wanted to come back today, to have that one last chance to play here at Upton Park, in front of a full house was just amazing.

“There was some serious players out there today, Di Canio, Ferdinand and others, there was a lot! To see Nobes climb those stairs at Wembley would absolutely be the best send off for West Ham possible and I really hope it happens.

“That last game is really going to be unbelievable. Any games under the lights here is, but the last one ever, I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of tears, that’s for sure.”