Shaka Hislop’s may have last pulled on the West Ham United shirt almost twelve years ago, but two members of that 2005/06 squad are still going strong in Claret and Blue today.
Hislop, who celebrates his 49th birthday today, took to the field with James Collins on eleven occasions, while Mark Noble and the Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper were both named in the starting XI for the Hammers’ 4-2 League Cup win at Sheffield Wednesday in September 2005.
Noble and Collins have 34 appearances between them this season and Hislop is delighted to see them playing such a strong role for the Club he served with distinction in two spells from 1998-2002 and 2005-06.
“It’s incredible to see them still going strong, Ginge in particular,” Hislop said. “Nobes was just coming through when I was there. He was a young player coming up with a lot of talent and he was a huge prospect. I like Mark Noble a lot.
“You could tell he was going to be a big player for the club and to see him play an entire career at West Ham is simply outstanding.
You knew exactly what you were going to get out of [Ginge], it was always going to be 100% every single time and that, for me, was a joy to play behind
“Ginge, he was a bigger part of the first team squad at the time and of course, we had a strong relationship in that he is a centre-half and invariably goalkeepers have close relationships with their centre-halves.
“I remember how reliable he was. That was one thing you could always say about Ginge, that he was reliable. You knew exactly what you were going to get out of him, it was always going to be 100% every single time and that, for me, was a joy to play behind.
“It was very easy to play behind him and to see him still going now when I can barely get out of bed most mornings, and still putting in the performances that he is now is outstanding and always brings a smile to my face.
“The hair has all gone but it’s still the same Ginge!”