Mark Noble is determined to honour the memory of Bobby Moore by inspiring West Ham United to another memorable result at Liverpool.
Amazingly, Noble became the first Hammers captain since Moore to lead his side to victory at Anfield, scoring in a 3-0 Premier League success in September 2015 – almost exactly 52 years after Moore had guided his team to a 2-0 First Division win on the same historic ground.
Saturday’s fixture falls on the 25th anniversary of Moore’s tragically premature death and Noble is eager to mark the occasion positively.
We need to cherish Bobby Moore for as long as we can because he is a massive part of West Ham’s history
“When you’ve got someone associated with our Club as special as Bobby Moore, who was the only England captain to lift the World Cup, it doesn’t come any more special than that,” said the No16. “It was an amazing achievement, not just for Bobby and his family, but also for West Ham.
“We need to cherish him for as long as we can because he is a massive part of West Ham’s history and nobody should ever forget that.
“When I finish playing and sit back with my kids and hopefully my grandkids for years to come, to know that I captained this Club through massive parts of our history, I don’t think I’ll appreciate it until then, looking in from the outside.”
The Claret and Blue Army will pay their own tribute to Moore at Anfield on Saturday, with the Club providing a commemorative t-shirt for each of the 3,000 travelling fans.
And Noble says the squad will need their vociferous support if they are to get the better of a Liverpool side unbeaten on home turf this season.
“The mood in the camp is good. We’ve had a break since we won our last game at home against Watford, which was a fantastic win for us, but this will be a tough game. Liverpool are a fantastic team and we’ll need to play at 100 per cent to get anything.
“This is about as tough as it gets and their front three at the moment, particularly Mo Salah, have looked unplayable, but this is the Premier League, this is football and you never know what’s going to happen. We know we’ll need to play really, really well to get a result.
“I remember going there in 2015 and we hadn’t won in 50-odd years and we won 3-0, and I actually scored and got sent-off – it later got rescinded, thankfully – and to score at the Kop end was fantastic, and it set us on a roll of beating some top teams away from home and having a great season.”
While Noble and Manuel Lanzini were among the heroes that afternoon, the captain believes Marko Arnautovic, with seven goals and three assists in his last ten Premier League appearances, will be key to the Hammers’ chances of collecting three points this time around.
“You could see the ability Marko had at Stoke but I think he’s taken it to the next level with us over the last few months. We’re going to need him over the next couple of months, for sure.
“We need to keep him in the form he’s been in, keep him fit and healthy, and if he can keep playing the way he has for us, he’s a massive, massive asset.
“To be honest, with his all-round play, his ability, strength and his pace, he could play in any team, and I mean that. That’s how good he is as a footballer. He obviously needs to be consistent and do it week-in, week-out and at the minute he’s doing that.
“With the better players you play with, it makes it easier for you, so if you put Marko in any team in the world he would hold his own, because he’s got all the attributes.
“I think he’s had his hair done again before the weekend, too. I think it suits him and he can have it dyed purple if he wants, if I’m honest, as long as he keeps doing what he does!”