Noble: My precision strike at Blackburn even got Scott Parker excited!

Mark Noble celebrates scoring on his 100th appearance at Blackburn Rovers in 2009


Mark Noble has scored exactly 50 goals for West Ham United, but few were more memorable than the outstanding one he netted at Blackburn Rovers on 21 March 2009.

The home-grown midfielder was making his 100th appearance in Claret and Blue at Ewood Park, where Gianfranco Zola’s seventh-place Hammers were seeking to extend their unbeaten Premier League run to four games.

With Robert Green protected superbly by a back four of Lucas Neill, James Tomkins, Jonathan Spector and Herita Ilunga, and Noble partnered in midfield by the outstanding Scott Parker and diligent Radoslav Kovac, West Ham travelled to Lancashire having kept clean sheets in their previous three matches.

While that run ended when Keith Andrews beat Green six minutes after half-time, the Irishman’s goal was only enough to earn Sam Allardyce’s Rovers a draw, as Noble had earlier put the visitors in front with a truly superb goal.

Then just 21, Noble started and finished the move himself, running 30 yards before finding Luis Boa Morte. The Portuguese winger found striker Diego Tristan inside the penalty area and the Spaniard laid the ball off for Noble, who steered a pinpoint shot inside the far post with the outside of his right foot.



Reflecting on the goal nine years on, the 30-year-old says will always be one of his favourites.

“I love this goal, against Paul Robinson again, as I also scored my first Premier League goal for West Ham against him when he was at Spurs!” Noble smiled. “I don’t know how it went in, really, as I didn’t even strike it that well! It was with the outside of the boot.

“Do you know what I remember about this goal as well? It’s mad because Scotty Parker always used to run back to the centre of the pitch and never really used to celebrate goals. I don’t know why. It wasn’t that he wasn’t happy, but maybe he just wanted to get back into shape quickly. I remember he ran over and celebrated that one because I think he appreciated the outside of the right peg!

“I still can’t believe it went in really, as I didn’t catch it that well, but that’s precision, you see!”

West Ham went on to finish ninth in the Premier League table, while Noble ended the 2008/09 campaign with five goals to his name – three of them penalties – in 34 appearances.