Noble: The FA Cup third round is still a massive weekend

Mark Noble


Mark Noble would love nothing more than to add an Emirates FA Cup winner’s medal to the runners-up gong he was awarded by Alan Pardew more than a decade ago.

A teenage Noble – alongside his fellow Academy of Football scholar and best pal Chris Cohen – were invited to join Pardew’s West Ham United squad at the 2006 FA Cup final in Cardiff.

Sadly, the Hammers were edged out on penalties by Liverpool after a thrilling 120 minutes of action had ended in a 3-3 draw, but Noble will never forget the experience.

It’s Emirates FA Cup third round weekend, which is and always has been one of the big dates on the football calendar, anywhere in the world

Mark Noble

“I love the Cup and if I was offered the chance to finish 17th in the Premier League and win the FA Cup, I would take it without hesitation,” said the captain, who has since played 26 times for the Irons in the world’s most-famous knockout competition.

“When we last reached the final, against Liverpool in 2006, Alan Pardew took myself and another young player, Chris Cohen, along for the experience.

“It was a great game but the thing I remember most was watching Steven Gerrard live. He was so good in that final and inspired me to try and be better.

“A couple of weeks later Pards called me into his office and gave me a runners-up medal, which was nice. I’d love to add a winner’s medal to it, so why not this season?”


Mark Noble netted his first career penalty against Birmingham City in August 2007


West Ham will be cheered on by more than 50,000 fans at London Stadium on Saturday, when they kick-off their challenge for the 2019 Emirates FA Cup by taking on Championship promotion-chasers Birmingham City – a team Noble scored his first-ever penalty in Claret and Blue against back in August 2007.

“It’s Emirates FA Cup third round weekend, which is and always has been one of the big dates on the football calendar, anywhere in the world,” he confirmed.

“To have well over 50,000 fans here today is testament not just to your loyalty and support of West Ham United, but also a nod to the way we have been playing this season.

“Football is about results first; I’ll always say that; but at this Club it’s also about entertainment and I believe we have been playing attractive, attacking football these last few months.

“Looking ahead to the rest of the season, we should one hundred per cent be aiming for a finish in the top ten – and a good FA Cup run, starting against Birmingham on Saturday.”

*Tickets for Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup third-round tie with Birmingham City, which kicks-off at 12.30pm, are still available here.