Noble hails ‘fitting result’ on Billy Bonds’ special day
West Ham United’s performance in the 2-0 win over Newcastle was a ‘fitting result’ on a special day for club legend Billy Bonds, according to captain Mark Noble.
The Irons skipper scored from the penalty spot late in the first half to help the home side to a deserved victory over Rafa Benitez’s side, with fellow Academy graduate Declan Rice putting the Hammers in front earlier in the match.
It was just that, on a day when an Academy graduate who played 799 times for West Ham was honoured, two other players from the Irons youth set-up would fire the team to victory, and Noble believes the entire day was a fantastic tribute to a man he is proud to know.
What a fitting occasion for Billy and his family to walk out, and then watch us play like that and take home the three points.
“I think it was a fitting result on a day for Billy,” Noble told West Ham TV. “We knew he was getting the stand named after him. He was an unbelievable player and he’s an unbelievable person.
“I have the pleasure of knowing him and he’s always spoke very highly of me. He’s a great man to have a stand named after him.
“We dug in and scored a couple of really good goals. Angelo and Issa were fantastic and made a couple of really good blocks. To have Manu back out there; it’s just been a really good night for everyone, and the fans can go home happy.
“What a fitting occasion for Billy and his family to walk out, and then watch us play like that and take home the three points.”
Noble and Bonds have both worn the captain’s armband for the Hammers and both been great servants of the club, and the No16 knows just how much the club legend is appreciated by West Ham supporters.
He continued: “I’ve done some press over the last week about Billy and I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s someone that the fans and players and everyone at this club can look up to.
“We’ve had some special players at this Club, but the West Ham fans always appreciate a hard-working, honest player, and that’s what Billy was.
“‘Bubbles’ before kick-off was really loud. You could feel the atmosphere. It was a fantastic tribute to Billy.”
Noble admitted he could not believe West Ham found themselves two goals ahead at half-time against a Newcastle team that have been defending well this season.
The 31-year-old says that the Irons fully deserved their result and can be delighted with the performance.
“We knew that Newcastle are a tough team to play against,” he added. “They very rarely concede goals and they are so well drilled. We knew it was going to be like that and, to be honest, I was a little bit shocked we went in 2-0 up because of their history of not conceding goals.
“We played well and we deserved it. In the first half, some of our play was absolutely fantastic. We could have scored a couple more in the second half, but 2-0 and a clean-sheet is fantastic.”