A Kid From Canning Town: A Mark Noble Tribute Poem

Mark Noble of West Ham United during the Pre Season Friendly between Brentford v West Ham. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Mark Noble of West Ham United during the Pre Season Friendly between Brentford v West Ham. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images) /

As the season draws to a close, West Ham legend Mark Noble is counting down his final hours in a claret and blue jersey before retirement.

The long-serving midfielder has dedicated over two decades of his life to playing for his boyhood club, and he has spent all of his adulthood as a professional footballer.

Green St. Hammers writer James wrote this heartfelt tribute to the club captain, summing up how Noble has grown through his time at West Ham and what the future will be like for him.

A poem to West Ham’s retiring legend and club captain Mark Noble

West Ham legend Mark Noble
West Ham legend Mark Noble /


Twenty-two years have gone by so fast

As Mark Noble hopes to make every minute last

It seemed like yesterday you came through the club’s door

And made your debut for West Ham in 2004

First-team was the dream, but you needed to go out

On loan at first to get in with a shout

Of playing for the Irons, by then little did you know

That stadium you’d play at would become your second home

Over time this club would grow into your heart

It’s been a long ride, Nobes, so where do I start?

Let’s go back to the 06/07 season

You remember that time, as do fans, for a very good reason

Relegation was likely, but never say never

What you and the lads achieved went down in folklore forever

That game at Old Trafford was a memorable day

Do you know that some lessons were learned along the way?

Like how football can be cruel and draw a bitter blow

And how you need to work hard and reap what you sow

Survival was secured, a great day in MCR

For the Hammers who travelled to support near and far

You were going from boy to man, learning the football emotions

As those before you had, you’d come to see the game’s many commotions

You see, relegation battles and West Ham were always a thing

Yet you would stick by us with no regrets nor questioning

We went through good times, bad times over the years

You were helped out managers, friends and peers

2015, a dream of yours came true

And you’d be named captain of the Claret and Blue

Di Canio, Dicks, Bonzo, Moore

You were now one of them, whom the supporters adored

As the club prepared to say goodbye to its scared place

You wore the armband with a strong sense of grace

The time to say goodbye came on May 10th, 2016

A 3-2 win, in the last game the Boleyn would ever see

At the place where players become heroes for others

You stood on the stage with your claret and blue brothers

It was hard to say goodbye, you wanted to cry

And although it’s gone, Mark, its legacy will never die

We moved to a new place, the one we call “The Bowl”

The changes and atmosphere must have taken a toll

It wasn’t West Ham, it wasn’t working-class

It saw bad times, but these times – I promise you – they will pass

In the heat of the moment, the anger got the best of you

We get why though, Mark, we know you’re one of us too

You started to look for a new successor, someone in the long term

It was that person’s job to take the armband you’d earned

To you, it was easy, you didn’t have to think twice

You just knew you saw a leader in a young Declan Rice

He idolises you, Mark, and he’s making you smile

Watching him grow has been so worthwhile

You now sit on the bench, but you fully understand

How Declan leads, and how the team with him is in good hands

We are sad to see you go, but the next job must be done

To spend quality time with your wife, daughter and son

She needs her husband, and they need their dad

Trust me, these two titles are the best for any lad

From skipping school to watch your idols train

To playing heat, snow, and heavy rain

We remember every goal, every penalty kick

How you looked out for the young, the old, and the gravely sick

You did it, Mr. Noble, you lived a football dream

Now we say goodbye around these parts of E15

When the time comes and the final curtain comes down

We will miss you, Mark, Nobes, 16, the kid from Canning Town