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Meet our latest Weekend Wonder: Mark Noble
The boy from Canning Town tells you how to play with a hangover

"Get in!" Noble celebrates a goal for his beloved Hammers

"Get in!" Noble celebrates a goal for his beloved Hammers

Mark Noble is a homegrown hero. His healthy liking for close combat and intelligent ball distribution at the heart of West Ham’s engine room has endeared him to the Upton Park faithful.

The boy from Canning Town, who snubbed Arsenal for his beloved Hammers, has also distinguished himself as a fierce competitor for the Young Lions.

To date Noble has 11 caps at England U21 level, with three goals to his name. He played a major role in the Young Lions reaching the semi-finals of last year’s European under-21 Championships in Holland.

He throws himself into every challenge, puts his head in where it hurts and has even been known to cry when he’s on the losing side.

Weekend Wonders caught up with the East Ender to find out if he has any tips for playing with a hang over and why he’s more then a Premier League star. He’s a Weekend Wonder….

Have you ever had someone turn up for a trial at West Ham who should have stuck to Sunday League? We had these three Portuguese fellas turn up once. They hardly spoke any English but insisted they had trials with West Ham. Once we started training it was clear they were so far off the mark it was unbelievable. I was in such a state of shock I couldn’t laugh; I was just waiting for Jeremy Beadle to run out and surprise us all. I was convinced it had to be a wind up. It was weird seeing players that bad in a West Ham training kit.

Have you ever played Sunday League? Between the age of 8 and 12 I played every Sunday and I loved it. A lot of the West Ham boys started out in Sunday League. It was my favourite time in football. I’ve never enjoyed my football more than when I was playing on a Sunday. It was all about a group of boys meeting up, playing a game they loved and then heading down the pub after with the old man.

That’s emotional stuff Mark, but a lot of Weekend Wonders are not quite as good as you. They haven’t improved with age. They’re still as good as they were when they were 12. The pub still plays a prominent part in the ritual though. Any tips for playing with a hangover? Get a good full English down you. That should get you through the game, then get home and get back into bed to sleep it off.

FourFourTwo decides to give Noble the ultimate test. The Weekend Wonders’s profile questions…..

I play like? That’s a really hard question. I don’t think I play like anyone; I just play my own game.

Other people say I play like? When I was younger everyone compared me to Joe Cole but I was never as skilful as him.

Best football achievement? Winning promotion with West Ham to the Premier League – it’s changed my life.

Worst moment in football? After playing most of the games during the promotion winning season (2004-05) I was really looking forward to my first season in the Premier League, but I was in and out of the team and sent out on loan at Hull. I then started the following season out on loan at Ipswich. I wanted to be playing for West Ham in the Premier League – for the team I loved. I was gutted. That’s the most hurt I’ve been in football.

Best player in our team? That’s impossible to answer; we’ve got a lot of quality players at the club. But as a paying fan I’d most like to watch Bellars (Craig Bellamy), Deano (Dean Ashton) and Scotty Parker. They’re exciting players to watch.

Team supported? West Ham

My football hero? As a West Ham fan it’s got to be Bobby Moore.

My football villain? Dennis Wise. Most people didn’t like him and he’s a football villain, but I liked the way he played.

Why I’m a Weekend Wonder? I just love playing football.
 
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