Gracias, Senor Noble

  • by Staff Writer
  • Thursday, 12th May 2022

It's well documented that Mark Noble will be playing his final game in front of Hammers fans this weekend when champions elect Manchester City visit Stratford.

After some 17 years as a pro, the club captain will be hanging up his boots at the end of the current campaign.

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During that lengthy spell at one club - one that few footballers have managed to emulate in the modern era - Noble has made an impression on many players, none more so than current skipper Declan Rice who frequently thanks Noble for his contribution to his emergence as an international star.

Yet even those who only spent a brief spell working with the latest West Ham United legend have offered words of thanks to Noble. One of those is current Porto star Toni Martinez, who spent three years on West Ham's books between 2016 and 2019.

Speaking via social media this week, the 24-year-old - who has nailed down a spot in Porto's first team this season - referred to the 35-year-old midfielder as a "legend", while wishing him good luck for whatever lies ahead.

"Legend, Mark Noble," he wrote via twitter. "Thanks for the way you treated me from my first day as a Hammer. All the best on your future."

Although his appearances for West Ham were limited to outings in the third round of the 2018 FA Cup against Shrewsbury, a substitute appearance in the replay (a 1-0 win for United) and a second (and final) first team start in the 2-0 defeat at Wigan in the fourth round three weeks later, Martinez has since carved a decent career for himself rather closer to home.

The Spanish forward re-booted his career with Primeira Liga side Famalicao where he spent a successful season before moving to Portuguese giants Porto, with whom Martinez signed a five-year contract in October 2020.

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