Former skipper Noble to return to West Ham as sporting director
LONDON - Former West Ham captain Mark Noble is to return to the club as their sporting director, the Premier League strugglers announced on Thursday.
The 35-year-old called time on an 18-year career with his boyhood club at the end of last season. He will begin his newly created role in January.
West Ham said in a statement that the former midfielder would "work closely in support of Hammers manager David Moyes and the current board".
The London club are in the relegation zone after winning just one of their seven Premier League games.
"I'm really happy to be coming back and can't wait to get started," Noble said.
"I've spent the last 24 years as a player here, first in the academy and then in the first team, and obviously have a deep knowledge and understanding of the club."
He added: "I see it as a position that I can grow and develop in both personally and professionally.
"There are always difficult decisions to be made in football but along with my colleagues at the club, I will continue to put the best interests of West Ham United first."
Having worked with Noble as a player, Moyes endorsed his return to the Hammers by saying: "I am really pleased to welcome Mark back and to have the opportunity to work closely with him again.
"He was a great asset and strength to me as a player and a captain, and I know he will give the club and myself fantastic support again in this role." - AFP