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‘Wannabe hooligan’ Mark Noble almost blew West Ham career with Millwall scrap
'Wannabe hooligan' Mark Noble almost blew West Ham career with Millwall scrap,West Ham legend Mark Noble has opened up about how he almost ruined his football career with the Hammers after almost getting involved in scrap with a group of Millwall supporters

‘Wannabe hooligan’ Mark Noble almost blew West Ham career with Millwall scrap

West Ham legend Mark Noble confessed he almost scuppered his football career – after a dust-up as a “wannabe hooligan”.

The Hammers hero was on the books at the club as a teen when he got involved in a confrontation with a Millwall mob.

Mark, 35, admitted: “Trouble was waiting if you wanted to find it, and our group found that out when I went to Upton Park with a big group of lads for a game against Millwall in 2003, only to end up standing in the doorway of a shop and wondering if I’d made the biggest mistake of my life.

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“What was I thinking? I certainly wasn’t feeling particularly brave as a group of Millwall fans marched down the street and I saw this big West Ham fan turn round and shout, ‘No one go anywhere, no one walk away, stand firm!’

“It was a big reality check. You think you’re a hard man at that age, you think you can take on the world, but to be honest I just felt like a little boy as I looked at my mate and thought, ‘Oh my God, we’re going to get killed here.’

LONDON - FEBRUARY 06: Mark Noble of West Ham United in action during the Coca-Cola Championship match between West Ham United and Cardiff City at Upton Park on February 6, 2005 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Mark Noble is a West Ham legend who's releasing a new book (Image: Getty Images)

“Luckily I lived to tell the tale and the club never found out about my days as a wannabe hooligan. It was pretty stupid behaviour. I didn’t need to get involved with that stuff. Going to the football should have been enough of a thrill for me.”

Mark spent his entire footballing life with West Ham and has revealed his highs and lows in his new book Boleyn Boy, starting with his time as a youth player.

Former player and captain Mark Noble
Former player and captain Mark Noble is set to be a sporting director at his former club (Image: West Ham)

He added: “They were great times. I loved going to Upton Park and hearing ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ strike up when the teams walked out before kick-off. It was a special place, although it did have an edge. The atmosphere was intimidating when certain teams came to town, and being in the academy did not stop me from occasionally getting a bit carried away.

“I was a fan when I was with my mates, and although it’s not like we were auditioning for parts in Green Street, I do look back and laugh at how we behaved as teenagers.”


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