Sunday 17

West Ham United

Noble tipped to become next Hammers legend

9th February 2019, 11:20 by Nick Harris

Mark Noble can follow in the footsteps of Billy Bonds and write his name in West Ham folklore, according to Manuel Pellegrini.

This week the Hammers announced they are naming a stand at the London Stadium after former captain and manager Bonds.

During 21 years at West Ham, as a full-back, centre-half and midfielder, Bonds made a club-record 799 appearances and led them to two FA Cup triumphs.

The 72-year-old will now join fellow Hammers heroes Bobby Moore and Sir Trevor Brooking in having his name on a stand in Stratford.

Boss Pellegrini said: "As much as the new generation know about the players and history of the club, it's always good for them to have recognition.

"Players like Billy Bonds, Bobby Moore and Trevor Brooking need to be remembered forever, so I'm very pleased for him to have the stand named after him.

"He had a great career, he scored a lot of goals and made more appearances than anybody here at this club, so he deserves it."

Bonds played his final game for the club against Southampton in April 1988 at the age of 41 years and 226 days.

Noble, West Ham's current skipper, has 453 appearances to his name and, according to Pellegrini, has plenty more miles left in the tank.

"Mark Noble is our captain. He made his complete career here at West Ham. Probably he will finish here also," added Pellegrini.

"After he retires the club must decide what he deserves. But in the history of West Ham Mark will be an important player also.

"You can't compare. They are different times. But both of them are very important players for West Ham.

"Mark must be focused on the next year, to continue to win and improving what he has done for this club.

"He's done a lot of things but he is just 31 and has a lot more history to write for this club."

West Ham will unveil the Billy Bonds Stand at a ceremony prior to their Premier League game against Newcastle on March 2.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.

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