Mark Noble wants to win the FA Cup to thank West Ham’s fans, as well as past and present players, for supporting his testimonial match at Upton Park.
Over 35,000 supporters saw a West Ham XI beat West Ham’s All-Stars, who featured the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Paolo Di Canio and Teddy Sheringham, 6-5.
Noble himself was on the scoresheet, and the Hammers captain admitted he was humbled by the experience.
“I managed to keep myself together, especially when I walked out with the kids, it was amazing,” he told West Ham TV.
“To be honest there are no words to describe how thankful I am of the fans. I know there were a lot of travel issues, the weather, everything seemed to try and get in the way, but the weather turned out perfect and I think you can tell the lads had a great time.
“The response I’ve had [from players] has been phenomenal. To be honest I don’t really know how to thank them. The only way I can thank them is by going to win the FA Cup, which would be nice. It’s been a great day for everyone. I’m going to sleep well tonight!”
One of the highlights of the day came from former England striker Dean Ashton, who struck with this stunning overhead kick:
Dean Ashton’s goal at the Mark Noble testimonial ? ???#WHUFC
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) March 28, 2016
“Ashton scored one similar against United, but just the players we’ve had here, the goals they’ve scored, the penalties at the end,” Noble added.
“It’s the exact day I wanted, just a laugh with the crowd, a bit of fun, a day for them as well to say thank you for the support they’ve given us all over the years.
“There’s been a lot, a lot of work that’s gone into this, a lot of hard work, a lot of help from friends and family and especially the people at the Club. I can’t thank every one of them individually but if I could, I would.”
Upton Park legend Di Canio was also given a hero’s welcome by the Hammers faithful and delighted supporters with this solo effort:
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) March 28, 2016
West Ham United: Adrian (Spiegel 29, Hatton 76), O’Brien, Tomkins (Pike 46), Reid (A Ferdinand 65, Dobson 85), Cresswell (Dobson 58, Collins 81), Song (Short 76), Obiang (Noble 65), Noble (Browne 46), Lanzini (Di Canio 65), Antonio (Sinclair 65), Emenike (Sakho 22, Diangana 58, Carroll 81)
West Ham United All-Stars: (First Half) James, Ward (Dailly 15), R Ferdinand, A Ferdinand, Dicks (Gabbidon 15), Downing (Sinclair 15), Collison, Parker (Di Canio 15), Benayoun, Bellamy, C Cole
West Ham United All-Stars: (Second Half) Walker (Miklosko 81), Lomas (Powell 58), Dailly, Upson (Blewitt 65), Gabbidon (Keen 65), Bowyer (Cohen 77), Collison (Moncur 51, Bishop 65), Harewood, Etherington, Sheringham, Ashton (Tombides 77)