By Joe Ellis

24th Sep, 2022 | 9:40am

West Ham United must harness Mark Noble spirit after Patrick Kelly moment

Mark Noble is set to make his return to West Ham United in a non-playing role in the new year as the club’s first-ever Sporting Director.

The Irons legend and former club captain hung up his boots at the end of last season but was always keen to return to the club in a staff capacity when the time, and the role, was right.

That time has finally come and he will be in close contact with David Moyes and the other coaches to aid the entire club’s quota of players and decisions that need to be made.

One academy youngster has already seen the very best of Noble off the pitch having only married at the club this summer as the London Stadium icon headed out of the dressing room.

Patrick Kelly moved to London from Coleraine to join up with the young Hammers and was with his parents at Chadwell Heath when they bumped into Noble, as reported by The Athletic.

The 35-year-old had just picked up a knock in a small-sided game and took the time to not only introduce himself to the teenager and his family but give them a fully-guided tour of the training ground.

That might have been the moment that the 17-year-old needed to properly settle at the club and he has started the season like a house on fire, scoring twice for Northern Ireland Under-19s and bagging a hat-trick for the Irons’ youth side too.

It would be a lot to ask Noble to do that with every new signing West Ham make but his morals and values have been imprinted onto many in the dressing room who now need to pass it on themselves.

Just having him around will be enormous for Moyes to have him available at a moment’s notice to deal with anything that needs to be dealt with.