By Dean White

23rd Sep, 2022 | 10:45am

Richard Keys has hailed West Ham United’s decision to appoint Mark Noble as their new sporting director.

It was confirmed on Thursday (22 September) that Noble, who hung up his boots at the end of last season, will take up the behind-the-scenes role at the London Stadium from 2 January.

He’ll work closely with David Moyes in the role and former Sky Sports host Keys is thrilled to bits after reading about the story in The Times newspaper.

“So pleased to read this today,” Keys wrote via his personal Twitter account on Friday morning (23 September).

“This guy was one of my favourite players – a ‘proper’ player as Souness would say.

“This is a great decision, West Ham.”

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It’s brilliant that Noble isn’t actually leaving West Ham.

He spent his entire playing career with us, earning 550 senior appearances for the club before retiring from the game at the end of last season.

And while he won’t be pulling his boots on anymore, he will be buttoning up his shirt and putting on a tie to work alongside Moyes behind the scenes at the club.

According to West Ham’s official website, Noble’s role involves “academy development, player recruitment, and player and staff wellbeing”, with one of the main focuses being developing young players into senior players – something he has experience of doing himself in East London.

Some fans might be wondering what makes Noble qualified for this job.

Well, the former Irons captain went to the USA in the summer to do an Entertainment, Media and Sports Business leadership course at Harvard Business School.

That’s some place to go for a course.

He means business, clearly, and West Ham aren’t simply just handing him this role to keep him on board to some degree.

We’re excited to see how this pans out.