Mark Noble KO'd West Ham team-mate Jack Collison with an ORANGE during trip to Cardiff

WEST HAM legend Mark Noble KO'd former team-mate Jack Collison with an ORANGE during a trip to Cardiff.

The pair were with West Ham for their play-off semi-final first leg against Cardiff in 2012.

The then promotion-chasing Hammers were staying at the Celtic Manor Resort, where there happens to be a golf course.

One of the putting greens became a target for a group of players who were struggling to sleep and so fruit was thrown from the hotel balcony in the hope of landing a hole in one.

An orange appeared to get close to one of the holes but it was too dark to tell.

And so Collison and fellow academy graduate James Tomkins went down to investigate.

READ MORE IN FOOTBALL

Dybala to Totttenham, Man City enter £50million Kalvin Phillips race

The best free bets and sign up offers available from our bookmaker partners

Collison told the Evening Standard: "It was pitch black and we couldn’t tell whether this orange had gone in as a hole-in-one or just sat beside it.

"Me and James Tomkins went down to check because it was getting quite heated."

Tomkins managed to throw the orange back onto the balcony of the bored West Ham stars, but just moments later, Collison was flat out on the floor after being KO'd by the orange he says was thrown by Noble.

He continued: "We got down there and Tonks has managed to throw it back up onto the balcony.

Most read in Football

FAN SHAME

Man charged after Sheff Utd star left needing stitches after brutal attack

STOMP SHOCK

Sheff Utd's McBurnie appears to STAMP on Forest fan as FA begin investigation

WOOD HE GO?

Neville looks to raid Man Utd with Under-23s coach on Salford shortlist

DIFF-ERENT CLASS

Tottenham set to be beaten by Cardiff for non-league star Ollie Tanner, 20

FREE BETS AND SIGN UP DEALS – BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS

"We’re walking off and next thing I’m flat out on the floor – the orange has come straight back down and hit me clean on the head.

"I can’t believe I wasn’t concussed!

“Nobes wouldn’t say it wasn't him but it was definitely him – he had that giggle and that laugh on him again.”

Such stories of Noble's light-hearted nature off the pitch have been backed up by former team-mate and captain Kevin Nolan.

Nolan said of his pal: "From day one he was what you’d expect, East End cockney, in your face, having a laugh and a joke, being the butt of the jokes.

"Then, on the field, he shows what he’s got in abundance: intelligence as a footballer and a really technically gifted one.”

Noble's leadership has never come into question.

Joe Hart says Noble had a "big influence" even from their days in England's youth ranks.

Premier League winner Hart said: "I met Mark when I was 19, playing for England Under19s, he was Mr West Ham even at that age.

"He was a huge character but cool and calm. You knew he’d have a big influence on football even then.”

Noble makes sure to set an example for the academy boys rising through the ranks at West Ham.

The 34-year-old sweeps the away dressing room out of respect for the staff who'd usually have to clean up after a team's mess.

Academy players watch Noble lead by example and make sure to do their bit.

West Ham right-back Ben Johnson says he saw Noble's face in his mind when he went to get on the coach after a 2-0 loss to Brentford.

Johnson went back and cleaned the dressing room just like his skipper would have.

Johnson told the Mail: "He does it every game but he wasn't at Brentford the week before that and I was about to get on the coach when I could suddenly see his face in my mind.

"So I turned round and did it.

"If he isn't there, then who is gonna do it?

"Coming from the academy and knowing he has put so much time and effort into me, the least I can do is carry it on.

"What he has done for me and my family has been wonderful."

Read More on The Sun

We’ll retire when we’re 40 & our kids will NEVER have to work – here’s how

Gemma Collins looks slimmer than ever in all-pink outfit after 3st weight-loss

Noble is set to play his final game for West Ham on Sunday when David Moyes' men travel to Brighton.

The Hammers have never beaten Brighton in the Premier League, but they will need to do so this time to give themselves a chance of pinching sixth off Manchester United.



    Source: Read Full Article