Surprise name could join host of stars confirmed for West Ham captain's testimonial

Upton Park

A Chelsea legend could join the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Trevor Sinclair in a West Ham All Stars side for captain Mark Noble's testimonial.

The 28-year-old midfielder has spent his entire career with the Hammers, having progressed through their youth season and into the first-team set-up.

Since making his debut in 2005, Noble has played 340 times for the East London side, and his dedication was rewarded at the beginning of the season when head coach Slaven Bilic named him captain.

The club announced the honour last month and the fixture will take place at the Boleyn Ground on Easter Monday March 28th.

Since the announcement speculation has been rife as to who would be invited along.

Last month we took a detailed look at how the West Ham All Stars side could line-up for what promises to be a fitting fixture in the club's last ever season at their beloved Boleyn Ground home of 112 years.

Fans' favourites all confirmed

A number of players have confirmed their involvement on Twitter this week including Rio Ferdinand, Trevor Sinclair, Carlton Cole, Ravel Morrison and Jimmy Walker.

Legend Ferdinand is a boyhood Hammer and also spent time around Noble and his West Ham teammates while brother Anton was with the club.

He confirmed his involvement in a tweet saying: "Just been asked to play in Mark Noble's testimonial, to play at Upton Park for the last time ever, such a special place, special fans."

Tricky Trevor Sinclair did not play with Noble but was at the club when he was coming through the Academy. Legend Sinclair still keeps a close eye on the goings on at West Ham and was one of the first to congratulate Noble on the testimonial.

He too confirmed his involvement with a post on Twitter saying: "Delighted to get the nod from Mark Noble for his testimonial. Buzzing to be playing at Upton Park and the top fans one last time."

Meanwhile, Cole, who is something of a cult hero at West Ham and only left the club in the summer before joining Celtic, said on Twitter: "Buzzing to be asked to play in Mark Noble's testimonial. End of an era at the Boleyn where the fans have given me great memories."

Morrison was something of a surprise inclusion while Walker was fully expected to take his place between the sticks for the game.

Bad boy Morrison was released by the Hammers in somewhat acrimonious circumstances under former boss Sam Allardyce and joined Italian side Lazio where he has endured a typically turbulent time.

Walker, who spent five years with the Hammers as understudy to number one Rob Green, tweeted: "Great catch up with king Nobes absolutely buzzing to say I'll be dusting the gloves off for his well deserved testimonial."

Chelsea legend is surprise name on list

One name that didn't make many lists of potential players, though, was that of former West Ham manager and Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola.

And it is believed Zola will join the likes of Paolo Di Canio and even Carlos Tevez in what is shaping up to be a formidable side.

Zola was a hugely popular figure among players and fans during his time as Hammers boss. Despite the club going through some troubled times financially Zola managed a very respectable eighth place finish in the Premier League and had his West Ham side playing with flair.

His second season was not as good, eventually scraping together enough points to stay up in 17th place.

It was often mentioned in interviews with his players that Zola was still the best player in training and famously had to apologise after audaciously lobbing 'keeper Rob Green in a practice match.

Zola actually lined up alongside Di Canio in the last testimonial match to be played at Upton Park for Tony Carr during his tenure as boss.

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