Captain Noble humbled by foreign support

West Ham United captain Mark Noble says it is a humbling experience to be hero-worshipped by some of the club's foreign fans.

The growth of the Premier League has seen its popularity boom, helping clubs like West Ham build up global fanbases.

The Hammers spent part of the summer in China, playing in the Premier League Asia Trophy alongside Manchester City, Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The trip was filmed by Betway for a new documentary entitled 'Over Land and Sea' that investigates why foreign fans support their chosen teams.

The film tells the story of Pan, a Chinese-born West Ham supporter living in Shanghai who idolises Noble. The midfielder admits that Pan's support took him by surprise.

"It's a little bit surreal to be honest," he said "I don't see myself as someone's hero, especially with all the players out there that he can follow.

"There's Messi, Ronaldo, but he took a real liking for me. For someone on the other side of the world to appreciate what you've done is pretty special."

Pan started following the Hammers after taking charge of them on the video game, Football Manager.

He used the internet to find out more about West Ham and says their rich history enticed him to start supporting the team.

"I thought West Ham was a good club, so I focused on them," he said. "Every season I watch our matches on television or the computer.

"Mark Noble is my favourite player. All the fans tell me he is a very good player and a very good leader. In the match he leads us and after the match he also leads us."

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