Noble is close to making more than 550 appearances for the Hammers and is set to retire at the end of the season.


He has been at West Ham his entire career, and was made the club captain Bilic when he was the manager of the east London club.



The Croatian insisted that making Noble the club captain was one of the easiest decisions of his managerial career given his record and loyalty to West Ham.


And Bilic revealed that Noble came close to breaking into the England squad when Roy Hodgson was the Three Lions manager, but it never came to fruition.



The midfielder represented England in youth football but never made a senior appearance for his country.


The former West Ham boss stressed that it is a real shame Noble did not even get one England cap.



Bilic told The Athletic: “Mark loves and cares about the club.


“I made him captain and it’s the easiest decision I’ve made in my managerial career.


“Not many people know this but he was very close to earning a place in that squad.


“Roy Hodgson came to a few games to watch Mark.


“Roy and I had a few chats about Mark but Danny Drinkwater had a great season when Leicester City won the league.


“It was between him and Mark and Roy decided to go with Drinkwater.


“Mark also had a great season and he deserved at least one cap.


“It’s a shame he didn’t get to play for the senior team.”


Noble has been a bit-part player at West Ham this season but has remained an important presence inside the dressing room.