Ex-Sunderland frontman Noble makes Darlington bow

Ryan Noble
Ryan Noble

FORMER Sunderland striker Ryan Noble made his debut for non-league Darlington 1883 last weekend, as he looks to reignite his career.

Millfield-born Noble was rated as one of Sunderland’s top prospects as he came through the ranks at the Academy of Light, with the frontman prolific at youth and reserve team level.

But since being released by Sunderland in the summer of 2013, Noble has struggled to fulfil his potential.

He made just one substitute appearance for Burnley after penning a short-term contract with the Clarets, before joining Gateshead in January.

Noble, who enjoyed loan spells at Derby, Watford and Hartlepool during his time at Sunderland, netted once in nine appearances for the Conference outfit, before leaving the club when his deal expired in the summer.

The 22-year-old agreed non-contract terms with Darlington last week - joining former Sunderland second string team-mate Adam Reed at the Evo-Stick North side - and started Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Droylsden.

Darlington boss and ex-Sunderland midfielder Martin Gray said: “He’s another player that can improve the squad.

“We’ve done our homework on him and he’s a player than comes alive in the box, so hopefully he can finish off some of the chances we’ve been creating.”