Back playing after his battle with testicular cancer, Jonas Gutierrez has been spreading the love and thanks around, with a special mention for the Sunderland fans.

The Newcastle midfielder says that local rivalry is transcended when more important things happen in life.

Jonas saying that his experience proves the strong bond of the ‘football family’ when coming together and supporting individuals going through a tough time, no matter which team they support.

Jonas Gutierrez speaking in the aftermath of his comeback against Manchester United:

“The welcome from the fans – it was unbelievable. It has been a long wait so it was very emotional. I must  say thank you to the fans for all their support they have sent me.

“You see how the people are…they don’t care which team they support. All football fans sent messages of support and I was very pleased to receive them all.”

They wanted me back:

“There were messages from Sunderland fans, derbies are hard in the north east but they all said they wanted me to be back.

“Football is one thing but being healthy is more important and at times like that you saw what the football family is.”

Thanks you:

“Since I have had my cancer and the treatment I have just thought about things day by day, but the moment that you come back on to the pitch for the first time a lot of things go on in your mind.

“All the things you have had to go through, the moments you were away from the pitch – there was a lot of things that you think about.  All very emotional and I enjoyed it a lot, I have to say thank you to all for their support.”