Asked to pick a team of Premier League players he’d appeared alongside, former England defender Steve Howey has chosen eight from his Newcastle days.

There are actually nine former United players in Howey’s list, but the ninth one is Sylvain Distin who was on loan at Newcastle after Steve Howey had already left St James Park, the pair playing later together at Manchester City.

Coming through the ranks at Newcastle United, Steve Howey played 28 times in that so close season of 1995/96.

Converted from a centre-back to centre-forward, Steve Howey went on to play for England under Kevin Keegan’s management at Newcastle.

The defender went to Manchester City for £2m in 2000 and his only other options for his Premier League best ever eleven, would have been from the handful of matches he went on to play for Leicester and Bolton.

This is the best 11 Steve Howey played with in the top tier, his explanations below for the choices, as told to the official Premier League website:

Shay Given

Richard Dunne (Manchester City)

Darren Peacock

Philippe Albert

Sylvain Distin (Manchester City)

Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City)

Robert Lee

David Batty

David Ginola

Peter Beardsley

Alan Shearer

steve howey

Steve Howey’s pen pictures of each of his Newcastle choices:

Shay Given –He was a good goalkeeper. He might have been relatively small for a goalkeeper but he was quite good in the air, very brave and also a good communicator.”

Philippe Albert – “Quality player. Maybe not the best defender in the world but as far as going forward with the ball, his all-round technique was very good and he did have an eye for a goal. Off the field, he was an absolutely unbelievable lad to have in the dressing room. Very, very funny.”

Darren Peacock – “He was the opposite to Philippe. He wasn’t great on the ball but he was a really good defender. If you give him a man to mark he would stick with him.”

Robert Lee – “Great player. He actually came to Newcastle as a winger and then went to midfield. As a defender, when I was playing with him, I had no problems passing him the ball with a man right behind him because he was very good at shielding it and very good at laying it off. He could nick a goal too.”

David Batty –  “Tough as they come, he loved a challenge. He could ping a ball left, right and centre, great striker of the ball and a great man to sit in front of you.”

David Ginola – “He had everything. That is all you have to say about him really. He was a great lad and on the pitch, he had frightening ability.”

Peter Beardsley – “I’ve gone for Peter Beardsley and Alan Shearer but I played with Les Ferdinand, Andy Cole and Nicolas Anelka too. Peter could win a game just with a flash of brilliance.”

Alan Shearer – “With Al, if you gave him a chance, nine times of 10 he would stick it away.”

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