Newcastle fans have been denied one of the rarest sights in football, Nile Ranger actually on a football pitch.

It is now almost two years since Ranger played in a competitive match, Blackpool having had enough of him and eventually releasing him after that last appearance in November 2014.

Southend United have taken Nile Ranger on a pre-season trial before deciding whether to offer him a permanent contract and the former Newcastle striker featured in the League One club’s early friendlies.

However, a groin problem has recently sidelined him and now the permatanned Phil Brown has confirmed that Newcastle supporters won’t be able to enjoy the sight of their former hero facing NUFC in tonight’s friendly.

Southend boss Phil Brown speaking to The Echo:

“It would have been great for Nile Ranger to play against Newcastle as they’re his former team but I don’t think it’s going to happen if I’m honest.

“Nile is still very tight in his groin and it would be a big risk to play him.

“We need to get him right before he returns and then we’ll be sitting down to discuss his future with him at the end of the month, which was always the plan.”