Despite playing for his country, this former Arsenal player says that playing against Newcastle United was the highlight of his career.

Rhys Weston was one of numerous players to come through the ranks at Highbury and  made his Premier League debut against Newcastle…and Alan Shearer.

The one-time Arsenal defender says ‘It’s surreal thinking about it now’.

He did play afterwards for Arsenal in the cups but Newcastle United 4 Arsenal 2 on 14 May 2000, proved to be his only game in the Premier League.

Alan Shearer, Gary Speed (2) and Andy Griffin getting the goals in Newcastle’s win.

Rhys Weston went on to play for the likes of Cardiff and Walsall outside of the Premier League, as well as picking up caps for Wales.

Yet it is Alan Shearer and Newcastle United that he says he will be boring his daughter with ‘for years to come’.

Arsenal finished second that season and Newcastle eleventh, NUFC also having a third visit to Wembley in as many seasons, but losing 2-1 to Chelsea in an FA Cup semi-final.

Rhys Weston talking to Planet Football

“I knew the reason I was playing was because they (Arsenal) had already secured Champions League football, and it was a bit of a hiding to nothing,

“But Arsene Wenger had nothing to lose as if he unearthed a couple of youngsters who showed enough potential it would be worthwhile.

“From a personal experience, I was absolutely buzzing that I would be starting a game against Kieron Dyer and Alan Shearer, who were the strike pairing at the time, and a very strong Newcastle side. The opportunity to start against Newcastle was nothing short of amazing and personally I felt that I gave a good account of myself.

“It’s surreal thinking about it now.

“There was a great photo that popped on social media a year ago of me challenging Alan Shearer for a header. Well, it’s more a case of him challenging me as I’m about six inches below him and he’s over the top of me winning the ball and that’s pretty much how the day went aerially.

“It’s fantastic to say you graced the pitch with Alan Shearer and that’s a story I can bore my daughter with for many years to come.

“No one can ever take that away from me, it was a flash in the pan, a one hit wonder, but being able to say I played in the Premier League is something that will stay with me for ever.

“It’s not something I can gain much leverage from anymore, as it was a long time ago, but I’ll always have that.

“As an aspiring young player, you want to play at the highest level you possibly can. The Premier League was the holy grail so to say I played in it, albeit on one occasion, it’s a pretty special memory to carry with me.”

To read the full article at Planet Football go here.

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