Isaac Hayden turned 22 this week and has been celebrating in a way that might not be the first guess of anybody with a view on the usual professional footballer stereotype.
The Newcastle midfielder was ruled out of international duty with England Under 21s as he is on his way back from injury with NUFC – but spent time this week helping out at Newcastle West End Foodbank.
Newcastle fans have already donated 8.2 tonnes of food with pre-match collections outside the match and the next one will be before the Wigan game next Saturday, the drop-off point opposite the Gallowgate End, across from where Nine bar is.
Isaac Hayden really seemed to enjoy the time he spent at the Foodbank and had some great messages to share when speaking to The Mirror:
“It’s a special thing the fans have done. They organise and give to people not so fortunate. It is good to be here because it keeps you humble. You have to keep a connection between fans, players and the city. You can drive here a mile from St James Park and it is a different world from the life inside that stadium.
“We are in a very privileged position doing what we love. It brings rewards and makes us very lucky. We know there are people less fortunate and we’d like to help.
“Football can be more than football. It can be used to help people. I’d love to hear more ideas. One idea works like this and it opens up endless possibilities.
“There are stories here that give hope. It helps people in need, gives them a leg up to get back to their normal lives.
“I imagine people can feel embarrassed or feel bad to come here but, if you need help, you can reach out and find somewhere comfortable to get it.
“Footballers tend not to get political but I know team-mates who’d be interested in this.
“Until you sit down with a team-mate you don’t know what they are like.
“They can be flashy or arrogant, whatever, but I have found in our dressing room no one is really like that. In this city you have to be as grounded as possible.
(Helping move some boxes) “I’d better not put my back out! We’ve got seven games in April.”
Great to see Isaac Hayden buying into what the region is all about and representing our great club and City in the best possible way, to read the full excellent article in The Mirror go here.
If you would like to help and maybe don’t get to matches, you can visit the Newcastle West End Foodbank website and there are details of how you can contribute/help newcastlewestend.foodbank.org.uk