A player who has suffered maybe most in recent years from being a local(ish) lad is Steven Taylor, born in London but brought back to the north east only weeks later and always a United fan.
Some think he’s cocky but I see an inner confidence that might just need reining back in every so often. Far better that than players who have ended up being scared of playing on the Gallowgate stage.
After the Andy Carroll incident it was quite shocking how the club appeared to be more interested in looking after Carroll, which then had a bit of a knock-on effect as certain supporters bizarrely felt little sympathy for the centre-back.
A whole-hearted player who puts his head in where it hurts, scores his share of goals and to throw himself back into the fray against Stoke City with only a mask for comfort took some doing.
His partnership with Coloccini tells its own story, that position more than any on the pitch needs a decent understanding between the two players. It goes without saying that the club have to do everything in their power to keep the partnership intact.