Shola Ameobi seems to have become a cult figure on Tyneside, I could not see why.

His goalscoring rate is low and he has been here for over ten years and never a first choice as other strikers have came and went.

Also his development seemed to come to a halt.

At the outset of his career he was first choice and free scoring at England Under 21 level. Sadly he has always been injury prone and lost continuity in his career.

He is of course a local lad, one of us and proud to be a Geordie, expresses himself well and is reputed to be a dressing room leader with the occasional captain’s armband on the pitch.

The cliche is he is a ‘loyal club servant’.

So why the fans’ adulation expressed volubly when he came on against Norwich?

I must be going a bit senile as the penny dropped….his record against sunderland is comparable with Jackie Milburn’s and better than Alan Shearer’s.

Not that I am suggesting we erect a statue next to that of the sainted Ashington flyer. Though it would be a memorable and appropriate symbol, adjacent statues of a black and a white player, for a team who play in black & white. A visible version of the campaign ‘Let’s kick racism out of football’.

To come back down to earth, Shola is now competing behind Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse but seems to accept this with good grace.

Perhaps he should be preserved, wrapped up in cotton wool bandages, like an Egyptian Mummy, and only brought out twice a year when we play sunderland.