Football is a bittersweet game.
So often it’s possible to suffer such immense jubilation alongside utter heartbreak in such short spaces of time.
Supporting Newcastle United is a rollercoaster ride from which you aren’t ever too far away from the highs or the lows.
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Quite often I accuse Newcastle of playing jumprope with the line between the highs and the lows to such frustratingly inconsistent standards.
It’s never surprising to see both epic victories over Chelsea and demoralising last-gasp defeats to a lowly Sunderland within the space of a couple of weeks.
Fair enough, of late, the highs look like they’ve been altogether deported from the Gallowgate.
But Wednesday night saw what had to be the moment of the season so far. Not just for Newcastle United, but for the Premier League in general.
Jonas Gutierrez’ return to action after overcoming testicular cancer was one of the most overwhelming experiences I’ve ever witnessed as a Newcastle United supporter.
It was a moment to bring a lump to the throat and a dampness to the eyes of all who were in attendance, as well as those watching at home.
Many people who may not follow sports at all may have seen video clips around the internet of the moment his number was raised by the fourth official, and even they would have been moved by the occasion.
The roar of the crowd to welcome back such an admired player (and person) was incredible, and it was a moment that warranted more than the devastation of Ashley Young’s 89th minute winner.
True, we were robbed of the most glaringly obvious penalty I’ve ever witnessed at SJP.
And true, the disgusting exchanges between Papiss Cisse and Jonny Evans have put the game into a negative light.
We didn’t get what we deserved out of the match, Manchester United rode their luck to the hills and one crucial mistake was all it took to kick the Toon faithful in the…stomach.
But we can’t let this game be taken away from Jonas, and just how truly remarkable his return to football is at all, let alone to Premier League standard.
He overcome cancer that could have killed him, he wouldn’t let it. He’s come back stronger than ever and won the hearts of football fans across the world.
I can’t emphasise just how amazing it all is.
Whether or not you were a fan of his footballing ability before his illness, no one could fault his effort and commitment to Newcastle United.
Jonas Gutierrez is what this club is all about and I was honoured to see him represent us again.
The recently installed giant screen at St. James’ might have displayed something a little different, but this was the real scoreline come the end of the game:
Jonas 1 Cancer 0.
Comments welcome below.
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