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Classic story as midfielder tells how Alan Shearer made him change mind and sign for Newcastle United

2 months ago
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Newcastle fans are well aware of what Alan Shearer gave to the club in his ten years on the pitch.

However, they are just as aware of what the NUFC legend also gave to Newcastle United off the pitch.

It is impossible to put a precise value on having such a world renowned top class player and person at a club, similarly / especially when you have somebody like that as a manager as well.

Back when Sir Bobby Robson was manager, he went back to his old club Ipswich and signed Darren Ambrose on 24 March 2003.

However, even with the charisma of Sir Bobby, Darren Ambrose has revealed that he was still going to turn down Newcastle after coming up to Tyneside for talks.

Maybe it was his age, the midfielder had only just turned 19, but for whatever reason(s) Ambrose was going to say no.

That was until Alan Shearer intervened…

Darren Ambrose relating the story below, in a column for the Crystal Palace match programme.

The midfielder went on to sign for Newcastle and Sir Bobby, scoring six goals in 37 appearances. A decent player but just not quite good enough to get a regular spot in the starting eleven, Ambrose later signing for Crystal Palace in his career in 2009.

Darren Ambrose talking to the Crystal Palace programme:

‘Palace face one of my old clubs today, but they very nearly weren’t as I didn’t initially want to sign after discussions. The club realised that during our meeting, so they told me to go out for some lunch with my agent and parents and have a think about things.

“We ended up in an Italian restaurant in the centre of the city, and Alan Shearer walked in and came over to say hello. The fact he knew who I was, was phenomenal for me as a youngster. I couldn’t believe that a player with his career knew who Darren Ambrose was.

“He asked if I was going to sign, and of course I gave it the big: ‘Absolutely. Of course. Yep, can’t wait to get started,’ even though two minutes earlier I’m telling my agent and parents that we are heading back.

Shearer goes off to have his meal and the time comes for us to settle our bill. The waiter comes over but then, from across the restaurant, there’s a whistle and Shearer puts his hand up. The waiter turns back to us and said: ‘Okay, that has been dealt with.’

“I had to sign then.”

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