24 Oct 1989
With 93 league appearances and 5 goals for Newcastle to his name his time at the club wasn’t that bad, certainly not in those early days when the Geordie faithful took great delight in the fact that he’d done the dirty on the Mackems by letting is contract run down and signing for Newcastle on a free.
Indeed in the 2014/15 season only his poor discipline and subsequent suspension for a handful of games stopped him from being ever-present in a Premier League side that included Sissoko, Perez, Colo and Cisse, eventually finishing 15th and one place above his old club.
An impressive work ethic and the ability to do the simple things well even earned him a call-up to the England team under Roy Hodgson. Injury putting pay to his hopes of that illusive full Cap however.
However the following season saw a huge drop in form for the player. Indeed he played his part in the team being relegated that season. After that his time on the pitch and place in the first team squad was non-existent, leading to him being loan our to Forest and then eventual departure from the club. By then most of the United fans saw him as something of a 'hanger-on', with even his ironic nickname of 'the Ginger Pirlo' not seeming remotely smile-worthy anymore.
He made 1 appearance for England U20s before joining Newcastle and did not play again for his country at any level.