All the news seems to be coming out on Andy Carroll this week, and one local story we particularly like, is that it seems that Man United missed out on the soon to be England striker.
Andy Carroll – Newcastle got him and kept him
It turns out that Brian Waites was the man who gave Andy Carroll his first chance in football, when Brian was manager of Cleveland Hall Boys Club – which became Low Fell Juniors.
Andy joined the club at the under-10 level back in 1998, when Andy was just 9 (and 6’1″?), and Carroll was tracked by Manchester United at that time.
Waites is now vice-chairman of Gateshead Football Club, and he spoke at length to the local Evening Chronicle today about Andy’s history:
“Andy came along to our trials in 1998 the night after we had already chosen the squad for the new season.” “His dad brought him, along with his cousin, so we let them join in the training session.”
“I just took one look at him and knew Andy was a special talent and signed him straight away.” “He played in a successful team and was soon courted by five or six clubs.”
“A lot of people don’t know that Andy was at the Manchester United school of excellence when he was younger.” “He went there once a week but Man United closed down their Durham operation – and then my phone was red hot.”
“He had the pick of all the local clubs including Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough.” “But he went to Newcastle at about the age of 11.” “There is a myth that he played in defense for us but he never did. (note: he played left back for Newcastle Juniors for one season when there were lots of injuries and they were short of a left back and Andy was left footed …..)
“He played left midfield and scored 68 goals when we won the title in a tough division which included Wallsend Boys Club and Whitley Bay.” “I’ve still got all of the stats, and that was one hell of a feat.”
“He was unstoppable for us.” “I think when he went to Newcastle he then played in some defensive positions, as they try to manufacture a different position with younger players.”
“He is a shining light for all of the youngsters in the junior teams and he comes back to present trophies at every presentation night we have.” “That’s special for the youngsters and a really big thrill for them.”
“Andy is a hero to them as Alan Shearer used to be to people of his age.” “He means a lot to Gateshead and everybody at Low Fell is delighted at his development.”
“To see him in the England team now is brilliant for us as it means so much.”
Andy really is a shining light for all of the youngsters on Tyneside now, and there will be youngsters who will be inspired by Andy Carroll, just as Andy himself was inspired by the great Alan Shearer, when he was growing up, and of course there is a huge responsibility that comes with being very successful and famous.
And we hope and expect Andy to live up to that responsibility.
It’s really is about time the Newcastle club started to keep the best local talent, and have them join Newcastle United as their first club, as we’ve lost so many great local players in the past.
Future great players like Ashington’s Bobby Charlton went to Man United, and Gosforth-born Alan Shearer joined Southampton, as two of the biggest that come to mind.