Shola Ameobi was born in Zaria in Nigeria, and he moved to Newcastle when he was just five years old in 1987.
Shola Ameobi – playing last year with broken cheek-bone
So Shola has been raised as a Geordie so it’s hardly surprising he represents the local lad who has been a supporter of the side since he arrived in Newcastle.
And he knows all about the Sunderland derbies, and seems to produce his best form for the local rivals and he has 7 goals against them in his career so far.
But Shola is not getting a start these days as Alan pardew tries to form a good understand between the two Senegal strikers, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.
Shola says he just wants to play:
“I’m a sportsman – I want to win, I want to play,” “At times you do have frustrations. It is a squad game in this day and age but like I say, I’ve not got many years left and I want to make the most of it.”
“I’ve got another couple of years left on my contract.” “It’s been a great season and it’s great to have been part of that.” “I’m still fighting every single day to get back in that team.”
“That won’t change, I want to start for Newcastle United and I’ll do everything I can to make that happen.” “Personally, it’s been frustrating not to play.”
“As a player you want to play every game and I know that obviously the manager has his own designs.” “The fact is Demba has been one of the top strikers in the league – I understand that side of things.”
Shola looks to be a casual lad, but you can see from those comments, that he has a burning ambition inside of him, which is what has made him successful for his local club.
Ameobi never quite made the step up to full International play, even though he looked good playing for the England U21 side, where he scored 7 goals in 20 appearances for them.
And his younger brother Sammy, who we hope to see back before the end of the season, has emulated his brother when he got two appearances for the U21 side under Stuart Pearce late last year.
Sammy was born in Newcastle in 1992, after the family had made the move to the north-east from Nigeria five years earlier, so Sammy is born and bred in Newcastle, and we think Sammy could become a better player than Shola.
For the record, Shola has 326 appearances for Newcastle with 72 goals, and young Sammy has made 14 appearances so far with one great goal at Scunthorpe United.
If character and determination have anything to do with it – Sammy could do a lot worse than take the great example set by his older brother.