The Newcastle U21 side beat West Ham United 4-1 in the Premier League U21 Cup yesterday afternoon at Whitley Park, with goals from Gael Bigirimana, Adam Campbell, Callum Roberts and Liam Gibson.
But it was a very special occasion, as Jonas Gutierrez made his return to football after successfully fighting testicular cancer.
Jonas Gutierrez in action yesterday afternoon
After the game the Newcastle U21 coach and Development Manager Peter Beardsley paid tribute to the 31 year-old Argentine International:
“He’s a perfect example to the young lads,” “He’s played in the World Cup, and is different class. “It’s great for him to be here.”
“He’s brilliant with the lads – brilliant on and off the pitch – and a great personality. It was an honor to be part of his first game back.”
“I made him captain and, it sounds stupid, but he said thanks when I gave him the armband.” “The reaction of the crowd was brilliant, and they were all here for him.”
“He got a great response from them at the end.” “He was knackered at the end, and he’s going to be a bit sore tomorrow. It’s a massive bonus to have him back.”
“He’s always been the sort of player who runs around and never stops, but I don’t know.” “It’s the manager’s call as far as the first team, but I would be delighted to have him with us for ever.”
“I’m being selfish about getting senior players with us.” “It was brilliant for us. It’s a special game for us, for him it was normal.”
“It’s not my call. Without being negative, I don’t know what stage Jonas is at.” ” It’s nice to see him looking so well.”
Jonas certainly looked fine, and exactly like he looked before he went through all that very difficult chemotherapy treatment, but the cancer is now thankfully in remission.
After the game, Jonas thanked the Newcastle fans for their support during his tough times with his cancer.
This is what Gutierrez tweeted:
“Thanks to all the fans for the support that you give through my illness, I am proud to be back. “Good game and really happy. Thanks.”
We should see Jonas challenging for a first team place within the next few weeks at Newcastle.
The game was attended by a number of Newcastle players, including Fabricio Coloccini, Paul Dummett, Adam Armstrong and Gabriel Obertan, as well as two of the Newcastle coaches Steve Stone and Andy Woodman.
And Sunderland manager Gus Poyet was at the game, and he was there to watch his son Diego, who was playing for the West Ham U21 side.
We reported on the game with photos of Jonas yesterday – Jonas looks in good shape.
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