The Strange Story Of Rafa Benitez And Zoe Ellison

Zoe Ellison and her husband Darren were guests of manager Rafa Benitez at Newcastle’s training ground on Monday.

Rafa had heard that Zoe had fallen down the steps in the stand when Newcastle played at Leicester in Benitez’ first game in charge of Newcastle and she had to be taken to hospital that night with her injuries.

At the time Zoe was holding  a banner welcoming Rafa to Newcastle and she missed the game.

Zoe Ellison and her husband Darren

Zoe Ellison and husband Darren with Rafa Benitez today

And when Rafa heard about the incident he was very keen to contact Zoe and her husband Darren and invite them to the training grounds at Benton, where they both were today as Rafa’s guests.

This is what Rafa has said today:

“After the Easter mini-break we have come back to work with the squad this afternoon in order to get ready for another massively important match on Saturday,”

“It has been a special session for me as I’ve had the pleasure to welcome Zoe Ellison and her husband to our training ground.”

“As some of you know, Zoe joined us at the Leicester match holding a big banner to welcome and support me but suffered an unfortunate accident before the game.”

“Thankfully she has fully recovered and today I was really happy to be able to meet her and say thank you.”

“Zoe’s gesture has made me remember lots of good moments as a Premier League manager where so many fans have been supportive along the years. “

“I can have that amazing feeling again with the Newcastle fans that have warmly welcomed me and my staff and showing an unconditional support since my first day on Tyneside.”

This is a terrific story and Rafa can point to this to motivate his players and remind them exactly how much it means to  Newcastle fans that they have to do very well in the final eight games of the season.

And it’s great stuff from Rafa, who looks like he already has a bond with Newcastle fans as he tries to save us from  relegation and seems to be working around the clock to do just that.

It’s already Rafa’s Toon Army.

Howay The Lads!!

19 comments so far

  • Graeme

    Mar 28, 2016 at 11:25 PM

    Comment #1

    A touch of class that costs nothing, but goes a hell of a long way beyond the actual incident. Well done Rafa, a bit of class out of NUFC is an extremely rare thing to see!!

  • Jib

    Mar 28, 2016 at 11:26 PM

    Comment #2
  • bettyswallocks

    Mar 28, 2016 at 11:30 PM

    Comment #3

    Jib….. Hahaha . I bet you have to kneel up in bed to see if it’s morning.

  • jimmysmith

    Mar 28, 2016 at 11:30 PM

    Comment #4

    I notice a certain James Milner will win his 58th full International cap, when he skipper’s England against Holland at Wembley. We’ve lost some wonderful players and signed some very poor ones under Ashley so the sale of this particularly excellent one to Villa just as he began to blossom should hardly have come as a surprise, but after all these years it still upsets me, and if we hadn’t I doubt we’d have gone down the first time, and I’d doubt we’d go down this time either.

  • bettyswallocks

    Mar 28, 2016 at 11:31 PM

    Comment #5

    Jib….. Seriously though, are you married?

  • Jib

    Mar 28, 2016 at 11:42 PM

    Comment #6

    Another myth
    No opportunity will be missed to bash Ashley
    “He’s a player, in an ideal world, you would not want to lose, but I just want to make it absolutely clear that at the end of the day, it was my decision to sell him,” Keegan said.

  • jimmysmith

    Mar 28, 2016 at 11:54 PM

    Comment #7

    Thanks pal. Knowing that actually relieves the frustration a little, and it does come as a surprise that Keegan sanctioned it. Even so, it remains poor decision in hindsight and one of many made in the transfer market in the Ashley years, among some good ones too of course, but overall, I think our more often miss than hit record on transfer dealings and the astonishing number of injuries we’ve suffered along the way.

  • jimmysmith

    Mar 28, 2016 at 11:55 PM

    Comment #8

    …… the root cause of our problems.

  • jimmysmith

    Mar 29, 2016 at 12:01 AM

    Comment #9

    For the record, I take an ambivalent view of the owner, but he does deserve heavy criticism. We have not faired well on the pitch under his stewardship and he clearly has an agenda beyond the simple well being of the club.

  • bettyswallocks

    Mar 29, 2016 at 12:16 AM

    Comment #10

    Jimmysmith……. For all the 1000’s of posts about Ashley that sums up the situation regarding his ownership better than all of them combined!

  • lesh

    Mar 29, 2016 at 12:24 AM

    Comment #11

    What a gesture. Rafa appears to be running rings around the Club’s PR wallahs and he’s surely endearing himself to the fans.

    Let’s hope he does the business this season, kicks on next.

  • lesh

    Mar 29, 2016 at 1:06 AM

    Comment #12

    Mmmmm, I seem to have put the lid on things and all the tired Easter bunnies’ve gone to bed.

  • Mister Tuff

    Mar 29, 2016 at 1:09 AM

    Comment #13

    Jib – the I or me debate.
    It is a well known rule of English Grammar that after a preposition (and) you do not use a subject pronoun such as “I” but you use an object pronoun – “me”.
    Therefore Blackley is quite correct in his earlier post.
    It is not really good enough to counter by saying you are right and quoting a reference to the OED – without further explanation as to why your quoted reference proves your point.
    You seem to do this a lot.
    Nothing the matter with stating factual stuff but trying to wriggle out of things by promoting something false really is not playing cricket.
    If you are wrong – put your hands up.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Mar 29, 2016 at 2:51 AM

    Comment #14

    Milner was ordinary when he was with us. We got a good price for him. Personally I have never been much of a fan of his anyway despite the England caps and all.

  • Thump

    Mar 29, 2016 at 6:39 AM

    Comment #15

    @Jimmysmith: He was sold by Keegan under the pretence that Modric was coming, and he was furious with the board when he ended up at Spurs for a few pennies more and that they hadn’t done all they could. Of course, you mentioned nothing about Keegan so I’m not sure why Jib felt that necessary to point out.

  • cyprus

    Mar 29, 2016 at 6:51 AM

    Comment #16

    If Steve had done this it would’ve been a cheap PR trick. Anyway, Rafa mate, this is the biggest game in your brief NUFC career. Think of it as a 100 mil. game, literally. For you, a 2 mil. game, not bad. Lose or draw, you and we have failed. Simple.

    No pressure 😉

  • Mag52

    Mar 29, 2016 at 8:04 AM

    Comment #17


    ‘My brother and me went to the cinema’.
    My brother and I went to the cinema’.

    Which of these are correct ?

  • martoon

    Mar 29, 2016 at 8:23 AM

    Comment #18

    Mag52 – Careful now – you are questioning the integrity of the blog Chief Inspector! 😉

  • Davies

    Mar 29, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #19

    Credit to Zoe; sounds like a bad injury, but she recovered quicker than Colo…..


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