‘I miss Newcastle’ - club legend thanks supporters for cancer help and fires Mike Ashley dig

Newcastle United were saved from relegation by a standout Jonas Gutierrez performance against West Ham in 2015

Jonas Gutierrez has credited seven years at Newcastle United as “the best time of his life” following an emotional return to St James’ Park.

A whirlwind week saw the Argentine, currently managing Buenos Aires club Almagro, host a talk-in with supporters, visit Newcastle’s 1-1 draw with Brighton and even be spotted at a Byker pub. Gutierrez was a popular figure during his spell as a player on Tyneside.

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An initial struggle resulted in the former midfielder failing to adapt to English football. However, a season in the Championship benefitted Gutierrez and compatriot Fabricio Coloccini.

He would go on to be a key part of the team that finished fifth under Alan Pardew in 2011-12. Gutierrez’s finest hour came in 2015 when, just months after being discharged for testicular cancer, he bagged a goal and assist against West Ham United to keep Newcastle up on the final day.

That proved the now 40-year-old’s final act as a Magpie before being brutally axed in the summer. Guiterrez won a disability discrimination lawsuit against Newcastle the following year.

Speaking to NUFC TV, the Toon favourite called Newcastle his “second home” while firing a swipe at Mike Ashley for his mismanagement of the club. Gutierrez said: “The people, the city, the stadium, the fans… all bring me a lot of great memories about Newcastle. I always miss Newcastle. 

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“This is like my second home. I’m so proud to be here and (feel) the love from the fans. When I was here, I had seven years and it was one of the best times of my life. I enjoy being back.

“It (West Ham goal) was the best moment in my career. I’d been through an illness the year before. Fighting relegation, in my last game here, with the 52,000 Geordie fans going crazy, it was so special. It was perfect - like a movie.

“(The takeover) is what all of the players from that period wanted. I’m so glad because I knew how much the fans wanted new people in charge. You see what they are doing at the club. We needed that type of change. Things are different. When I found out the people in charge were changing, I was really happy.”

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