Newcastle United announce surprise departure with search for replacement underway

Newcastle United are searching for a new under-21s assistant coach after Kevin Richardson’s departure.

Kevin Richardson has left his position as Newcastle United under-21s assistant coach.

The former Everton, Arsenal and Aston Villa midfielder is leaving the academy after 12 years, where he also coached the under-18s.

Richardson, on his departure, said: “I have very much enjoyed my work at the Academy and wish the players and staff every success for the future as I look forward to spending more time with my family after what has been an incredible career.”

The boyhood Magpies fan was placed in interim charge of the second string last season before poaching Elliot Dickman from local rivals Sunderland.

“I am delighted and honoured,” the 59-year-old said last October. “Back in the day behind the dugout you’d have the old paddocks.

“And I used to stand with my uncle and watch players like Supermac, John Tudor and Irving Nattrass!

“In the 70s I was a supporter of the club and they were great times.”

Richardson had worked alongside Dickman for the last 12 months. Newcastle have confirmed the search for a new under-21s coach is already underway.

It’s the second long-serving departure United had announced this season after Simon Smith left his head of goalkeeping position.

Smith worked for the club over a combined total of 12 years.

He re-joined the Magpies’ coaching set-up in 2015 having previously worked under Ruud Gullit and Sir Bobby Robson between 1999 and 2004.

Smith returned to St James’ Park under Steve McClaren before being retained by Rafael Benitez, Steve Bruce and Eddie Howe.