Newcastle United star spotted 'planning his retirement' in unexpected move

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Matt Ritchie seems to be planning for the future and away from Newcastle United.

It looks like Matt Ritchie could be preparing for life after football in a slightly bizarre turn of events.

The 34-year-old made a brief appearance during Newcastle United’s 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Wednesday. And with his minutes for the Toon becoming more and more rare, the winger could be looking towards pastures new.

Far away from football, even.

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On Thursday, Ritchie popped up on United fans social media feeds standing in front of a large van, seemingly just having passed his test with Tyne & Wear LGV.

Colin Smith posted the photo to X, alongside the caption: “Well done Matt Richie just passed his test with Tyne and Wear Lgv . Get in lad.” The update seems to have cheered up United fans after enduring a difficult match the night before.

“Something we did not expect to see this morning: Matt Ritchie getting his Large Goods Vehicle driving licence,” said one account, while another had the club’s finances on their mind: “NUFC getting their moneys worth out of Matt Ritchie’s 10 year contract extension by appointing him as their new team coach driver”

For some, the development felt fitting: “Matt Ritchie retiring from football to spend his retirement driving long distances alone, in meditative silence. Just feels right somehow.”

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Ritchie landed a 12 month contract extension in June 2023, meaning his eight year stint on Tyneside could very well be coming to an end this summer.

Others, however, were marred by confusion. As one fan admitted: “I've stared at this for about 40 minutes and don't understand it.”

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