Sir Mo Farah swallows Arsenal allegiance to accept Newcastle United gift ahead of Great North Run

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Sir Mo Farah gracefully accepted the Newcastle United shirt despite holding an affinity for a Premier League rival in Arsenal.

A bashful Sir Mo Farah was gifted a Newcastle United shirt by Great North Run legend Sir Brendan Foster ahead of this weekend's event, despite the heralded Olympian being a huge Arsenal fan.

Sir Mo will be one of 60,000 people taking part in Sunday's iconic event and has confirmed it will be his last race as a glittering running career comes to an end. The 40-year-old has won the Great North Run six times and has become a leading face of the race over the past decade.

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In preparation for this weekend, Farah sat down with event founder Sir Brendan to chat about the years gone by. The Geordie former Olympian said: "Mo, you've won it six times, you're now an honourary Geordie, we love you up there. To recognise your association with our event, there's a few gifts in the box which I'm sure you'll enjoy."

The runner was gifted a selection of posters, a Geordie phrasebook, a signed Mark Knopfler vinyl of 'Local Hero' for his 'man cave' and even a Greggs voucher with Foster joking it made him 'a proper Geordie'.

Also in the goodie bag was a Newcastle United shirt, handed over by Magpies supporter Sir Brendan with a huge grin on his face. The famous black-and-white kit even included 'Sir Mo' on the back with the number 23 for his retirement year.

Farah gracefully accepted the shirt but was perhaps a little hesitant to show too much affinity for the football club, given his love for Premier League rivals Arsenal.

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Reacting to the meeting between Sir Brendan and Sir Mo, Twitter users labelled the interaction as 'wonderful' and said they were 'loving Mo singing Toon Toon'. One person said: "Sir Mo, you do a better Geordie accent than Sting! Thank you for everything you have done for your Sport and for others."

Another added: "I’m obsessed that they gave Mo Farah a Greggs gift card, proper Geordie."

Sir Mo Farah has become a Great North Run legend (Image: Getty Images)Sir Mo Farah has become a Great North Run legend (Image: Getty Images)
Sir Mo Farah has become a Great North Run legend (Image: Getty Images)

The runner has regularly been seen at the Emirates Stadium over the years and regularly shared behind-the-scenes snaps of him enjoying watching the Gunners play at home. On Sunday, Farah shared a video of himself celebrating the side's last-gasp 2-1 win over Manchester United as he did a jig wearing his Arsenal shirt. He chanted: "Shut up! They've scored again! Aarsenal! Aaarsenal!"

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Speaking toThe Guardian last year, Farah admitted that he would have loved to have had a football career before setting off on his running path. He said: "I would have loved to play for Arsenal, but I was never good enough.

"I played at school and for the local club until I was 14, but I was only good because I could cross the ball and run forward and run back. I didn’t have any other skills. I joined a running club instead."

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