‘This is crazy’ - Newcastle legend rubbishes supporter theory after Manchester United move

Kevin Keegan during his first reign as Newcastle United managerKevin Keegan during his first reign as Newcastle United manager
Kevin Keegan during his first reign as Newcastle United manager | Getty Images

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Andy Cole - who spent two years at Newcastle United - was recently inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame

Andy Cole has dismissed talk that he did not enjoy his time at Newcastle United - but admitted the fan adulation was “too much” on Tyneside.

Fans were shell-shocked when the Magpies sold Cole to Manchester United for £7million in January 1995. Kevin Keegan infamously explained the decision on the steps of St James’ Park as the Red Devils were considered a direct rival.

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Cole had bagged 68 goals in 84 games for Newcastle, helping the club achieve promotion before finishing third in their debut Premier League season the following year. A stunning 41 strikes across all competitions - featuring no penalties - remain a Toon record.

Sir Alex Ferguson came calling and the rest is history, with Cole going on to win five Premier Leagues, two FA Cups and the Champions League. However, debate has raged about whether the 52-year-old holds fond memories of St James’ Park.

Cole has rubbished those suggestions - insisting he “enjoyed” his two years under Keegan - but was left baffled by his idol-like status. He told The Rest Is Football podcast: “I loved my time at Manchester United but I would never take away from the fact I enjoyed a great time at Newcastle - regardless of all the nonsense people have said. I enjoyed it.  

“(People saying) I wasn’t happy there and the adulation for me, I was like ‘this is crazy, I only play football’. However you look at it, I only play football, I’m no different to anybody else. I remember when I first went to Newcastle I remember Clarky (Lee Clark) saying what it was going to be like and I was saying it can’t be that bad, surely not. 

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“Wow, it was crazy. I’d go away for the weekend, I’d come back home and my neighbours would knock on the door saying ‘Oh Mr Cole, your house is ok, do you need any milk or anything like that?’.

“I’d only gone away for the weekend. I’m a young man, trying to find my way in the game and I thought this is a bit too much for me, this adulation and stuff but, as you get older, you get used to this stuff. But being at Newcastle is totally different.”

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