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Jamie - you'll never be forgotten - 30/11/2004

Jamie - you'll never be forgotten
Jamie's best game, even getting the better of Patrick Viera
   Craig Bellamy
   Patrick Vieira
   Newcastle United
   Port Vale

I shared quite a few training sessions and reserve team games with Jamie McClen, and although I've managed to get back into the first team picture, Jamie is now out to prove himself with Port Vale. Although he's been around the club for over a decade, he's a lad who hasn't quite made legend status on the pitch, but off one can touch him! You hear of footballers with 'natural ability', players who are a different class without even trying to work or concentrate on their game. Well Jamie, decent player as he genuinely is, also has 'natural ability' a comic. And he just doesn't have to try, he puts his mouth into neutral and off he goes. With him now down at Port Vale, some of the lads were talking about some of the classic 'McClen moments' of the last few years, there's one that I forget to mention on the website...until now!

A few seasons ago Bellers had been sent off a couple of times and been asked to attend a disciplinary hearing down at the FA. As you can probably remember, the media were covering the hearing and it was high profile for a few days. On returning to training after the hearing we were all in the changing room one morning when Jamie walks in and asked Bellers..."Are you ears alright?". Bellers just looked at him and said "what?". Once again Jamie repeated himself..."Are you ears alright then?". Looking more than a bit puzzled and with the rest of the squad now wondering what Jamie was talking about, Bellers told him that he didn't know what he was going on about. Jamie, trying to explain himself, then replied...."you've been down in London for your hearing...just wondered if your ears were alright?"

You can imagine the reaction!!


In all seriousness though, he's a decent player who's not had many breaks in the last two years. He wants first team football and I'm sure we'll see him playing in the Championship or League One sooner or later. He's proved he has the ability when he partnered Clarence Acuna in our game against Arsenal a couple of seasons ago. We weren't given much hope that day but were unlucky not to progress to the next round of the cup after a 1-1 draw in which Viera and co never really got to play. So I, along with the rest of the squad wish him well and really hope he finds a club that can give him a platform to further prove how good he can be.


As for me, I picked up a niggle in my knee during the Sochaux game and after failing a fitness test for Sunday's game against Everton, I should be fit for the Chelsea match. Once again it was a tremendous honour to captain my club in the UEFA tie and in some respects I can retire happy knowing that as Newcastle Captain I had a 100% winning record with not one goal conceded! I won't spoil the story for my future grandchildren by telling them I only skippered the side twice!! Saying that, if asked again I certainly won't be turning down the chance to pull on the armband. We all want Al back as soon as possible, but it's an honour I'll never forget and something that only a Newcastle born player can really appreciate.

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