Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Want to Stay on Tyneside for the Rest of My Career

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Want to Stay on Tyneside for the Rest of My Career

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

Steve Caldwell's Newcastle career was over this summer. Or so it seemed. Chief Sports Writer Simon Rushworth catches up with Sir Bobby Robson's least expected close-season signing

If, at the start of the season, Steve Caldwell had found himself learning a new language from the comfort of his club villa in Lisbon or immersing himself in Old Firm rivalry on the mean streets of Glasgow, it would hardly have raised an eyebrow.

Sporting, Rangers and a clutch of similarly renowned European clubs were reputedly chasing the Scottish international's signature this summer, but Newcastle was not among them. Indeed, when Caldwell did sign a new deal with United, albeit for 12 months, the confirmation of his latest contract came as something of a shock to all concerned.

"It was quite strange because I honestly felt that I would not play for Newcastle again," admitted the Stirling-born centre-half. "It appeared as if my time was up and I was looking elsewhere. But to eventually have my future secured by the club I love was a real relief."

There are those who felt the headstrong Scot had backed himself into a corner from which there would be no escape, by letting it be known he was far from enamoured with Newcastle's final wage offer towards the end of last season.

Initially dismissing United's deal out of hand, the talented defender felt confident of winning a contract elsewhere, but the global depression of the transfer market meant Caldwell found himself cut adrift from the professional game.

It was only then that he was reminded the Magpies' original offer was still gathering dust on the boardroom table. "Looking back, the be-all and end-all for me was always to win a new one-year deal at Newcastle and I have achieved that," he said.

"Some people might look at the length of the contract and assume that I won't be at St James's Park after next season, but that's not how I see it at all. …

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