Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fans' Heartache at Phillips Return

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fans' Heartache at Phillips Return

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

There is nothing worse than finding out the person you love is having an affair, but that is how Sunderland fans will have viewed Kevin Phillips' decision to join West Bromwich Albion. Luke Edwards reports

First came the bombshell he wanted to leave, then the regret of the separation and ultimately the pain of seeing the one they had adored openly flirting with new admirers every time he returned to the North-East.

At least there was the hope of reconciliation, a chance that a beautiful relationship could be revived after three years apart and a new successful partnership could begin.

Unfortunately, it takes two to resurrect a love affair and the hope that greeted the news of Sunderland's attempts to try to re-sign a Black Cats legend has merely been replaced by the bitterness of rejection after Kevin Phillips decided to sign for West Bromwich Albion rather than the club where he had enjoyed so many fantastic times in the past.

"He will get a strange welcome, but it should never be taken away what Kevin achieved at this club," said Quinn, who, nevertheless, was deeply disappointed by not being able to bring his former strike partner back to the club last week.

"It was quite staggering what he achieved and the number of goals he scored. He was a magnificent signing for this football club and I'm just disappointed I was not able to bring him back again.

"When we were told we could speak to him last week we knew his agent was out at other clubs hawking him around.

"When West Brom came in for him we knew it was going to be a problem and it is a clever piece of business by Bryan Robson.

"They already have one of the strongest forward lines in the division and Kevin will make them even stronger.

"The problem for us is that he is already living in that part of the country and he has a wife and young children. They are settled down there and if he had joined us he would have had to uproot them again. He rang me, he is a friend and he explained his decision. I respect that.

"He will get a nice welcome on Monday. I hope the people remember him for the staggering things he did for Sunderland. …

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