Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Big Andy, a Legend in the Making Who Got Away from Us

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Big Andy, a Legend in the Making Who Got Away from Us

Article excerpt

YESTERDAY marked the 26th birthday of Andy Carroll.

If there was ever"one that got away", it was big Andy.

For many long-time Toon watchers, the Gateshead-born powerhouse was on the verge of joining Gazza as a homeproduced "great" when he was suddenly snatched away.

Debate still rages on Tyneside about the centre-forward's last-ditch PS35m move to Liverpool on the final day of the 2011 transfer window.

Was the record fee just too good to turn down, or should United have kept and developed this raw but on-his-day unplayable battering-ram striker? In the event, Carroll's move to Merseyside failed to work out.

Only now, at West Ham after a long bout of injuries, is the centre-forward showing the form that earned him that high-profile move four years ago.

His time in Toon, of course, saw him on the club's books as a 10-year-old.

As a 17-year-old, he made his debut against Palermo in the UEFA Cup, before he was loaned out to Notts County.

Returning to United, he was instrumental in helping propel the club from the Championship back to the top flight at the first attempt following the disastrous relegation season of 2008-2009.

Lining up alongside the likes of Shola Ameobi and Peter Lovenkrands up front, Carroll banged in a creditable 19 Championship goals. …

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