Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Nearest and Dearest All Booed Me on to Field; EVEN FAMILY AND FRIENDS TURNED ON PLAYER WHO REPLACED BIG AL IN DERBY

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Nearest and Dearest All Booed Me on to Field; EVEN FAMILY AND FRIENDS TURNED ON PLAYER WHO REPLACED BIG AL IN DERBY

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER Chief Newcastle United Writer lee.ryder@reachplc.com @lee_ryder

PAUL Robinson will forever be remembered by Newcastle United fans as the man who once replaced Alan Shearer in the starting lineup for the Tyne-Wear derby. It was an erratic decision from Ruud Gullit and one which piled the pressure on the youngster on a dark night in United's history as they lost to their bitter rivals Sunderland.

However, Sunderland-born Robinson has revealed his biggest regret at Newcastle was walking away from St James' Park during the Sir Bobby Robson era.

The former striker told the Chronicle: "I recall my grandfather had passed away before a friendly in Scotland and I was pulled from the reserves to join the first-team squad by Gullit.

"Everything I touched back then seemed to turn to goals and, when the season started, it all changed for me.

"Shearer was sent off by referee Uriah Rennie in the opener although what I will say is they never scored while I was on the pitch!" To add insult to injury, Newcastle conceded twice as Shearer and Duncan Ferguson were sent on in the second half, Gullit incredibly pointing the finger of blame their way during his post-match interviews.

Gullit soon left the club and was replaced by Robson in August 1999, Robinson earning another chance under the former England boss.

However, with Shearer back in favour, Robinson felt his days were numbered.

He added: "Even my first goal for the club in the UEFA Cup first round second leg against CSKA Sofia was strange. "You would think I would be ecstatic when in fact Stephen Glass, who was a really good player, whipped in a great ball, I slipped, it went under my leg, spun up off my backside and went in.

"It was most certainly an anti-climax and I just cannot recall the feeling I had with that as I had with other goals I had scored. …

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