Newcastle United fans have been treated to some fine players over the past ten years.
Some of the world's best have graced the turf at St James' Park, but who has been the fans' favourite over that time?
Over the next five slides I have made a list of the biggest fan favourites of the last ten years, in an attempt to narrow down the numerous heroes that have served the Toon Army.
The list is based around the player's ability as well as the relationship they enjoyed with the fans, as well as some personal opinion. The list is not the five best players to have ever played for Newcastle, more a reflection of how the fans loved the players included.
Feel free to discuss and make your own points as you read on.
Shola takes his kids for a stroll around St James' Park
We start the list with a man still plying his trade at St James’ Park more than 15 years after joining as a promising youngster.
While he may not be the most talented striker to have ever graced the Tyneside turf, Ameobi has a rare relationship with the Toon Army which has served him well over his 250+ appearances.
During those games, Ameobi has scored 51 Premier League goals for Newcastle, hardly a record to rival the likes of Alan Shearer and Jackie Milburn. But his strikes against a certain team have been the catalyst behind his unique relationship with the Geordie faithful.
His goals against Sunderland have earned Ameobi the nickname “The Mackem Slayer” and when the Tyne-Wear derby comes round, fans are eager to see Ameobi’s name on the team sheet come kick off.
For those reading this inclusion and doubting the inclusion based around Ameobi’s talent, just ask yourself this:
Would you take a member of your squad who was largely ineffective, but was a proven and prolific scorer against your most fierce rivals?
And that is why Shola makes the list.
Ketsbaia celebrates a goal against Charlton
Making the list at number four is a passionate Georgian who enjoyed three seasons at Newcastle between 1997 and 2000.
A feisty, skilful midfielder who enjoyed an instant relationship with the fans thanks to his whole-hearted displays, Ketsbaia found the net regularly during his spell on Tyneside.
Without doubt the most famous goal Ketsbaia scored came against Bolton in the 1997/98 season, when he tapped home a goal at the Gallowgate end before whipping his shirt off and proceeding to kick the advertising boards around the goal.
The celebration is one of the most fondly remembered in the Premier League era and sums up the reason why the St James’ Park faithful thought of Ketsbaia as an adopted Geordie.
Taylor putting his body on the line against Wolves
Next up on the list is another current Newcastle player and a certified local hero.
Steven Taylor, born in London but raised just a stone’s throw from St James’ Park, has risen through the Magpies’ ranks and emerged as a key part of the Newcastle defence.
It’s easy to see why Taylor is a crowd favourite at St James’ Park, as his full-blooded performances stand out clearly amongst his team mates. The centre-back can regularly be seen putting his body on the line for the cause and even tackling the opposition with his head while laying on the ground, something certain to catch the eye (and hearts) of the adoring Geordie crowd.
A product of the famous Wallsend Boys club which produced the likes of Alan Shearer, Taylor is a modern day hero at St James’ Park and takes the number three position on this list.
Solano in action for Newcastle
Coming in at No.2 on the list is one of the most likeable characters ever to pull on a black and white shirt. Nolberto Solano, more popularly known as “Nobby”, played for the Magpies over 200 times in two spells between 1998 and 2007.
A right midfielder with genuine quality, Solano was a key part of Newcastle’s side for the time he plied his trade in Newcastle and built up a special relationship with the fans that came to watch him week after week.
The Peruvian was one of the key providers in the Newcastle side, setting up Alan Shearer almost telepathically on a weekly basis. His crossing and set-piece ability as well as his work rate earned him a glowing reputation on Tyneside.
His social life also earned himself more fans too, as he would regularly be seen playing the trumpet with his salsa band “The Geordie Latinos” around the city’s club scene.
This rare combination of on and off field likeability ensure Solano earns his place on this list and only one man can pip him to first place.
A familiar pose for the Geordie hero
Who else could possibly top this list?
260 Premier League goals, a local lad and an international hero all mean Shearer coasts into the No. 1 slot on this list.
The Geordie fans will never have a bigger idol than their famous No.9, who served them for over a decade.
Breaking the transfer fee world record when he signed for Newcastle for £15m in 1996, Shearer more than made up for the substantial amount with his goals.
Also doing it on the international stage, Shearer bagged 30 goals in 63 games for England and also enjoyed a hero-like status amongst his country’s fans, as well as his club’s.
In all honesty, if I wrote this list in ten years time it would still be topped by Shearer, such as the status he still enjoys despite having retired seven years ago.
Apologies for the lack of surprise when you scrolled to the top of this list!