By Adam Tones
Wednesday 29 Dec 2010 12:13:00
Browse all Adam Tones articles

After a whole season without a club number ‘9’, news was announced on Tuesday 20th July 2010 that Gateshead born striker Andrew Thomas Carroll had been awarded the famous club shirt number, following in the footsteps of childhood idol Alan Shearer as well as Jackie Milburn, Malcolm Macdonald and Len White to name a few.


The famous Newcastle number, which was previously worn by Nigerian pacey forward Obefemi Martins, has been worn by footballing icons of the past including current club all time record goalscorer Alan Shearer. Andy Carroll knows the pressure that he will have too carried with him into every Newcastle United match; know that he has been awarded the converted number.  Many people just think that the number ‘9’, is just another number like the rest of them, but too us Newcastle supporters, the number is significant to us, as the likes of Andrew Cole, Les Ferdinand, former all time goalscoring legend Jackie Milburn and of course fans favourite and leading goalscorer, with a massive 206 career Newcastle goals Alan Shearer. These all time greats that have worn the shirt have gained the respect of the supporters and many other members of the public. Legend, great, hero are just some of the words mentioned to describe past players to wear the shirt. It’s not just the case of going into the dressing room and chucking the shirt on and walking out onto the playing field. The shirts comes with high expectations, not only are you to score many upon many of goals, but also be able to read the game and pick out the right options and honour the club by giving your all in every minute of every game in all seasons. Furthermore you have to wear the shirt with pride, have the courage to take on all reasonability’s, lead with example on and off the pitch; follow in the footstep of fellow owners of the prestigic shirt number and become a club legend.


Andy Thomas Carroll, who was born on 6th January 1989. Attended Brighton Avenue Primary and Joseph Swan Schools Gateshead. Andy Carroll who made his Newcastle United debut as a late substitution against Palermo on 2nd November 2006, making him the clubs youngest ever player to present the Newcastle club in a European fixture at the age of seventeen and three hundred days. The 6 ft 6in striker then went on to make his Premier League debut the following year on 25th February 2007, again coming on as a late substitution and almost scoring. Also the year 2007 brought the striker more joy, as he was awarded the ‘Wor Jackie Milburn Trophy’, which is presented each year to the rising star of northeast football. The Gateshead lad scored his first senior goal of his career when he side footed a shot passed goalkeeping great Gianluigi Buffon on Newcastle’s way to a 2-0 friendly victory over the Italian giants Juventus. After the match the Italian goalie praises the young English striker describing him as a ‘paintbrush striker’, applying the finishing touches to an attacking move. Andy has appeared in the white of Preston North End, only scoring the one goal and also getting sent off in his loan spell at the Lancastrian club.







The breakthrough came in the 2008-2009 season when he appeared as a substitute against Manchester City and then again versus Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium, Carroll also managed to bag an assist in the 2-1 loss away to Wigan, when he was fouled in the penalty area, Danny Guthrie then stood up and converted the penalty. The goal finally came, the moment he was waiting for arrived. Andy Carroll was given his first Premier League start in the black and white jersey on 10th January 2009 against fellow Premier League opponents West Ham United and repaid his manages faith with a 78th minute equalizer. The ball was whipped into the box and Carroll managed to beat his marker to the ball, guiding his looping header into the roof of the net. Just two days later the striker signed a new three and a half year contract to keep him at St James’ Park until 2013. After crucially equalising against West Ham, Carroll struck again but this time at the Britannia Stadium against Stoke City on 11th April 2009. After a dower game, the leveller came from nowhere, Duff centred the ball into the box and Carroll made no mistake as he rose tallest and levered his head back before flicking the ball into the back of the net using inch perfect technique. Unfortunately over the course of the season Newcastle did not manage to accumulate enough points for Premier League safety and were relegated to the second tier of English football, but since have returned to the Barclays Premier League.


After relegation was confirmed, sales of players were happening thick and fast, the club ended up losing three of there five main striker, leaving just Shola Ameobi and yes are new number nine Andy Carroll, to try and fire us back up. As they say ‘cometh the hour cometh the man’ and that was certainly the case for Andy Carroll. After an average pre-season scoring only two goals against Darlington and Dundee United. Carroll formed an opening season partnership with Shola Ameobi who was unfortunately injured early on in the season, meaning Peter Lovenkrands partnered the Gateshead born striker upfront. Andy’s season didn’t get off too the quickest of starts, taking him eight games to open his scoring account for the season, with a flying header away to Blackpool, celebrating by sucking his thumb in celebration of his new born baby. After a quiet start to the season, Carroll turned in many outstanding performances scoring a total of 19 goals, which 17 of them were in the league. The 6ft 6in forward didn’t just score goals, he created and assisted them too as well as playing as a time player, Andy also gained many man of the match awards.


The international scenes started when he was picked to play for England under 19’s on 17th September 2007, scoring in a 4-0 win against Belarus. Less than two years after getting picked for the under 19’s, Andy got elected to represent England under 20’s making his debut against Italy. After impressing on the pitch for both Newcastle and England, Carroll caught the eye of England’s under 21’s coach Stuart Pearce, making his debut on 11th August 2009 as a second half substitute against Holland. Just over two months later on 9th October 2009, Carroll won his second cap for the under 21’s team against Macedonia, scoring two of the goals and assisting another in England’s triumphant 6-3 victory. After a succession of top performances throughout a very successful season, there was talk of Andy even getting chosen in Fabio Cappello’s ‘30’ man provisional squad for this year’s world cup in South Africa. Andy didn’t get picked but I do believe Andy will get a call up in the near future. Andrew Carroll who looks a very good prospect for the future England senior team, can also qualify too play for Scotland as he has a Scottish grandmother.






At only 21 years of age Andy Carroll has had his fair share of off the field incidents. On 14th September 2008, Andy got arrest for an assault on a woman and later accepted the police caution. There also have been alleged training ground bust-ups, with Newcastle centre back Steven Taylor which allegedly left the defender with a broken jaw, and himself with a broken hand. Also Andy Carroll had an incident with French footballer Charles N’Zogbia, as the local lad didn’t agree with the Frenchman’s late tackle. When away with England under 19’s squad, Carroll and two other members were sent home after breaking a curfew against Romania.


So now Andy Carroll has been awarded the privileged shirt, the pressure starts as he comes to terms with just what the fans will expect from him. Carroll’s style of play has that been described to local hero Alan Shearer. Strong, powerful and excellent heading ability just a few words used to compare him to Mr Shearer. Only time will tell if Andrew Carroll will be the next Newcastle legend, but we all know that the Englishman has what it takes to write his name into the history books.

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