Ameobi leaving Newcastle
Published 23/05/2014 | 17:07
Striker Shola Ameobi is to leave Newcastle after 14 years at St James' Park.
The 32-year-old is out of contract and after discussions with the club, is to move on, although he has signalled his intention to return one day.
Nigeria international Ameobi, who was handed a senior debut by former manager Sir Bobby Robson as a teenager, said: "Following discussions with Newcastle United, both parties felt it was the right time for us to part company.
"I have been at Newcastle United all my career and I have enjoyed every moment and always worn the famous shirt with pride. I am now looking forward to starting a new chapter in my career.
"I would like to place on record a big thank you to everyone at Newcastle United. I wish the club great success in the future and I'm sure with the team and management they have, Newcastle United will go from strength to strength.
"Finally, a big thank you to the supporters who have always been fantastic.
"I hope to come back to Newcastle United one day in some capacity to help repay some of the faith and loyalty that everybody connected to the club has shown me during my time here."
Ameobi, whose younger brother Sammy remains on the books, made 397 senior appearances, 178 of them as a substitute, and scored 79 goals.
He was not always a favourite with the club's fans, but was appreciated by successive managers, none more so than current incumbent Alan Pardew.
Pardew said: "Such loyalty and commitment in the modern game is rare and Shola was not just a great player on the pitch, but a key figure off it too.
"He is a leader of men, a great role model for our younger players and I wish him well for the remainder of his career."
Ameobi is one nine men leaving the club along with loan pair Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong, midfielders Dan Gosling and Conor Newton, who have joined Bournemouth and Rotherham respectively, and youngsters Michael Richardson, Steven Logan, Brandon Miele and Jonathan Mitchell.