Newcastle teenager realises dream
The 18-year-old was the subject of our One for the Future series last week, and the striker made his Premier League debut for his boyhood club yesterday at a packed St James’ Park.
Campbell’s first touch of the ball was to find fellow substitute Sylvain Marveaux, who then threaded it through for Papiss Cisse to score a dramatic late winner for the Magpies.
It was some start to life in the top flight for Campbell, and he admitted after the game that he was touched by the reception given to him by his fellow Geordies in the stands, who gave him a rousing cheer as he entered the field of play.
He told Newcastle’s official website: “I was just sitting there [in the dressing room after the game] and one of the kit men was like ‘just think, you’ve just played in the Prem.’
“It’s just hard to believe that I’ve actually made my debut in the Premiership.
“Not only have I made my debut in the Prem but I made it at St. James’ in front of 50-odd thousand people and as you heard, they were flipping electric weren’t they?
“I’ve been coming here nearly 15 years now to watch all the games and everything, hearing them shouting for other people.
“The last time I heard them shout like that was when Andy Carroll used to come on as a sub, when he was first breaking through and they went absolutely nuts for him as well.
“Hopefully I’ll follow in his footsteps – but not leave.
“I think it’s always nice to see local lads come through, whether it’s me or Remie (Streete) or Sammy (Ameobi) or whoever it is.
“I think it just adds that bit more when it’s a youngster and a young local lad who’s been here and had the same joy and pain as they all have.
“So I think it was nice for them as well as it was for me.”
Campbell described his first involvement as “magic” after he had gone several minutes without touching the ball.
He almost made it onto the field against Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League last week, before a late change of heart by manager Alan Pardew.
However, his appearance against Stoke was well worth the wait, and Campbell was delighted to play a part in Newcastle’s winner.
He added: “I felt like I was invisible for the first couple of minutes I was on – I was getting a bit worried I wasn’t going to get a touch.
“But it fell nicely and I looked up and Sylvain had found himself a lovely bit of space and did the rest.
“It was a great ball and Papiss just did what he does best to round off a memorable day.
“You couldn’t have written it. It’s magic. It’s hard to explain it – I’m just lost for words, really.”
Pardew was delighted to see the youngster make his home bow for the Magpies, and believes Campbell has a bright future ahead of him.
He told NUFC TV: “He is a local lad. We have got such high hopes for him.
“He is a terrific representative for this football club. Forget about how good he is going to be, he is a lovely little kid, lovely person, lovely family.
“It is great for him. Can you imagine, coming on, eight minutes, he plays the simplest pass he has probably ever played in his career to Marveaux and he creates the goal.
“The greatest pass he has ever played, he has just played it.
“He will do something better than that and he will get a goal for us and smash one in the top corner one day and then hopefully we’ll have a real quality player on our hands.”