sport

Ameobi is not finished yet

Shola Ameobi may have parted company with his beloved Newcastle United, but he sees himself playing for another 'four or five years' yet.

The Nigeria international is moving on as a free agent this summer after close to 20 years at St James' Park.

Fourteen of those have been spent in the senior set-up, with a short loan spell at Stoke City in 2008 the only time he has spent away from the North East.

Over the course of his loyal service, Ameobi has made almost 400 appearances for Newcastle and netted 79 goals.

He admits that tearing himself away from surroundings that have become so familiar will be tough, but he is also looking forward to taking on a new challenge as he has no plans to hang up his boots any time soon.

Ameobi told FourFourTwo: \"I'm only 32, so hopefully I've got four or five more years in me.

\"When I say 'Newcastle till I die' and 'I can't see myself ever wanting to leave the club', that hasn't changed, because I will be a Newcastle supporter and will continue to be.

\"That I'm leaving the club doesn't diminish that.

\"Hopefully, it's a place I will go back to in some capacity, to help give back to the club what they've given to me.

\"It's a career I want to make last for as long as I can. Me leaving Newcastle is not the end, it's a new beginning. By going somewhere else, I can achieve some more and maximise what I have left in the game.\"

Ameobi added: \"It's obviously a sad time for me leaving, but I've had fantastic memories - good and bad.

\"It's going to be strange not going back there next season, but life goes on.\"