GATESHEAD and Newcastle Legends have announced two new recruits for each side ahead of the legends match at the International Stadium on April 7 – tickets now on sale.
Tynesiders’ favourites Rob Ramshaw and Jamies Chandler have confirmed their place in the Heed legends side while Newcastle Legends have announced Lee Clark and Paul Robinson as part of their squad for next year’s fundraising match.
Midfielder Chandler joined Gateshead from Darlington in January 2012 and went on to make 168 appearances over four and a half seasons, scoring 20 goals.
And the 29-year-old was made to wait patiently before receiving the call to play in the match.
“I eventually got the text through off Clarky, it took a couple of days to be fair but it was an easy decision,” Chandler revealed.
“I had a great time at the club and whenever I come back I’ve always been made to feel very welcome. I’m a Newcastle fan myself so it’s a great opportunity to see and play against some of those who I went to watch when I had a season ticket there as well.
“Teammates wise, it’s the best dressing room I’ve been part of. We had some great characters in that Gateshead side and were obviously successful on the pitch, coming so close to reaching the Football League. We all keep in touch regularly as well so it’ll be good to all get back playing together again.
“The Grimsby game is still probably the favourite game of my career and it’s one I always love to see back on the highlights. The only part I don’t really like is when you have to see JJ (O’Donnell’s) goal at the end and his celebration after – other than that it’s brilliant!
“Obviously we’ll have a few lads still playing and it’s going to be a busy point in our season hopefully competing for the play-off places and stuff like that but we’ll be fit and ready to go.
“Still, the last thing Newcastle want is to lose a game against Gateshead and I know they’ll be taking it very seriously so I think that it’ll be a really good day out for everyone.”
Robinson, who played for The Magpies between 1998 and 2000, commented: “I am looking forward to linking up with the Newcastle Legends team in April.
“It is always great to play in these type of games and raising money for Gateshead FC is a worthy cause.”
Ramshaw arrived at the International Stadium from Darlo as a teenager back in 2012 and quickly progressed into the Heed’s first team, making over 100 appearances for the club.
The attacking midfielder remains the most recent Gateshead player to score an FA Cup hat-trick, doing so in a 4-0 First Round win at Norton United in 2014.
In 2016, Ramshaw left the Heed to join Spennymoor Town alongside Chandler and fellow Heed Legend James Curtis.
“I can’t wait to get back at the International Stadium and play for Gateshead Legends,” Ramshaw said.
“It was an unbelievable time for me in my career and to play with the lads again, most of them who were there that day at Wembley, is going to be fantastic!
“I’ve heard they’re bringing a very decent team so it’s gonna be a tough game but hopefully we can get a few fans into the stadium and obviously beat them too.
“Let’s make sure JJ has my kit laid out properly like a good lad too!”
Midfielder Clark made over 250 appearances for Newcastle United over two spells in the 90s and 2000s.
Alongside current Heed boss Steve Watson, Clark was part of the United side who were promoted to the Premier League as Division One Champions in 1993 and came within touching distance of the top flight title just three years later.
“The match is a great idea,” the 46-year-old commented.
“Watto spoke about it to me earlier this year and I’m glad he has been able to pull it together with the club and Newcastle Legends.
“I am putting myself in the squad, legs permitting! I have been down to watch Gateshead a lot this season and Watto has done a great job on a limited budget.
“Hopefully this game will help raise funds to make things a bit easier for him in the summer.”
Legends confirmed so far…
Gateshead: Ben Clark, Micky Cummins, John Oster, James Marwood, Paul Thompson, Liam Hatch, James Curtis, Steve Bowey, Rob Ramshaw, Jamie Chandler
Newcastle: Steve Watson, Peter Beardsley, Steve Howey, Ruel Fox, Rob Lee, Darren Peacock, John Beresford, Tino Asprilla, Milan Srníček, Lee Clark, Paul Robinson