Yesterday Peter Lovenkrands, who was a free agent after not being offered a new deal at Newcastle, signed for Birmingham City. Some players are thought highly of because they’re great players, and some are just great personalities, but Peter was a bit of both.
“Signed on a free, from Germany” as the chant goes, he arrived after leaving Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga in our relegation campaign. He was unspectacular in that season, but he tried his best. Goals against West Brom, Middlesborough and on an icy night against Manchester United his contributions in that half season.
There was a lot of speculation about what he was going to do the following year, as we were yet to offer him a deal, but he signed back for Newcastle on September 1st, after reportedly turning down deals at top flight clubs to sign for us.
He didn’t start as well as he did in his first spell at the club and was kept out the team by Marlon Harewood, Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi. Lovenkrands bagged his first goal of the season against Swansea at home, and his season started from there.
Peter bagged a hat trick in the cup replay against Plymouth and then started to get a run in the team, where his partnership with Andy Carroll flourished and the “big man, little man” combination helped Andy Carroll become the striker he is today, before Liverpool spoilt him.
Lovenkrands’ most memorable moment for me in a Newcastle shirt was when he made himself available for the West Brom game, despite his dads death a few days previous. It was a real show of character to do that, and shows how much of a professional he is, as no-one would have begrudged him a week or two off.
In the West Brom game Lovenkrands scored the equalising goal to make it 2-2 and celebrated by pointing to the sky for his dad. The rest of the team ran to him, and he ran back to the centre circle in floods of tears. I’m not going to lie, I had a tear in my eye, it was written in the stars.
At the end of our Championship season Peter finished with 16 goals in 32 games, which was a good effort for someone who joined us after pre-season and spent plenty of time on the bench.
As expected Peter was less impressive when we got promoted back to the Premier League, but he did still manage 6 league goals in 25 appearances and a very important goal at that. Lovenkrands scored at St Andrews against Birmingham after 2 minutes, in a game which allowed us to pull away from the drop-zone.
As well as that Lovenkrands scored both home and away to West Brom, away to Blackpool, at home to West Ham and at home to Wolves. He got a lot more chances when Andy Carroll followed the money, and despite not always being popular he did his job with Leon Best and kept us up.
Last season Lovenkrands got less chances and only managed 3 goals, all in the League Cup, but his influence was still around the club, he never moaned, he never kicked off, he was just a true professional.
Lovenkrands was never the most popular player, nor was he the best, but he always gave 100% and never let us down when he was on the pitch. If the likes of Owen, Martins, Viduka etc, showed the fight that Lovenkrands did we would never have went down in the first place.
Peter was always going to move on in order to find first team football in the twilight years of his career and I’m glad he’s stayed in England and signed for Birmingham City alongside former Magpie, Lee Clark. Hopefully he has a successful few years with Birmingham City and gets them back to the Premier League, so we can give him the round of applause he deserves.
So, basically I’d just like to thank Peter for his years at Newcastle and every one of the 29 goals he scored for the club. He’ll always be held high regard by me for playing the West Brom game just after the death of his father, that’s true commitment.
Are you thinking of putting a bet on Newcastle United ahead of the 2012-2013 campaign? Make sure you come and check out all of the latest betting odds on offer at http://www.bwin.com/. Don’t miss out on their fantastic odds!