Nile Ranger admitted that it took a heated phone call from Dennis Wise to get him to come to Newcastle way back in 2008 – with the striker initially preferring to stay at Swindon and earn £95 a week than take his chance under Kevin Keegan.
As an 18-year-old, Newcastle scouts were clearly impressed by his form as a youngster – and that was backed up by him scoring more goals than he played games for the U-23’s – however to say his career as a senior player fell flat is an understatement.
He’s gone on to be sacked by several clubs, has been pictured showing a gun and had even spend times behind bars last year, with him currently a free agent without a club after being let go by Southend for continually turning up late to training.
When reflecting on his move to Newcastle during his brilliant interview with The True Geordie, here’s what he had to say:
“I remember I scored an overhead kick in a reserve game (for Swindon) and afterwards my agent said ‘let’s go to Burger King’.
“We sat down and he said ‘listen, you’re going to Newcastle tomorrow’.
“I was like no I am not, I am happy here and I want to get a contract here. They (Swindon) offered me £300 per week and I didn’t even get to the pros at Southampton so I was on like £95 per week.
“So he said Newcastle want you, we are leaving tomorrow and how we are going to do it, we are going to drop your stuff off before training and then we’ll leave.
“But I didn’t want to do it so the next day I didn’t do it and next thing I know Dennis Wise is on the phone and saying ‘Are you a f*****g maniac? You don’t want to come to Newcastle and give it a go?!
“I was living with Sean Morrison, who’s the captain at Cardiff now, and I said ‘what do you think?’
“And he was like ‘you should go for it, bro’.
“I was thinking Newcastle is far away, I’m comfortable, I’m set, I’ve met new friends and I didn’t really want to start all over again.
“But anyway I did that and drove up to Newcastle and I trained for one day.
“A few weeks later we had a friendly game and Keegan was the manager at the time and he was watching. Terry McDermott was there and he was like ‘this guy has got talent. Michael Owen was there and a few of the senior guys watched the game.
“Anyway, a long story short, they signed me and I got a contract for £750 per week and a £20,000 signing on fee – £10,000 one year, £10,000 the next.”
It’s quite a story, however this probably sums him up.
He’s lazy and has never quite realised what a massive opportunity he was handed by Newcastle.
We’ve often asked ‘when will he learn?’ and ten years later, it seems the answer is ‘never’.