At the age of 36, former Toon favourite Demba Ba has this week announced his retirement from professional football.
His career started at Rouen in 2005 and took him through 6 countries and 11 clubs making a total of 386 appearances scoring 181 goals. He also notched 3 goals for Senegal.
His contribution at NUFC was 29 goals in 54 games. So, was he the best since Shearer or not? Well, many would promote his case and perhaps many would promote others. All I know was in the time he was at The Toon he was worth his weight in goals.
In that season we finished 5th he was deadly and had the lot, being able to score every time of goal. It’s scary to think that, 10 years on, the only decent strikers we’ve had since are Loic Remy, Salomon Rondon and Callum Wilson.
Partnering Papis Cisse was also one of the best duos we’ve had. Plus, he played in a side under the much-maligned Alan Pardew that included Hatem Ben Arthur and Yohan Cabaye amongst others. A side that finished 5th in The PL and qualified for Europe!
Oh, to have those days back. Sadly, he was Newcastled! Despite signing a 3-year contract there was rumours that he had a £7m release clause and when Chelsea came knocking in the 2013 January transfer window it proved to be true and he left halfway through his contract.
Personally, I might have taken a punt on bringing him back and sitting him on the bench this season. We could have got him on a free and even at 36 he might have proved effective. But what we do have is great memories of his time at The Toon and we wish him all the best for the future.
Here’s a look back on his best moments in a black and white shirt:
Happy retirement, Demba!