Former Newcastle United star Andy Cole has urged fans to understand the culture shock that hits new players arriving on Tyneside.
Cole told the Evening Chronicle: “At the end of the day I was just a normal boy who came up from the south.
“Being young, I found it difficult to handle.
“I wanted to do very well for the team, but the city breathes football and that is the only thing people want to talk about, which is fine.
“But it’s a shock when you aren’t used to it.
“In most places people want to chill after football but Newcastle was special and that’s just the way the Geordies are.”
Cole added: “The Toon Army were brilliant then and they still are now.
“Regardless of what people have said about me since, I had a brilliant time at Newcastle.
“And I’ll never forget my time at the club – the fans were always first class with me.”