Dan Burn: I could have signed for boyhood club Newcastle – now I want to halt their promotion bid

Dan Burn
Dan Burn
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Boyhood Newcastle fan Dan Burn is desperate to spoil the Magpies’ promotion party when he travels home to Tyneside this weekend.

The Wigan Athletic defender will play at St James’s Park for the first time in his career when he faces Rafa Benitez’s side tomorrow.

Jordan Rhodes holds off Dan Burn

Jordan Rhodes holds off Dan Burn

Burn says he had the chance to join Newcastle when he left Darlington six years ago, but decided to move away from the region and sign for Fulham instead.

Now fighting relegation from the Championship with Wigan, he has no regrets and instead is looking to put one over the team he supported as a kid growing up in Blyth.

He said: “I’ve been waiting all season for the trip to Newcastle – it’s the first one I looked for on the fixture list!

“Being a Geordie, it’ll be good to go back home, and we’re all really looking forward to it.

“I was a massive Newcastle fan as a kid. I used to have a season ticket and go along with my dad – me and my brother used to go to half the games each with him.

“My favourite game was when we beat Sunderland 5-1 - that was an unbelievable feeling.

“When you become a footballer it becomes slightly different, because you don’t really ‘support’ a team in that sense anymore.

“But it’ll still be amazing to go back. Although I’ve been a professional footballer for a number of years, I’ve never actually played at St James’ Park before. Every time I’ve faced them, it’s always been on home soil.”

Burn, 24, had a spell with the club as a youngster, but was a late developer as a defender and it wasn’t until he signed for Darlington in 2009 that his career took off.

He added: “I was there (Newcastle) as a kid, between the ages of 10-12, but to be fair I wasn’t a good player so I wasn’t surprised.

“To be fair the decision was probably justified, although I was obviously gutted at the time, because it was my dream.

“I then had the opportunity to go back when I came to leave Darlington for Fulham, but I decided it was probably better to get out of the north east at the time and go down to London.

“I’ve been really lucky to have played at some great stadiums during my career - Old Trafford, the Emirates, Wembley.

“But it will be quite surreal to walk out at St James’s Park, and I’ll probably be very nervous before the game.

“It’ll be a great day for me, but I’d swap all that just to get the three points.

“It’ll be a massive test for us, because Newcastle are flying high at the moment, and going all-out for promotion.

“But we’ve come up with some decent performances against some of the big teams, and hopefully that’s something we can replicate this weekend.

“Hopefully we can put on a performance in front of all my family and friends and spoil their promotion party for another week.

“I think there’ll be a lot of pressure on Newcastle to win the game, because it’s getting very tight at the top and they can’t be dropping points.

“That might play into our hands, and help us out.”

And if Burn is to score this weekend, there won’t be any muted reaction given it’s his boyhood club.

“If I pop up with a goal you’ll see some celebration,” he added. “I’ll probably do a full lap of the pitch!”