Matt Ritchie reveals another BIG reason why he joined Newcastle

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Matt Ritchie says he’s more excited than his Geordie father-in-law about his move to Newcastle United.

The winger joined the club from Bournemouth last week in a £10million deal.

Ritchie was quickly sold on joining United given the club’s stature and that Rafa Benitez is manager.

And his wife’s father John was particularly happy about the move – as he’s a Newcastle fan.

“He lives down south, but he’s still got his accent,” said Ritchie. “He’s got friends up here who are big Newcastle fans. He’s excited for the future.

“He’s a Newcastle fan. He’s not a season-ticket holder, but he’s always been a fan.”

Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie

Asked if his father-in-law was more excited than him about the move, Ritchie added: “I don’t think so!”

The pair spoke before Ritchie travelled to Tyneside last week to meet Benitez.

“He just said about the fans and how passionate they are,” said the 26-year-old, who helped Bournemouth win promotion from the Championship two seasons ago.

“I knew that anyway because I played here last season and as a kid growing up watching people like Shearer.

He’s got friends up here who are big Newcastle fans. He’s excited for the future. He’s a Newcastle fan.

Matt Ritchie

“I’ve always known that Newcastle’s a huge club.

“When I knew they were interested, it lit my eyes up. It was something I wanted to do.

“I loved my time at Bournemouth. It was very successful.

“But when a club like Newcastle comes calling, with the position it has and the manager, it was always going to be a difficult one to turn down.”

On United manager Benitez, Ritchie added: “He’s a massive draw.”