Ayoze Perez says he’ll NEVER forget the moment Newcastle United won the Championship.
Perez scored in Sunday’s 3-0 title-securing win over Barnsley at St James’s Park.
The result saw Newcastle end the season a point ahead of Brighton and Hove Albion, who could only draw 1-1 against Aston Villa.
Perez and his team-mates celebrated “went crazy” when news came through of the result at Villa Park, where Jack Grealish scored a late equaliser.
Asked to describe his emotions at the final whistle, the forward said: “Absolutely amazing.
“Everyone started cheering like they’d scored the most important goal of their lives, and that meant we are Champions.
This is a great achievement, something unbelievable and I will never forget it. I will keep my medal in a special place.Ayoze Perez
“It’s amazing, because everyone went crazy on the bench.
“We were nervous sitting there waiting, but as soon as the referee whistled we became Champions.
“This is a great achievement – something unbelievable – and I will never forget it.
“I will keep my medal in a special place.”
Brighton had a seven-point lead of Newcastle last month.
But Chris Hughton’s side took just one point from their last three games after securing their place in the Premier League.
United, by contrast, won their last three games to edge past their rivals.
And Perez feels Newcastle deserved the league title.
“Three games ago, we didn’t win three games in a row,” said Perez, who opened the scoring against Barnsley with a clever flick.
“Then Brighton got ahead of us by seven points, but we still believed.
“We kept going and finally we have done it. We always believed.
“We knew if we won every game, and they started getting some defeats, then we had a chance.
“We knew we had to do our job.
“We have done that during these three games, then they missed their chance.
“That means Newcastle are Champions, and I think we deserve it after a long season.”
Perez’s goal against Barnsley was similar to his strike away to West Bromwich Albion in late November 2014.
DeAndre Yedlin delivered a low from just inside the box, and Perez flicked it past Adam Davies to take his goal tally for the season to 12 in all competitions.
“Those little deflections have been great goals for me,” said the Spain Under-21 international.
“That little touch makes the difference and I’m happy for it.
“When I saw Yedlin going to the byline, I ran straight in front of the defender.
“Yedlin then crossed a strong pass.
“So I stuck my foot out for a little deflection, because I knew it could go in.
“It is similar to the one I scored at West Brom. I like these goals.”
Perez added: “But this one is even more special because we are Champions.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Isaac Hayden was forced off early in the game against Barnsley with a head injury.
But he was back on the pitch for the celebrations.
“It’s difficult to put it into words so soon after it’s happened, but obviously it’s a fantastic achievement,” said the 22-year-old.
“If I’m being honest, I think we got a little bit lucky – Brighton let us off the hook a little bit to let us in.
“But, football has a funny way of repaying you.
“I think we’ve had a few harsh decisions go against us, especially in some games.
“We’ve put a lot of hard work in, and I do think we’ve deserved it this season overall. Sometimes, you don’t always get what you deserve, but we did.
“It was football in a nutshell. Things happen. They can go your way, they might not. They went our way, and it’s a fantastic day, especially for the fans.”