And it was on Tyneside that Ambrose enjoyed the most successful time of his career, as the Magpies reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup during that period.
Newcastle would taste defeat in both games, however, it is the loss to a Didier Drogba-inspired Marseille in the UEFA Cup, a tournament that the 37-year-old believes the Magpies ‘should have won’, which still haunts Ambrose:
“I don’t want to talk about Marseille, no, it does [still hurt],” Ambrose told TalkSport.
“You know what, I got to three semi-finals in my career, four actually, counting the Under-20 tournament for England, and lost them all, but that one hurts the most.
“Newcastle supporters will tell you, the squad we had then we should have won that tournament, and Didier Drogba broke our hearts, I’m telling you.
“I was third penalty taker or fourth penalty taker so I was a bit nervous then and he came on and scored so potentially did me a favour!”
Marseille would become losing finalists in 2004 after being defeated 2-0 by Valencia, inspired by future Magpies manager Rafa Benitez.
Newcastle’s last appearance in European competition came almost a decade ago in 2013 when their Europa League run was ended by Benfica in the quarter-finals.