Newcastle United’s last Champions League starting XI: where are they now including pub landlord and One Show host

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Newcastle have been paired with PSG, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan in what promises to be a hotly contested Champions League group

Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United are going where no Magpie has flown for over 20 years as they prepare to once again compete in the Champions League.

The Toon’s return to Europe has attracted huge excitement from fans as they prepare for a group of death, which features mouthwatering away days against French champions PSG, seven time winners AC Milan and one time winners Borussia Dortmund.

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The three teams have all reached the final of the tournament on at least one occasion since Newcastle’s last Champions League campaign under the guidance of club icon Bobby Robson back in 2003.

That Newcastle team certainly made their mark on the competition as they prevailed from a challenging group featuring Juventus, Dynamo Kiev and Feyenoord - whilst becoming the first team in history to progress from the group stage after losing their opening three games.

Newcastle’s last European journey produced a host of memorable moments including victories over Bayern Leverkusen, Juventus, Feyenoord and a draw at Inter Milan.

But their dreams came to an end in the second group stage of the tournament when they finished third behind European giants Barcelona and Inter Milan.

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Their fate was sealed in their 12th European game of the season as they were beaten 2-0 by Barcelona at St James’ Park with future Newcastle striker Patrick Kluivert and Thiago Motta getting on the scoresheet.

Newcastle have not made Europe’s elite competition since that night in 2003, although they were beaten on penalties in a play-off match against Partizan Belgrade the following season.

But who was Newcastle’s last Champions League XI and where are they now? Here’s everything you need to know.

Goalkeeper: Shay Given

Shay Given was a crucial player for Newcastle in their last Champions League campaign. (Getty Images)Shay Given was a crucial player for Newcastle in their last Champions League campaign. (Getty Images)
Shay Given was a crucial player for Newcastle in their last Champions League campaign. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

The ever-reliable Shay Given was chosen between the sticks for Newcastle’s final Champions League game. The Irishman was viewed as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League at the time and he was an ever present for the North East club during 12 successful seasons.

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His Newcastle career ended in sad circumstances as he left the club mid-way through their relegation season of 2008/09 to join big spending Man City. He was initially a key player for the Citizens but he lost his place to the up and coming keeper of the time Joe Hart.

Given went on to play for Aston Villa, Stoke and Middlesborough on loan before retiring in 2017. He remains popular with the Newcastle faithful and is often seen as a pundit for Sky Sports. Given also had a three-year stint as a goalkeeping coach at Derby County.

Right back: Andrew Griffin

Andy Griffin was sold to Portsmouth by Bobby Robson’s successor Graeme Souness. (Getty Images)Andy Griffin was sold to Portsmouth by Bobby Robson’s successor Graeme Souness. (Getty Images)
Andy Griffin was sold to Portsmouth by Bobby Robson’s successor Graeme Souness. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Andy Griffin treated Newcastle fans to one of their most treasured European memories when he scored the winner against Juventus, which would kickstart Newcastle’s remarkable turnaround in the competition.

Griffin was a utility player for most of his six year stint at Newcastle due to injury problems, but he went on to play in the Premier League for the likes of Portsmouth, Derby County and Stoke

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He later dropped down the football league to play for Reading, Doncaster Rovers and Chester, before retiring in 2014.

Centre back: Andy O’Brien

Andy O’Brien was also sold to Portsmouth where he joined former team mate Andy Griffin Andy O’Brien was also sold to Portsmouth where he joined former team mate Andy Griffin
Andy O’Brien was also sold to Portsmouth where he joined former team mate Andy Griffin | Getty

Andy O’Brien was a central figure in Newcastle’s defence and he formed a strong partnership alongside Jonathan Woodgate when he was available.

O’Brien thrived during Robson’s time with the Magpies but he suffered a loss of form after his departure and was sold to Portsmouth by his successor Graeme Souness.

The Republic of Ireland international went on to play for Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United before retiring in the MLS with Vancouver Whitecaps.

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Centre back: Titus Bramble

Titus Bramble battle Juan Roman Riquelme for the ball during Newcastle’s last Champions League clash. (Getty Images)Titus Bramble battle Juan Roman Riquelme for the ball during Newcastle’s last Champions League clash. (Getty Images)
Titus Bramble battle Juan Roman Riquelme for the ball during Newcastle’s last Champions League clash. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Titus Bramble made a name for himself as an up and coming defender at Ipswich Town and he helped the club to a surprise fifth place finish in their first season back in the top-flight.

Bramble left after Ipswich’s relegation to join Newcastle and he remained a regular in the first team until 2007.

The defender went on to play for Wigan Athletic and arch-rivals Sunderland before retiring in 2017. He now works as an ambassador and coach for future stars charity in Ghana.

Left back: Oliver Bernard

Oliver Bernard was a key attacking threat for Newcastle during the Robson era. (Getty Images)Oliver Bernard was a key attacking threat for Newcastle during the Robson era. (Getty Images)
Oliver Bernard was a key attacking threat for Newcastle during the Robson era. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Oliver Bernard enjoyed a five-year stint at St James’ Park and was credited for his ability to get forward and create chances.

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Bernard was a key member of the team during Robson’s time at Newcastle but he was sold by successor Graeme Souness who did not see him as a first choice starter.

The Frenchman went on to play for Southampton and Rangers, before returning to Newcastle in 2006. He did not play a Premier League game during his return and he retired in 2007.

Bernard now works as a landlord at the Mason Arms in Blyth and he is also the owner of Durham City in the non-league.

Right midfield: Nolberto Solano

Nolberto Solano enjoyed two successful spells at Newcastle United. (Getty Images)Nolberto Solano enjoyed two successful spells at Newcastle United. (Getty Images)
Nolberto Solano enjoyed two successful spells at Newcastle United. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Nolberto Solano was a hot prospect at Boca Juniors and he briefly played alongside Diego Maradona before joining Newcastle in 1998.

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Solano, who described himself as an “adopted Geordie”, went on to establish himself as a fan favourite on Tyneside and he was praised for his exceptional set piece ability. He was also known for forming his own salsa band away from football and he played the trumpet for the group.

Solano was a first team regular at Newcastle for his first five seasons, but he was sold to Aston Villa mid-way through the 2003/04 season when he lost his place in the first team.

The Peruvian footballer returned to Newcastle for a second spell between 2005 and 2007 and helped the club qualify for the UEFA Cup. He left for a second time to join West Ham and went on to have spells at Larissa, Universitario, Leicester City, Hull City and Hartlepool United. He is regarded as one of his country’s most high-profile players and he now works as technical assistant for the Peru national team.

Centre midfield: Kieron Dyer

Kieron Dyer was a regular starter for Newcastle and England during the Bobby Robson era. (Getty Images)Kieron Dyer was a regular starter for Newcastle and England during the Bobby Robson era. (Getty Images)
Kieron Dyer was a regular starter for Newcastle and England during the Bobby Robson era. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Kieron Dyer was another product of the Ipswich youth academy and he was renowned for his blistering pace and ability to go around players. Dyer was a key member in Robson’s team which reached the Champions League and he primarily played on the wing at club and international level.

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Dyer struggled with injuries in the later years of his Newcastle career and he joined West Ham for £6m in 2007. The England midfielder continued to struggle with injuries and never played a full 90 minute match at West Ham before departing in 2011.

Further spells at Ipswich Town, QPR and Middlesborough followed before he retired in 2013. Dyer now works as a first team coach at National League club Chesterfield and he has also appeared as a pundit on Sky Sports and the TV show I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!

Centre midfield: Jermaine Jenas

Jermaine Jenas is now the presenter of the One Show. (Getty Images)Jermaine Jenas is now the presenter of the One Show. (Getty Images)
Jermaine Jenas is now the presenter of the One Show. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Jermaine Jenas is another member of Newcastle’s team which has gone on to have a successful career in the limelight. Jenas arrived at Newcastle as a hot prospect and was a regular first team fixture throughout his time at the club.

He left Newcastle to move to Tottenham in 2005 and claimed he was unhappy with life on Tyneside. He enjoyed a strong start to life in North London, but struggled with injuries in the later years of his career.

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Jenas had spells at Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and QPR before retiring in 2014. He is best known now for presenting the One Show on BBC and he has also worked as a football pundit for BBC and BT Sport.

Left midfielder: Laurent Robert

Laurent Robert was known for his ability to score great goals. (Getty Images)Laurent Robert was known for his ability to score great goals. (Getty Images)
Laurent Robert was known for his ability to score great goals. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Newcastle signed Laurent Robert from PSG for a huge fee at the time of £9.5m.

The Frenchman was known for his flair and creativity and was another player blessed with excellent set piece ability. Robert was known for scoring memorable goals and his overhead kick goal against Fulham is featured as Santiago Munez’s first career goal in the film Goal! Living the dream.

Robert was a key member of Newcastle’s set up for several years but publicly fell out with his successor Graeme Souness and left the club in 2004.

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Robert linked up with Griffin and O’Brien at Portsmouth before playing for Benfica, Levante, Derby County, Toronto FC and Larissa.

Striker: Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer is now a pundit for Match of The Day. (Getty Images)Alan Shearer is now a pundit for Match of The Day. (Getty Images)
Alan Shearer is now a pundit for Match of The Day. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Alan Shearer is the Premier League’s all-time leading scorer and it is little surprise to see he is Newcastle’s top scorer in Champions League history with six goals.

Shearer enjoyed 10 successful years at Newcastle and broke the club record for goals which was previously held by Jackie Milburn. Shearer retired from football in 2006 and still holds the Premier League record for all-time goals with 260 strikes.

He briefly returned to manage Newcastle in 2009 but was unable to steer the club to safety in an eight-game stint.

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Shearer has never returned to coaching since then and he has been an ever present pundit on Match Of The Day alongside the likes of Gary Lineker and Ian Wright.

Striker: Craig Bellamy

Craig Bellamy was a key player for Newcastle during their last Champions League campaign. (Getty Images)Craig Bellamy was a key player for Newcastle during their last Champions League campaign. (Getty Images)
Craig Bellamy was a key player for Newcastle during their last Champions League campaign. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Craig Bellamy was one of Shearer’s most successful strike partners and he joined the club from Coventry City in 2001. Bellamy was known for his pace and ability to score goals and his most important came against Feyernoord to seal Newcastle’s qualification from the Champions League group stage.

The Welshman was another footballer who publicly clashed with Graeme Souness and he left Newcastle to join Celtic on loan.

Bellamy went on to enjoy a successful career at the likes of Liverpool, West Ham, Manchester City and Cardiff before retiring in 2014.

Since retiring he has worked as a coach alongside Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht and he now works with the Belgian as assistant coach of Burnley in the Premier League

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