This veteran striker just loves Newcastle United – and the club's 'loud and passionate' fans
Aaron Wilbraham piled pressure on Steve Bruce at Newcastle United – then revealed his secret admiration for the club.
Wilbraham scored a late equaliser for Rochdale in Saturday’s third-round FA Cup tie at Spotland, which ended 1-1.
The 40-year-old outshone Joelinton, Newcastle’s £40million striker.
Knutsford-born Wilbraham, a boyhood Manchester City fan, had high praise for United’s fans after the game.
“Just to score in the FA Cup against a Premier League club ... it's a dream as a kid, and I’ve always liked Newcastle,” said Wilbraham. “I’m a Man City fan, but I think the fans are class, and they’re a good footballing city, so it was great to score against them.”
Asked why he liked Newcastle, Wilbraham added: “I think because of the fanbase, really. They’re a passionate city, and they love their football. I was looking (at United’s fans while) on the bench first half, and there’s about seven geezers with their tops off.
“I knew how loud they’d be, and I just think it’s always been a good footballing city. I’ve always admired them for that. I liked (Alan) Shearer when he was playing, (Peter) Beardsley. It came from then.”
Wilbraham is relishing the replay at St James’s Park.
“For teams like us, going up against Premier League teams, it’s class and the magic is still there,” said Wilbraham, who scored at St James’s Park for Bristol City in the 2016/17 season. “For the supporters and everyone to go to St James’s ... is class for them.”