Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias has hit out at the travelling fans who abused former striker Andy Carroll at Liverpool last weekend.
The Gateshead-born England international, who made a £35million January move from St James' Park to Anfield, was barracked by Magpies supporters still angry at his defection following his introduction as a second-half substitute.
Writing in his programme notes ahead of Saturday afternoon's Barclays Premier League clash with Birmingham, Llambias said: "I was disappointed with the very negative treatment some of our supporters gave our former number nine Andy Carroll. Andy faced a barrage of insults from a section of fans in the stadium which he most certainly did not deserve."
He added: "The abuse he received was difficult to stomach after everything Andy brought to our club, and I only hope he didn't pay too much attention to the taunts being directed at him from the stands.
"To go from hero to villain simply for moving clubs, which is just part and parcel of football, is beyond me. As we all know, Andy came up through the Academy and played a pivotal role for this football club whilst he was here.
"His goals, coupled with his attitude and his popularity in the dressing room, were integral to everything we achieved last season in gaining promotion back to the Premier League, and it was fitting that he ended the campaign as our top scorer.
"Andy is a Geordie lad and a lifelong Newcastle United supporter. He worked his socks off for this football club over the years, eventually reaching the ultimate goal in landing the much-coveted number nine shirt.
"The 11 goals he scored for us this season have helped stabilise the club in the Premier League. Andy should be applauded for the great things he helped us achieve at Newcastle.
"I speak for everyone at the club when I say he will always be welcomed back at St James' Park with open arms.
"Andy has moved on now, amicably, to pastures new. The club received a British record transfer fee for Andy, which was the eighth highest in history. We wish him well and I am sure he will go on to fulfil his great potential with the England team over the coming years."
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