Football

Ameobi commits to Newcastle

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Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi handed manager Joe Kinnear a welcome boost on Wednesday by signing a three-year contract extension.

The 27-year-old, one of four men to be offered new deals last month, became the first to put pen to paper.

The news completes a remarkable turnaround for the former England Under-21 international, who spent the latter part of last season on loan at Stoke and rejected a permanent move to the Britannia Stadium, prompting enquiries from Ipswich and Norwich.

Ameobi, whose stay on Tyneside will now extend until the summer of 2012, told the club's official website, www.nufc.co.uk: "I'm delighted to sign a new deal and commit my future to Newcastle United."

Kinnear will now hope for similar responses from key midfielder Nicky Butt and goalkeeper Steve Harper, who also received offers in December, although he will have to wait until the end of the season for a decision from Michael Owen.

Nigeria-born Ameobi, who was brought up on Tyneside from the age of five, emerged from the ranks at St James' Park under Sir Bobby Robson, making his senior debut as a substitute against Chelsea in September 2000.

He has 244 appearances to his name, 100 of them as a substitute, and is one short of 50 goals for the club.

However, injuries have played a major part in his career to date and he spent five months on the sidelines after finally undergoing surgery on a troublesome hip problem in November 2006 which had hampered him for some time.

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Topics:
Norwich City
Ipswich Town
Stoke City
Internationals
Football
Steve Harper
Chelsea
Michael Owen
Newcastle United
Shola Ameobi
Nicky Butt

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