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Newcastle United: 2009 transfer swoop should not be forgotten in title-winning season: View

When you think of Newcastle United’s 2009/10 Championship winning campaign, it’s impossible not to think of Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan banging in the goals on a regular basis at St James’ Park.

The duo netted 17 goals apiece as the Magpies sauntered to the league title, racking up 102 points in the process of securing an immediate return to the top flight.

But what many people might forget is that the Toon Army had another goalscoring hero to call upon during the first-half of the campaign; a player who netted some valuable goals in his run in the side before Christmas.

That player was Marlon Harewood, and the North East side used him to devastating effect in their first season in the second tier for the first time in 17 years, with his Premier League quality shining through again and again.

Marlon Harewood proves his class with stellar Newcastle United Championship displays

Harewood had been a regular feature for both Nottingham Forest and West Ham United in the earlier part of his career, with his power and strength in the final third making him a tricky customer to come up against in the top two tiers.

A move to Aston Villa soon followed after claiming over 50 league goals for the Hammers, although his time in the Midlands was spent either on the substitutes’ bench or on loan.

Newcastle were one of the sides to benefit from his lack of game time at Villa Park, as they snapped him up for the first half of the 2009/10 campaign; playing alongside Carroll to produce one of the most fearsome Championship strike forces of recent times.

With the likes of Nicky Butt, Alan Smith, and Nolan providing the reinforcements, the experience of the Magpies squad stampeded over many a side that season, leaving the opposition battered and bruised as they did so.

After making his debut in a 4-0 rout of Ipswich Town at Portman Road, Harewood wasted no time in getting himself among the scorers on his first appearance in front of his new home fans; netting nine minutes into his home debut in a 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers.

This was a side that tasted defeat just four times over the course of the season, with their step up in class evident week in, week out, just as it was the next time Harewood got himself on the scoresheet in a 3-0 whitewash of Blackpool on Tyneside.

After a miserable year in the Premier League in the previous campaign, the smiles were returning to Geordie faces after such dominant performances in the second tier, and their new striker was revelling in the limelight of his new supporters.

A player the size and build of Harewood is always going to be a handful in the air, and so it proved against the Tangerines that day, with a pair of headers helping his side to yet another victory in front of the home faithful, and maintain their dominance at the top of the division.

The big man, big man duo at the top of the field continued to pay dividends for Chris Hughton’s side before the festive period got underway, with both players so often turning provider for a number of teammates with knockdowns, and so often thriving off of one another’s company in the final third.

Carroll’s head, Harewood’s boot; that was all it took to secure another strike in a 2-2 draw with Barnsley at Oakwell, with the latter lobbing a delectable effort into the top corner from the most simple of setups.

Harewood had always been a player who could dominate defences on his day, and the St James’ Park crowd saw that day more often than most, with another standout performance coming in a 2-0 victory over North East neighbours Middlesbrough, where he poached the opener to send the onlooking Geordies into raptures.

Marlon Harewood's Newcastle United journey ends on sour note after Aston Villa scupper deal

It looked for all intents and purposes that the striker was going to carry on his imperious form throughout the second half of the season, but parent club Villa stood in the way of that deal, much to the frontman’s ire.

He said in a recent interview: "I went on loan to Newcastle and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

"They were relegated to the Championship and looking to go straight back up and I was playing up front with Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll. We formed a great relationship and they got promoted back to the Premier League.

"I had to go back to Aston Villa and Martin O'Neill - whether it was Martin or the club - wouldn't let me go for whatever reason. But I wanted to go."

The Magpies didn’t let the loss of their striker affect them too much, as they still won the league title at a canter, but for Harewood things were never quite the same, with a series of short-term deals bringing his prolific career to an end.

Blackpool, Barnsley, Bristol City, and Hartlepool United all used him to some degree over the course of the next few years, before he saw out his playing days at non-league Nuneaton Town.

He loved them and they loved him, but it was never meant to be; Marlon Harewood definitely played his part in firing Newcastle United back to the Premier League, although he just wishes he could have seen it through until the end.


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