Kevin Nolan

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Kevin Nolan paid tribute to Newcastle's supporters following an "emotional" day on Tyneside for the former skipper.

Returning to St. James' Park for the first time since his switch to West Ham in the summer of 2011, Nolan struck the only goal of the game with half-time approaching.

But there was no chicken dance, which was so frequent during his goalscoring time in the North-East, as Nolan instead respectfully refused to celebrate in front of the Gallowgate End.

And after the final whistle he spoke glowingly about his ex-employers and the reception he received before, during and after the Premier League clash.

"It was a bit emotional when I first walked in," Nolan told West Ham's official website.

"I was a bit emotional because the reception they gave me was unbelievable.

"I had a fantastic time here (at St. James' Park). I loved everything about this club when I was here and I still do.

"I have fond memories and many friends and family enjoyed it up here. My little boy is a Geordie.

"I thought it was a fantastic performance from us. I was delighted to get the goal and just delighted with how the day went.

"I would like to thank the Newcastle fans for the fantastic support they gave me while I was here and for the reception they gave me on Sunday.

"It was the perfect scenario for me, of course.

"You always wish to score goals. It was quite emotional when I did score a goal because I had a little moment just after it.

"I was never going to celebrate and I never will (celebrate against Newcastle)."