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St. James' Park is to reclaim its place amongst the elite of the Tyneside food and drink scene this summer after work got underway on a stunning transformation of Shearer's bar.

Named after club legend and record goal scorer Alan Shearer, the venue was originally launched in December 2004 beneath the famous Gallowgate end of the ground and was at the cutting edge of the leisure industry when its doors first opened.

Eight-and-a-half years on, Shearer's bar is now in need of a comprehensive refit which will bring the venue completely up-to-date and bring fans and visitors through its doors once again.

Work is set to be complete on the new bar in July and it will be complemented with a new name to reflect its new-look: Nine - named after the iconic shirt worn by the Toon hero and former England striker.

Colin Perkins, account director at Sodexo Prestige - the company which operates catering at St. James' Park, said: "Nine will be a fantastic new venue with a superb high-quality, value for money menu and a comprehensive range of drinks and offers.

"We believe that this will not only satisfy fans visiting the stadium on matchdays, but also visitors to this increasingly-vibrant part of the city throughout the week."

John Irving, a Newcastle United director, said: "Shearer's bar was immensely popular when it was first launched in 2004 but its popularity has dwindled over the years as this part of Newcastle has developed and new bars have opened around it.

"In transforming the site and opening the bar up to a wider range of visitors, it was important that a new name remained in-keeping with the club's history and heritage and Nine is certainly faithful to that.

"We have liaised directly with Alan to keep him abreast of the plans, which he has been appreciative of, and we're looking forward to launching Nine next month."

As part of a special launch event, the Club is planning to raise funds for Alan Shearer Foundation, with a special charity auction of exclusive items to benefit the charity's work in supporting children, adults and families with disability across the North East.