Lewis Suddick

Sunday's pre-season friendly against Blackpool will be particularly special for Newcastle youngster Lewis Suddick - but he won't be at Bloomfield Road to see it.
The promising midfielder has inherited a footballing talent from his grandfather, former Magpies and Tangerines star Alan, and his rapid development has led to the teenager being called up for the Milk Cup tournament in Northern Ireland.
But, as he told DAN KING, his late grandad will never be far from his thoughts as he represents United at the prestigious competition next week...

The late Alan Suddick was a hero to thousands of Newcastle supporters in the 1960s and an even bigger legend at Blackpool over a ten year period, but his talented grandson Lewis won't be at Bloomfield Road when the two teams meet in a pre-season friendly on Sunday.

Instead, the Tyneside-born 15-year-old will be on his way to Northern Ireland to represent the Magpies in this year's Milk Cup as he looks to emulate the man he regards as his inspiration.

Hailing from Chester-le-Street, Alan Suddick joined United from school and was 17 years and 158 days old when he became the Club's then-youngest ever player. He went on to make 152 appearances in black and white, scoring 41 goals.

In 1966, he moved to Blackpool for a club record £63,000, played more than 300 games for the Tangerines and is still known as the King of Bloomfield Road more than four years after his death in March 2009.

So the Suddick surname is certainly not an easy one to live up to, but Lewis is one of the youngest members of Dave Watson's Milk Cup party having impressed in pre-season and scored against Gateshead under-18s last week.

"When the Blackpool friendly was announced, my first thought was could I get there, could I get to the game," he told nufc.co.uk. "When Blackpool were in the Premier League, I went to the games between Newcastle and Blackpool and I was pleased when the fixture came up.

"I thought me, my dad and my uncle could go and it would have meant quite a lot to be there. It's a really relevant fixture seeing as my grandad played for both teams and I went to games involving both teams when he was alive.

"Newcastle's my main team but if I had to choose a second team it would definitely be Blackpool. But obviously I've been chosen for the Milk Cup instead which is absolutely fantastic.

"It feels really good to be in the squad, especially with the older lads. I got good experience (at the Tornoi International de Football U17) in France in May and I think that's raised my profile and I've got myself well-known within the Academy. 

"I suppose I made a good impression on Dave and Kev (Richardson) and obviously I've had the call-up to go to the Milk Cup. It looks like a massive tournament. There are a lot of teams from all over the world so I'm really excited to get there and see what it's all about.

Alan Suddick

"I was pleased to get a goal last week and it's been good to get some game time with an older age group. It's been a good experience so far, training with the under-18s and playing in a couple of pre-season games, and I can't wait for the Milk Cup now."

But while Lewis won't be at Bloomfield Road, the Suddick name will always be there in spirit at the famous old ground. Best known for his 'banana' free-kicks and his part in the Tangerines' Anglo-Italian Cup success, he was inducted into their all-time hall of fame in 2006.

"When I'm in Blackpool and I tell people my grandad's name, he's like royalty down there," said the teenager. "The stories I've heard about him - even in Newcastle as well but especially in Blackpool. I've heard so many stories about when he was a player, the games he played and the goals he scored.

"It seems that he's a legend down there and it's just amazing, really. I've been at Newcastle since I was eight and he lived down in Blackpool but he always tried to see my games if I was playing around that area - Blackburn, Liverpool, anywhere like that, he'd come and watch.

"And he's honestly such a big influence on my career so far. I know it sounds very cliched but I just want to make him proud and he's had a massive impact on me."

Last summer, United reached the Milk Cup final before losing 3-0 to Desportivo Brazil. Adam Campbell won the player of the tournament award and Alan Pardew flew in to watch the final.

"I think we could maybe even go one step further than last year and perhaps win the tournament," Suddick said. "With the lads we've got this year, we have a really strong side so I don't see any reason why we couldn't go and win it." And that would surely make Alan proud.