Name: Shola Ameobi
Squad number: 23
Born: 12th October, 1981, Zaria, Nigeria
Height: 191cm (6ft 3ins)
Previous clubs: Stoke City (loan)
Signed: July 1995 from youth
Newcastle United debut: 9th September, 2000 v Chelsea (home), Premier League
Talented striker with a penchant for the unpredictable who made his first team debut against Chelsea in September 2000. Shola went on to make 22 appearances in total that season leading the line in the absence of the injured Alan Shearer and Carl Cort.
Born in Nigeria, Shola came to England with his parents at the age of five. He is a product of the Newcastle United Academy, which he attended from the age of 13, and Walker Central Boys' Club. Tall and deceptively languid, Shola has great skill on the ground and his exciting form with the Academy earned Shola a Reserve team debut the day before his 18th birthday. He made his debut for the England U21 side in 2000/01, making five appearances in total, four of them as a substitute, and scored two goals, both against Finland at Barnsley.
Began the 2001/02 season in fine style with two goals in the Intertoto Cup against Sporting Lokeren. A knee injury curtailed his domestic 2001/02 season but he played his part in the European U21 Championships in Switzerland. Demonstrated his potential with a well taken goal and terrific all round display against Barcelona in the Champions League in the Nou Camp on 11 December 2002 and followed that up with a superb double in Leverkusen in February 2003. Finished the 2003/04 season as United's second top scorer in the Premiership with 7 goals. and scored the vital goal at Liverpool on the last day of the 2003/04 season which guaranteed United a UEFA Cup berth in 2004/05
Shola made 27 starts for United in 2004/05, plus 18 from the bench, scoring 7 goals. A brace in the Tyne/Wear derby on 23 October 2005 were part of the 9 Premiership goals he scored in 2005/06, his best yet for United. Shola made his 200th United appearance at Charlton on 26 March 2006. Sidelined for 5 months during 2006/07 after a hip operation in November 2006 but returned at Reading on 30 April 2007. Joined Stoke City on loan on 27 March for remainder of 2007/08 season. Linked with a move to Ipswich Town in August 2008 but didn't materialise.
Signed three year extension to his contract for United on 6 January 2009 which will keep him at United until 2012. Scored his 50th United goal against Sunderland on 1 February 2009. Netted his first senior United hat-trick against Reading in the home fixture on 15 August 2009. Named Coca-Cola Championship Player of the Month in August 2009. Was then sidelined with a foot injury for three months but returned to the side in December, scoring in his comeback game at Coventry. His 11 goals in United's Championship winning campaign of 2009/10 was his best seasonal return for the Club.