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Sammy Salutes Shola

NUFC Logo Newcastle United FC

Sammy Ameobi pays tribute to his "role model" brother, Shola, who will leave Newcastle United after 14 years

By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

These days, 6ft 4.5ins Sammy Ameobi doesn't look up to many people - but his big brother Shola is one such man.

With a ten year age gap between them, Sammy grew up watching his elder sibling playing for Newcastle United in the Premier League - then eventually joined him in the Magpies first team.

Brothers in arms, the pair memorably started together for the first time in a Europa League tie in Bruges in 2012/13, then scored in the same game against Morecambe in the Capital One Cup last August.

Now, though, following Shola's departure after 14 years of sterling service for his boyhood club, there is again only one Ameobi at St. James' Park.

"He's all I've ever known while I've been here," England under-21 international Sammy told nufc.co.uk.

"He's always been here while I've been here and he's always been a huge encouragement to me."

Even as Sammy rose through the United ranks, his surname stood out while the tall build and friendly smile drew further comparisons with Shola.

But since making his debut at Chelsea in May 2011, Ameobi junior has already started to make a name for himself - particularly midway though last season before injury sadly sidelined him for three months.

Now he knows that he must truly emerge from his brother's shadow, but with a brother who has played 312 top flight games, scored 79 goals in black and white (including seven against Sunderland) and is set to play at this summer's World Cup, nobody can blame Sammy for continuing to look to Shola for inspiration.

"He's a role model and I'd love to follow in his footsteps in terms of all he's done here," he said. "He's had a great career and I'm very proud of him.

"I'm going to miss him and I wish him all the best."