My contract was expiring at Bolton.
Talks over extending it were delayed because we were in the Division One playoffs, but after the final my agent told me one of the teams that had been watching me was Newcastle. He knew that if he had told me before the playoffs, my head would have been spinning.
I then had a phone call with Sir Bobby Robson, drove up to meet the chairman Freddy Shepherd, and within 10 minutes had agreed my return to St James’ Park.
For me, there was nothing better than hearing from Sir Bobby that he’d like to take me back to the club I considered home. The call was nothing too serious or tactical. It was just Sir Bobby being Sir Bobby – getting to know you.
It was a done deal as soon as I picked up the phone. I certainly hadn’t expected to play for a guy who had managed the likes of Barcelona and England.
I was very nervous, but he put me at ease straight away – the way he spoke to you was so relaxing. You felt like you already knew him, which is a crazy thing to say when you don’t and it’s your first conversation.