Andy Carroll has been handed Newcastle United's famous No9 shirt for the new season. The 21-year-old will follow in the footsteps of club legends Alan Shearer, Jackie Milburn and Malcolm Macdonald after being rewarded for his 19-goal contribution to the club's return to the Premier League.
Carroll told the club's official website: "It hasn't really sunk in yet. I'm immensely proud and really it's an unbelievable feeling. When you look at the fantastic players down the years who have worn the shirt, it sends shivers down your spine, it's amazing.
"Having grown up following and watching the team, I'm obviously aware of the great tradition the number nine shirt holds. It's probably unique in football in that sense and, as I say, to be wearing it, is incredible.
"Alan Shearer was my idol as a young lad, and who would have thought I would be following in his footsteps? It's every young Geordie lad's dream to be a Newcastle United number nine, and I'm so lucky to be given that chance.
"It's an opportunity I relish and intend doing my utmost to do the shirt proud. I would also like to thank [manager] Chris [Hughton] and his staff for the faith they have put in me."
The No9 jersey has been vacant since Obafemi Martins left the club for Wolfsburg last summer.