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Page last updated at 14:00 GMT, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 15:00 UK

Newcastle United striker Carroll proud to wear nine

Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll
Carroll scored 19 goals for the Magpies last season

Newcastle striker Andy Carroll says he is proud to have been handed the number nine shirt at St James' Park.

Carroll, 21, follows in the footsteps of Tyneside heroes Jackie Milburn, Malcolm MacDonald and Alan Shearer in wearing nine for the Magpies.

"I'm immensely proud. It's an unbelievable feeling," Carroll told the club's website.

"Alan Shearer was my idol as a young lad and who would have thought I'd be following in his footsteps?"

Carroll became a first-team regular for Newcastle last season, scoring 19 goals as Chris Hughton's side won the Championship title to secure an immediate return to the Premier League.

"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," he added.

Heavy Metal TOON

"It's an opportunity I relish and intend doing my utmost to do the shirt proud.

"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 to be wearing it is incredible."

Obafemi Martins, who the Magpies left for Wolfsburg in August 2009, was the last player to wear the nine shirt at Newcastle.

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