Interview: Australian rugby star Matthew Burke
Former Newcastle Falcons full-back Matthew Burke says his spell at Kingston Park was one of the most enjoyable of his successful career.
The Australian, 35, retired at the end of last season following a serious knee injury and believes his experience of European rugby has been beneficial.
"I really enjoyed my time playing here," he told BBC Look North.
"I learned a new style of rugby and that knowledge will help me if I go into coaching at home in Australia."
As a World Cup winner in 1999, Burke arrived on Tyneside with a massive reputation, and says he worked extra hard to prove he was here for sporting rather than financial reasons.
It's fantastic to know I came over here as a foreigner, was able to contribute and wear the shirt with pride
Former Newcastle Falcons favourite Matthew Burke
"I had to make sure I didn't get booed, I got asked the questions when I arrived if it was for monetary reasons, and it was in no way, it was for me to contribute," he said.
"I hope that I have gained the support of the crowd as well as my team-mates, if that's the legacy I can leave.
"It's fantastic to know I came over here as a foreigner, was able to contribute and wear the shirt with pride."
Newcastle Falcons will take on Super 14 side Western Force in a testimonial for Burke at Kingston Park on Friday.