"It’s crazy how big the Foundation is now, it’s great. They do so much work, go to so many deprived areas around the city and try to help there. I grew up in a deprived area, and to see what they do and to be involved in that, it really means a lot to me to be able to give back to kids who haven’t got quite the opportunities that I guess I’ve had growing up. The fact the Foundation go into these areas and really help the kids, you can see the smile on these kids faces in the courses they go through, seeing how much it means to them - that means the world to me. For me, it’s not about what you do now, it’s about what you can build for the future. That’s what the Foundation is about, that’s what they cherish - trying to build young men and women who can do great things in the future.
"It’s great that this new centre is now planned - and it’s come full circle for me with the headquarters they’re trying to build is basically the building I learned how to play football in. There’s a bit of poetic justice in that, how everything has come full circle, and I’m really, really excited about that. That will be in the area that I grew up in, it’s an area that’s quite deprived, but there is a lot of footfall through the area so I hope it helps bring further regeneration too.
"It is great having that NUFC badge there because Newcastle United is the beating heart of this city. It’s great that Foundation can use that to spread the word that we’re here. For me personally, being with the club for so long and having the privilege of playing for the club who I have supported all my life, I think it’d be remiss of me not to use that to try and spread the word and try to use the popularity that I’ve gained playing for Newcastle to try and help the Foundation out. I want to make sure other people get the opportunities I have had. People need to get a fresh start, they need to get the chance to do what they love doing."