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Alan Smith loved winning the Championship with Newcastle

“The Championship-winning team in 2009-2010 was really good. That was a great season. Unfortunately the previous season we got relegated. I only played a handful of times just because of injury. There was a lot of disappointment we had gone down but also a nucleus of players who felt it was important that before we all went our separate ways that we had a point to prove to get promoted. Although we ended up winning it at a canter, before the season started a lot of people were writing us off and tipping us to carry on and go straight down again. That gets forgotten about because people say you won the league easily because you had the best team but it is not always easy to win.

“In the Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland in 2011 it was the second time I injured my left ankle. Arguably that was worse because I had all the metalwork in it from previously and that got distorted and messed up. But after both the injuries I came back and helped my team win trophies. Winning the Premier League is a massive thing for anyone which United did in 2007 before I left. After we went down with Newcastle in 2009 we had a point to prove to get promoted. I captained the team a lot that next season and it is nice if before you leave you can get them back. I feel lucky to have won the Premier League trophy and lifted the Championship trophy.”

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