Former Newcastle United midfielder Noberto Solano has praised ex-Magpies chairman Freddy Shepherd following his passing earlier this week.
The 75 died late Monday evening peacefully at home, leading to a number of former players and fans paying tribute to the man who was at the helm of the club for over a decade between the early 90’s and 2007, when he sold his shares to current owner Mike Ashley.
Solano, who was at the club during Shepherd’s reign, has hailed the former Newcastle man and says he is grateful for their time together.
“He was a very warm and kind man.” said the former Peru international.
“He spoke passionately about Newcastle United and how he wanted to make the club the best in the Premier League and challenge the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea at that time.
“I will always be grateful to him for giving me the chance to play for Newcastle.
“I had the choice of other clubs but Freddy sold me Newcastle because of his ambition and passion.”
Solano was controversially sold to Aston Villa in 2004 following a fall out with then manager Sir Bobby Robson.
The midfielder rejoined the club only a year later, a move he believed was down to Shepherd.
“Stevie Harper and Alan Shearer would always ask me how I was and if I would come back to play alongside them.” he said.
“Of course, Newcastle is very close to my heart and I always fancied a return.
“Then in August 2005, Freddy made the bid to Aston Villa and I was always going to say: ‘Yes please Mr Chairman’.
“Even then Freddy was ambitious.” Solano added, before concluding: “You could see it in his eyes even then that he still loved the club and wanted the team to do well.”