Some things are a lot bigger than football. It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria and anguish that goes hand in hand with the beautiful game, but when all is said and done, it is ultimately just that; a game. When Jonas Gutierrez was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2014, it was a real blow for the footballing community. The Argentine was a cult figure for Newcastle United, and was a key member of the Magpies’ Premier League plans. The midfielder overcame the illness once, but was told to find a new club on his return to the north east. He went out on loan to Norwich City, but the cancer came back for a second time. Thankfully, he was able to beat it, and after a period on the sidelines, he did return to the Toon Army and feature for them once more. The manner in which he was frozen out, however, was bad enough to warrant Gutierrez saying that he would never forgive the way he was treated during his battle, as quoted by the Guardian, and he eventually won a disability discrimination case against the Magpies, also reported by the Guardian. To have the gaul, therefore, to post a birthday message to him from the club’s official account with the caption “Once a Geordie, always a Geordie”, is downright distasteful. The Argentine was always popular with fans, and they will no doubt be delighted that he is still around to celebrate his milestone, but it feels like a ludicrously shortsighted move by the club.
Nothing but Newcastle have gathered some of the best tweets below: