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Craig Bellamy

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Craig Bellamy

Craig Bellamy was signed in the summer of 2001 from newly-relegated Coventry City from 6m. Some Newcastle fams questioned the move of the player who was critised badly by Coventry fans for not doing enough to help the Sky Blues stay in the top flight, but how wrong they were.

Bellamy joined Norwich City as a trainee in 1996. In his four seasons at Carrow Road he made 83 league appearances, scoring 32 goals. But, before the start of the 2000/01 season, Bellamy left Norwich to join Coventry City in a 6.5m transfer and scored 8 goals.

Bellamy had already tasted international football when he made his first appearance for Wales, coming on as a substitute in his side's 0 - 0 draw with Jamaica in Cardiff in March 1998. He is also the youngest player at 16 years old to represent the Welsh Under 21 team.

Craig opened his Magpies account with the winner against Sporting Lokeren in the Intertoto Cup at St. James' Park, and on his home league debut, hit the equaliser against rivals Sunderland. He then went into the Newcastle United record books with a 14 minute hat-trick against Brentford in the Worthington Cup on 12 September, after coming on as a substitute in extra time. He bagged 14 goals in his first season at Newcastle, until a knee injury forced out of the latter months of the season.

Bellamy's next season at the Magpies was just as eventful as the first. His highlight in a black and white shirt came when he came to the rescue with an injury time winner against Feyenoord to get United into the second phase of the Champions League, but was suspended twice in the competition, once for elbowing a Dynamo Kiev player in the face and a red card against Inter Milan. He ended up with another nine golas to add to his total for the season, but the striker also scored a couple of times for Wales to help them with their Euro 2004 qualifying campaign, including the winner against Italy in a 2-1 win. He has also scored against Argentina for his country.

If Bellamy can keep his cool on the pitch and use his blistering pace to good use, than he can become an even more import player for the Magpies at home and abroard next season.

Playing Position: Forward

Date of Birth: 13th July 1979

Height: 5' 8"

Squad Number 10

Date Signed/Fee June 2001 / 6m

NUFC debut: 14 July 2001 v Sporting Lokeren (A)

Previous Clubs: Norwich City, Coventry City

International Career: Wales full caps

NUFC Total Games/Goals: 71 (4) 23