April 23, 2024

Danny Simpson made the most appearances for Newcastle United, and the former Magpies defender boldly opened up to ChronicleLive about ‘coming out the other side.’
Danny Simpson has won the Premier League with Leicester City, worked his way up through the ranks at Manchester United, and helped Newcastle United finish fifth against all odds during the Ashley period. When Simpson talks about ‘staying on,’ it feels like his biggest triumph yet after the defender attempted suicide.

“I don’t remember that person anymore,” Simpson said, according to ChronicleLive. “I don’t remember much about it.” Even now, I wish that person has passed away. It’s sometimes necessary to go through that in order to realize what you’ve got.”

It was a night that startled Simpson’s family as the 37-year-old ended up in the hospital. In reality, no one knew what Simpson was going through behind closed doors, not even the teammates who shared a changing room with the right-back at Newcastle. After all, this was ‘Simmo,’ the cheerful, positive personality they and so many others adored.
Regardless matter how much Simpson made or how well he performed on the field, there was a hole after he departed Leicester in 2019 and then during his many spells without a team in the years since. Simpson had a routine laid out for him as a full-time professional for the better part of two decades, right down to his meal times and his days off. The veteran found himself suddenly on his own.
“I won’t be the first and I won’t be the last,” he added. “You’re simply lost in a world.” You’re not sure where you fit in.

“It can be lonely when your teammates are playing football and your friends are working.” You’re at a loss for what to do. It’s difficult.

“You’re used to being told what to do, and then you aren’t, and you don’t realize how regimented it was.” The transition is difficult, but everyone is unique. Some people find it easier than others, but nothing prepares you to stop playing your favorite game.”

Simpson has bravely spoken out, expressing his desire to be “there for the next generation” at a time when “more and more people are coming out of the game younger and younger.” These are not hollow words; the championship winner is studying psychology, emotional intelligence, and leadership at the PFA.

According to Simpson, it did not happen quickly, but opening up has certainly given the 37-year-old strength. Simpson is now pushing people to do the same, even if it is only to one individual.

“I still get things off my chest now to someone who helps me when I speak to them,” he told me. “There’s no shame in that.”

Being in a locker room setting again has also aided Simpson’s recovery after leaving Bristol City nearly two years ago. Simpson is currently training with Macclesfield, assisting the Silkmen’s younger players while getting that ‘small fix you need,’ and he even played in last month’s Cheshire Senior Cup win over Tranmere Rovers.

Simpson is also a member of a club of former Premier League players in south Manchester who get together every week for the mother of all kickabouts. Papiss Cisse, Joleon Lescott, Stephen Ireland, Antonio Valencia, Danny Drinkwater, John O’Shea, Dale Stephens, Nedum Onuoha, and Ravel Morrison are among those you might see strutting their thing on a given weeknight.

“If you had a camera on it, you wouldn’t believe the players who are playing,” he stated. “We’re just as enthusiastic as we were when we were kids.” It’s both a nice laugh and a means to stay in touch. As soon as someone retires, one of us sends them a WhatsApp message asking if they want to join our team!”

Simpson and Cisse, his former Newcastle teammate, being pulled together again by their love of the game all these years later is heartwarming. Even if this synthetic surface feels a million miles away from St James’ Park’s cathedral.

Simpson, on the other hand, would never have left Newcastle for QPR in 2013, and even his colleagues lobbied him not to leave at the club’s end-of-season awards ceremony. However, in Simpson’s words, it was ‘out of my hands’ given ‘what was occurring up at the top’ at the time.

Despite this, his four years on Tyneside were not wasted. Not at all. Simpson made more appearances for Newcastle than any other club, including Leicester, and his time at St James’ Park definitely left an impression.

“Everyone up there wants you to win and work as hard as you can, and that’s always in you,” he went on to say. “Skye, my daughter, is a Geordie.” I adore them.


Danny Simpson confident Newcastle United will cope in his absence |  Football News | Sky Sports


“They’re as insane as a brush, but their hearts are on their sleeves.” Whenever I meet a Geordie, they always say, ‘Thanks Danny for what you accomplished for us.’

“They care about their club, and on another day, I would have played for them longer, but things happen.” I’ll never forget how supportive the fans were of me. Few players leave Newcastle, and the fans are delighted to see you. They shaped me into the player I am today.”

Simpson has kept an eye on his former club’s fortunes and was among those who watched from afar as Newcastle thrashed Sunderland last week. It was the first time the Magpies had won the derby since Simpson’s remarkable performances in the match.

Simpson has experienced both the high of a thrashing – the 5-1 win at St James’ Park will ‘always be one of my highlights’ – and the pleasure of a 1-0 triumph at the Stadium of Light, where ‘there’s no finer feeling when you nick a goal’ like Ryan Taylor did with that legendary free-kick in 2011. Simpson spent a couple of years on loan at Sunderland before joining Newcastle, but those games solidified the Salford native’s affinity with the black-and-whites.

“I can’t think of anything bad to say about Sunderland,” he explained. “They gave me my first football opportunity.” It was my first true attempt at being a footballer, but the four years at Newcastle were too special for me to grow into a man. It was all about the people, the players, the fans, and the staff. It paved the way for the remainder of my career.

“Also, when you win something with a group of players, such as the Championship, you create memories for life.” That squad I was on was truly exceptional. To finish fifth, to get into Europe and have a short run to the quarter-finals with those overseas visits, those are moments I’ll never forget.”

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