George Ramshaw has been Newcastle United’s kit man for 25 years and has seen the club yo-yo between the Premier League and EFL Championship on more than one occasion; he’s something of an institution at the Tyneside club.
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So, when Ramshaw, who is in his 70s, needed an operation and a new hip, it was Andy Carroll, who joined the Newcastle academy when he was a boy, who started a group-funding campaign inside the Magpies locker room to get Ramshaw the help he needed — quotes from the Guardian:
“I’m eternally grateful to the players. I was in a lot of pain with my hip and it would have been months before I could get an operation through the [National Health Service] given how busy they are.
“The players said, ‘Can we do something?’ to our club doctor, Paul Catterson. Within a fortnight, I was in and had it done. All the lads came together and put in. Me and my wife are both very grateful.
“I’m feeling great now. I was off for about four months but I’m back full-time now — or, at least when the training ground reopens.”
Manager Steve Bruce, another figure who was a boyhood fan of the club, revealed that Carroll set the plan in motion to come up with $17,500 for Ramshaw’s operation.
“It was a lovely touch. Footballers get much maligned these days but they sent him off to get it done privately. I think it might have been Andy Carroll’s initial idea. Andy, of course, has known George for a long time.
“He’d only just come back to work in the past couple of weeks and he’s all fixed and healed. It seems to have been a big success. We were all thrilled to see him back because George is a lovely, lovely man. He’s as good as gold now. Before we closed down he was jumping around the place. I thought he’d be playing soon.”