Newcastle United: top 30 players - Number 30

Newcastle Utd - Gate

Number 30 on our list of the greatest Magpies was a cult hero on the terraces.

Newcastle United have had some great players throughout their 123-year history; from top-class international stars to cult heroes, there has been a long line of talent to wear the famous black-and-white stripes.

Number 30 on our list of the top 30 players to have turned out for the Magpies goes to a player still remembered fondly as a fan favourite on Tyneside for his displays in the entertaining side of the mid-to-late 1990s.

Philippe Albert had already won two league titles in his native Belgium with Anderlecht as well as helping his country qualify for the 1994 World Cup finals before his performances at the tournament, in which he played in all four of the nation's games, scoring twice, persuaded Kevin Keegan to spend £2.7 million on the defender that summer.

He began his career at St. James' Park well but, after being hampered by injury during his first season in England, it was upon his return the following season that his career really blossomed.

Remembered as a ball-playing centre-back before such things were fashionable, Albert had a David-Luiz like tendency to stray from his own backline, often popping up in the opposition half to contribute to attacks.

He scored four goals in the 1995-96 season as Keegan's side led the title race for most of the campaign, including one on his first appearance of the season and a brace in a 3-3 draw at Manchester City, but Newcastle ultimately let a 12-point lead slip and were pipped to the post by Manchester United.

Albert would get a small measure of revenge the following season with his most famous moment in a Newcastle shirt, deftly chipping Peter Schmeichel from the edge of the box in a stunning 5-0 victory over the champions.

He ultimately fell out of favour under Ruud Gullit towards the end of the decade, and after a temporary reunion with Keegan at Fulham he returned home to Belgium in 1999 after 12 goals in 137 appearances for the Magpies.

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