Fri 31 May 2024, 18:30 · Ash Harrison

Newcastle winger Matt Ritchie has penned an open letter to the club and fans as he prepares to move on

Newcastle winger Matt Ritchie has penned an open letter to the club and fans as he prepares to move on
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Matt Ritchie's eight-year Newcastle United adventure is coming to an end as the 34-year-old's contract is due to expire at the end of June and will not be renewed.

The former Scotland international has given everything for the team each and every time he's taken to the pitch in the black and white and became an influential figure behind the scenes even when his playing time was drastically reduced.

As it tends to do, time goes on and the reality is, now that he's pushing 35 he's not at the level Newcastle need right now, although Eddie Howe had contemplated a contract extension if the club found themselves playing in Europe next season, but more to satisfy the UEFA homegrown quota more than actually having him as a regular feature in the team.

After failing to secure that final European spot thanks to Manchester United's FA Cup win, the Magpies took the decision to release Ritchie along with several other first-team players.


Ritchie has earned his honourary Geordie badge

With his time at the club running out, Matt Ritchie has written an open letter to thank everyone at Newcastle United and the fans for everything they've done for him since he joined in 2016 under Rafa Benitez.

Ritchie named a couple of his own personal standout moments in his letter as his goal against Burton Albion in our promotion-chasing season under Rafa, and helping the Magpies see out a 1-0 win over Manchester United to preserve our Premier League status in 2018.

Matt Ritchie can now add his name to former players who can consider themselves an honourary Geordie as he admits he will be watching the club's progress as a fan.


Ritchie's dream return to Pompey looks like a no-go

We'll be keeping an eye out to see where Ritchie ends up next with a mooted move to where it all began, Portsmouth, ruled out in the local media as he doesn't fit the recruitment strategy.

It would have been a nice way for him to see out the end of his career ... before coming back to Newcastle to study coaching under Eddie Howe.

Still, he can always hit the road in his big rig if he doesn't find a new club.