The incredible story of Jonas Gutierrez should be an inspiration to us all.
The Argentine’s rollercoaster journey kicked off in 2008 when he joined Kevin Keagan’s Newcastle United from Spanish side Real Mallorca (as per The Telegraph).
Nicknamed the “Spiderman” for his iconic celebration, where he would put on a mask and pretend to fire webs into the crowd, Gutierrez claimed in an interview with Chronicle Live that ‘superheroes only exist in moves’ – but we would find good reason to disagree with his doubts, given his valiant tale of strength and defiance in the face of unprecedented adversity.
Though Newcastle found themselves in 18th place and without a ‘proper’ manager at the end of the season, having seen Keagan depart under controversial circumstances (The Northern echo), fans salvaged a small amount of joy from the grasps of Premier League relegation in the fact that Jonas Gutierrez stayed faithful to the club and helped them bounce straight back.
Three years of unwavering servitude passed until the devastating news broke. In May 2013 Gutierrez was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
“I first felt the symptoms I believe in May, the last match of the season against Arsenal, with Sagna,” Gutierrez told Premier League World (via Chronicle Live).
“When I got injured, from that time on I started to feel pain. And then, months after that, I had an inflammation as a consequence.
“This was it from then. After further tests, it confirmed that I had a tumour.”
Mustering all the strength and determination that had for so many years driven him on the pitch, Gutierrez overcame his greatest challenge yet, returning to the game just four months after being given the all clear in March 2015.
But this would be the midfielders final season at his beloved club. In a sickening and callous blow, Gutierrez was unceremoniously released by Newcastle United at the end of the 2014/15 campaign, a betrayal made all the worse when it later transpired that Newcastle had ‘deliberately managed’ Gutierrez to avoid triggering an automatic contract extension (according to Planet Football).
This may not have signalled the literal ending of his career, as he went on to play for Norwich City, Deportivo La Coruna, Defensa y Justicia and Independiente before retiring. However, as far as we are concerned, and presumably he is too, his departure from Newcastle, a club he felt so passionately about, marked the symbolic close of what was a very special love affair.
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