JONAS Gutierrez made his long-awaited playing comeback for Newcastle United this afternoon.
The winger – who wasgiven the all-clear last month after lengthy treatment for testicular cancer – played 87 minutes of an Under-21 Premier League Cup tie against West Ham United.
Gutierrez returned to Tyneside from his native Argentina earlier this month to resune his football career.
Goals from Gael Bigirimana, Adam Campbell, Callum Roberts and Liam Gibson gave Newcastle a 4-1 win at a damp Whitley Park.
After the game, Gutierrez paid tribute to Newcastle’s fans for their support during his treatment on Twitter.
He tweeted: “Thanks to all the fans for the support that you give through my illness, i am proud to be back. Good game and really happy. Thanks.”
THe 31-year-old also thanked his family and friends, including United captain Fabricio Coloccini.
Campbell, meanwhile, was back in black and white after returning from a month-long loan at Hartlepool United.
The 19-year-old made two appearances for the struggling League Two club.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet was among the spectators at Whitley Park to watch his son Diego, who was playing for West Ham.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Woodman, Olley, Gibson, Bigirimana, Gillesphey, Satka, Roberts, Gutierrez (Ward, 90), Campbell, Quinn (Heardman, 73), Smith (Kemen, 68).