Steve Howey: The Sunderland born footballer who dedicated himself to NUFC, and earned contempt of Wearside

Have you ever heard the curious tale of a Sunderland born footballer, who in fact devoted himself to Newcastle United?

His name was Steve Howey, and it was only more complicated by the fact he had a brother known as Lee, who played for Sunderland at the same time.

The Howey brothers, Steve and Lee (with Lee being the oldest) grew up on Thorney Close and pursued football careers. It is claimed Steve was a Sunderland fan, but his twitter account is now filled with NUFC supporting posts, including that he could “not wait” for Wembley earlier this year.

Now on one hand, we have to be fair and acknowledge if you are a prospective upcoming young footballer and a club at the level of NUFC takes an interest in you, you don’t turn it down for the sake of a petty rivalry, because how many young men don’t make it as top level footballers?

This works of course both ways, such as for example Jack Colback, a Newcastle fan, joining and making his career through the SAFC academy (despite how it ended).

If you’re a professional, you dedicate yourself to the game and take the best opportunities you get.

Steve Howey was lucky in that incidence, to join NUFC during one of the best periods of their modern history, the Keegan era. Playing for the mags from 1991 to 2000, he seen them challenge for the Premier League title (and fail) and bask in the “Geordie nation” vibes, as well as having Alan Shearer as a team mate. Steve later followed Kevin Keegan to Manchester City

At the same time however, his older brother Lee, had taken the opposite path and was playing for Sunderland. This contrast between the two brothers earned Steve the contempt of SAFC fans, with a famous chant going out at that time singing “Lee Howey, Lee Howey, your brother’s a c**t“.

Despite being decades ago, the legacy of Steve Howey, a Sunderland lad, having devoted the largest portion of his career to Newcastle United, has not been forgiven, and SAFC fans continue to treat him at large with contempt because of it. Some fans have also entrenched that position by making remarks about his person too.

Steve could have easily earned the redemption of fans had he pursued an opportunity to join SAFC itself. After all even Lee Clark was given a warm reception before his downfall. However, such an opportunity never arose, thus he will always be remembered as the Sunderland lad who only played for Newcastle and seemingly now, supports them too.

Traitor might be even the word for some.