Eleven months after playing his last competitive match, testicular cancer surviver Jonas Gutierrez made his emotional return in the 65th minute of Newcastle’s match against Man United. He was given a standing ovation by the crowd at St. James’ Park and the captain’s armband by teammate and fellow Argentine Fabricio Coloccini, even though Coloccini didn’t exit the match.
Newcastle lost 1–0 on an 89th-minute goal from Ashley Young (who was set up perfectly by Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul), but the night was still a joyous one for Gutierrez and everyone else with a bit of perspective. From Sportal:
“I will remember for the rest of my life the reception,” [Gutierrez] told BT Sport. “I’m really happy with the reception and the support the fans gave me and the support through the illness.
“The support I have had from clubs all around the world, it doesn’t matter about the shirt, it has helped me keep fighting.
“For people having the trouble I have been through, you have to be positive. If you believe in the heart you can beat the problems, you can.”
Gutierrez was shown a yellow card just two minutes after entering the game, though — proving once and for all that referees are soulless monsters.