How James Perch refused to "chicken" out at St James' Park

By Lee Ryder on Apr 20, 12 11:24 AM

Should James Perch get a piece of the action against Stoke City it could see the down to earth Mansfield lad come full circle in a black and white shirt.

Perch of course netted an own goal in the corresponding fixture when he put one past Tim Krul in the dying stages to win the game for the Potters.

Most people who have played the game at any level know exactly how it feels to score an OG, and Perch probably wanted the ground to swallow him up.

He found it tough at first in Toon scoring not only the OG against Stoke but also struggled to adapt to the pace of the Premier League, picking up four yellow cards in his first four games.

But refused to crumble that day and he's since refused to throw the towel in on his Newcastle career.

Down the years there are players who have been blessed with more ability, but have refused to show it despite picking up huge pay packets.

Yet Perch has rolled his sleeves up and got on with the job.

This season he has made 23 appearances and been the man for all reasons for Alan Pardew whether at the heart of defence, full-back or the anchor role in midfield.

He's picked up just two bookings after learning to adapt to the pace in the top flight, his performances against Liverpool and Swansea City could also be key in United's bid for the Champions League.

But what has stood out most is Perch's attitude.

The ex-Nottingham Forest skipper found it tough to get a game at the start of the season.

He didn't moan, didn't knock the manager's door down and didn't request a transfer.

Instead he simply got his head down and got on with the job.

That has been recognised by the majority of fans this season and his popularity has soared.

Indeed, sources in the city's East End tell me that Perch spent a recent free weekend watching football in a Chillingham Road public house.

And East End legend has it after walking past a fast food outlet he was met with a warm response by a clutch of the United faithful.

Perch's response was an example of what a great lad he really is, he spun round walked into the fried chicken venue and paid for everybody's food.

This underlines what type of bloke James Perch is.

And if he does get on against Stoke and SJP is chanting: "We've got Perchinio" at full belt, then he would well and truly deserve his moment of glory.

Whatever next?

Perchinio in the San Siro?


Dom said:

Perch deserves HUGE credit! Admittedly i was one of those who gave him a hard time when his performances seemed to be below par, but the reason we as fans give players a hard time is so they roll their sleaves up and prove us wrong! Miost just fall in their holes and put up no fight whatsoever. There's nothing more satisfying than a player proving you wrong, because it shows they care.. and thats the most important thing! Long live Perchinio


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

Latest Premier League video


Email alerts

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

In association with


Follow my RSS feed


Follow me on

Lee Ryder's Twitter


Sponsored Links