Danny Guthrie leaves Newcastle United with his head held high
It wasn't much of a surprise to see plenty of well wishers for Danny Guthrie after his move to Reading.
The midfielder never really let anybody down during his time at St James' Park, and while many feel that his move to the newly promoted Royals is a step down, it is clear that at 25 he needed regular if not guaranteed (if there is such a thing) first team football.
Guthrie was never going to get past Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote next season and even the lure of the Europa League and the chance to play games as part of squad rotation wasn't enough for the Shropshire-born engine roomer.
Guthrie is a gifted midfielder who is more than capable of both providing goals and chipping in on the scoresheet himself from time to time.
He arrived as a Kevin Keegan signing in 2008, with the former Toon boss trumpeting the player's name after his impressive debut at Manchester United in the 1-1 draw.
Guthrie arrived at United during a bitter political battle between Keegan and controversial transfer chief Dennis Wise.
But the former Liverpool youngster was very much one of KK's signings.
However, there was never going to be much of a chance of Keegan and Guthrie building up any rapport with problems unfolding above them in the boardroom - and within weeks of signing for the man fans once dubbed the Messiah, the Shrewsbury-born player was facing up to life under a succession of managers.
Guthrie was certainly one of the more introvert players to have appeared for Newcastle.
If anything he was too quiet - and this perhaps cost him first team chances on occasion during his stay.
Yet he always came across as a decent lad.
After away games he would go and meet his parents to have a quick chat next to the team bus, but then still find time to sign hundreds of autographs for the fans waiting in the cold to greet Toon players.
Guthrie was always the type of player that was prepared to come out with an explanation for the fans after defeats - something you can never take for granted while covering Newcastle United!
In one of the last interviews I did with Guthrie he joked about the amount of managers he'd played under.
Keegan, Chris Hughton, Joe Kinnear, Alan Shearer, Hughton again and then Alan Pardew all in just four years.
Credit to him for sticking with the club after relegation, he could have quit and did get offers to go elsewhere.
But he stayed on to help the club get promotion and made 43 appearances in the Championship, looking impressive in midfield and scoring some important goals along the way.
Yet in the last two seasons Guthrie made just 34 appearances and couldn't find a way past people like Kevin Nolan, Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye.
For the first time during his stint on Tyneside it was after Tiote returned from the African Cup of Nations and Cabaye re-emerged from injury, that Guthrie stated he was "unhappy" at being made the fall guy after their return.
It was by that time that Guthrie's contract talks appeared to have gone down the pan and with Aston Villa in prime position to take him until Alex McLeish's sacking - the writing was on the wall for the one-time Manchester United kid.
And even though he came back into the team for a short stint during the run-in and claimed that Alan Pardew could play himself, Cabaye and Tiote in a 4-3-3 formation and still succeed, there still seemed an air of resignation in the air come the end of the season.
Sadly though despite being offered a deal, Danny moved on but he leaves Newcastle with credit.
He helped the club back on to its feet and then helped them into Europe once again.
Therefore, it appears that the order of the day has to be, Guthrie never let anybody down at SJP.
And unlike some former players who have been back on Tyneside a good reception will await Guthrie when he returns next January.