Signed from Le Havre’s U19s by Newcastle United in 2008, Wesley Ngo Baheng is a name the St James’ Park faithful probably don’t remember all that much, but he hasn’t forgotten his time there, as he spoke to So Foot in an interview on Wednesday.

The forward arrived at 17 years of age in the north of England, but never made an appearance for the Magpies during his two years there.

Released in 2010 by Newcastle, he then spent time bouncing around between Aldershot, Hereford United, Blanc-Mesnil, FC Dieppe and UJA Maccabi before retiring in 2016 at the age of 26.

It wasn’t the career he dreamed about when he made the big move to the English club, but he has since landed on his two feet, creating MSG Consulting in 2021, which is an agency to help players reconvert themselves after football.

Speaking of his early days at Le Havre, where he played alongside Lassana Diarra, Didier Digard and Steve Mandanda, the now 33-year-old was then asked about his move to Newcastle, a club he still holds close to his heart despite ‘three years of struggle’ there.

He told So Foot: “It started badly, because my mother died 10 days before I arrived. I was happy to realise my dream, but I had just lost the one who was the reason why I was there. I was at the bottom of the hole, and I put that to one side. I never grieved.

“I was hiding behind my new means. So it started off badly, and I was blaming myself for leaving my brother along France. Until today… I haven’t been there for him. He was 10 and a half at the time. Basically, I arrive with a very heavy head.”

Aged 17 and vulnerable in a new country, it was the beginning of a very long few years: “I was lost. Football wise, it goes well, but the head isn’t there, and there’s a judicial mix up with Le Havre that stops me from playing for six months. Allardyce, who signed me, gets fired. At the end of the season, I arrive in the first-team and I damage my cruciate ligaments. Kevin Keegan had told me that I was going to play at the end of the league, because he was counting on me the next season.

“The Cameroon manager had just come to see me to go to the Olympic Games, but recovering from cruciate ligament damage is long. I come back at the end of the season, I relapse. I started the third pre-season well, a starter in the reserves. I was the top goalscorer at 19, and then a big tear in my thigh. I came back too soon because the staff needed offensive reinforcements, and I go back down. I never played a minute of Premier League, but humanly, I was really good at the club.”