Jonas Gutierrez released by Newcastle: Defender leaves club just week after helping stave off Premier League relegation

The 31-year-old started the season battling his way back from testicular cancer

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The Independent Online

Newcastle have announced they are releasing Jonas Gutierrez, less than a week after he helped the club stave off relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

The 31-year-old started the season battling his way back from testicular cancer and ended it by inspiring the Magpies to a vital 2-0 win over West Ham.

Gutierrez provided one goal and scored the other in what has proved to be his last match for the United, who have confirmed the Argentina international and defender Ryan Taylor are to leave when their contracts expire on June 30.

In a statement announcing the departures, managing director Lee Charnley said: "Ryan and Jonas have both contributed significantly to Newcastle United over a number of years and on behalf of the board, I would like to place on record our sincere thanks to both players for the excellent service they have given the club.

"It was a great pleasure to see Ryan and Jonas come back into the team in recent weeks and compete at the highest level after the injury and illness battles they have had to overcome.

"To come through those difficult periods with such strength and dignity will have given hope and inspiration to many and it is clear that our supporters have a deep connection and affection for both players, as does everyone associated with the club."

Taylor arrived from Wigan in 2009 and made 110 appearances for Newcastle - a figure which would have been much higher was it not for wretched luck with injuries.

The defender overcame two knee ligament injuries in recent years, making his return after a 26-month absence in Newcastle's Capital One Cup win at Manchester City last October.

Gutierrez has been with United even longer, scoring 12 goals in 205 appearances after joining from Mallorca in July 2008.

The midfielder had a testicle removed two years ago but the cancer returned last year, leaving him facing chemotherapy and a long road back to good health.

Gutierrez underwent chemotherapy and won his fight, eventually pulling on the black and white shirt again for the first time against Manchester United on March 4.

"I didn't know how my body was going to react," he told the Shields Gazette this week. "Every day, I was improving.

"One day, I did a two-minute run, the next day four, and so on. Obviously, I got up to doing a marathon too!

"The good thing is my body reacted really well to the treatment and the exercise.

"The doctor told me the fact I was a footballer, and fit already, was a big help to recover and come back.

"You train all the days all year, so your body has memory of being well and fit. My body would feel it for a few days then get stronger."

PA

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