There are two Ameobis

Eighteen months ago fans chanted 'There's Only Two Ameobis' when they became the first brothers in 50 years to play a league game for Newcastle United.

Things have changed a bit. Shola, 31, returned to the first team in Ukraine and scored the winner, his 15th European goal (second only to Alan Shearer) to beat Kharkiv Metalist and reach the last 16 of the Europa League.

Sammy, 20, has joined Middlesbrough on loan until the end of the season and scored on his debut against Championship leaders Cardiff City on Saturday.

Sammy’s goal, which belatedly opened his league account, came 19 months after his only previous appearance on the scoresheet, an eye-catching finish for Newcastle in the League Cup against Scunthorpe United. He answered those on Teesside who had questioned the wisdom of taking him on loan when the club already has several capable players of a comparable age.

Ameobi the younger is blessed with an old head on his young shoulders, although his legs can still resemble those of an infant deer. Cardiff were lulled into a false sense of security as the ungainly forward deftly swerved past two defenders to plant a memorable debut goal past David Marshall after his loan move from St James’ Park.

His goal earned high praise from his new manager Tony Mowbray.

"It was a brilliant goal - it's what he's been doing on the training ground all week," Mowbray told BBC Tees.

"He's been dancing past people with his quick feet and smashing it in the back of the net."

Sammy said: “I’m enjoying myself, and it’s good to talk about a win and a debut goal.”

Their football journeys both started at Walker Central FC, but there the similarity ends. Football was all Shola wanted to do, but Sammy had other interests.

Shola: When I was a young kid, it was football, football, football. All I did was play football, at home, at school, out on the street.
 
I came home from school and I'd sneak out if I was not allowed and jump out of the window. Our parents John and Margaret were only interested in studies.

Fundamentally they wanted to pass on that we had a good education, so there were a lot of tears growing up. I wanted to play football, they wanted me to be a doctor.

I remember them saying 'you won't play unless you have finished your work'. It wasn't that I didn't want to work, I just wanted to fit it round football.

I was grounded all the time for jumping out of windows to play football and coming home late. Sammy? He was weird. He was into computers.

I joke with him now, that he doesn't know what it was like. He got a lift every week to games and training because we had a car by then. I had to go on the bus or walk. A different generation.
 
Sammy: I don't think I really played football. It was Supernintendo, Street Fighter.

I watched one of Shola's games when he made the first team, saw the fans and I thought this is what I want to do.

There is a huge age gap and he was living at home while playing for the first team and I was nervous to speak to him. I was closer to Tomi our middle brother who is playing in Iceland.

He was my brother but he was a Newcastle footballer and it was like Alan Shearer walking into my bedroom to talk to me.
 
Shola: It was like getting water out of stone. I wanted to interact, but he wouldn't say much. Now I can have a normal conversation with him.

When he joined the academy we didn't really speak with each other. I had to treat him like any other academy kid because you don't want to look like you are giving preferential treatment and because of the age gap we weren't best buds. He was timid and intimidated.

Sammy: Football-wise he is an inspiration, but also competition. I respect him, but I want to be better and do better. It is a case of putting work and effort in to surpass him.

After getting into the academy, people were telling me I had the potential to be one of the best and I think all that went to my head and I thought I'd made it.

I had a period when I thought I was the best. That backfired and I stopped working hard. It hit me when I saw lads older than me being released. I thought, I can't mess around any more. I might have ability but that is not all you need to be a footballer.

Shola: Sometimes I want to wring his neck, sometimes I let him learn from his own mistakes. I could see he was a natural, but I didn't want to push him and our parents never did. I might have not always been the greatest, but I have always given everything and I am fine with that.

Football has never been an issue, because he has the talent - it was whether he wanted it enough. That is what he has to go through and I am here to give him advice.

I wanted him to come and ask me, I don't want to interfere. He has to gain from experience.

Sammy: When I got in the first team, seeing Shola geeing players up in the dressing room took me by surprise.

I hadn't really seen that side of him. It was strange and I laughed a bit seeing a different side of him. The big English players are not here any more so it is all on him to get the team going.

Shola: It is partly motivating myself because that is important. The manager stressed that he wants me to be a leader and I don't take it lightly. I feel a real responsibility.

There are no easy games in the Premier League and I have felt over the years that we have taken it for granted. I have learned from it and I don't want my team-mates to take on that mentality.

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