Nobby Solano on leaving a musical message for Bobby Robson and meeting Sting at a Juve game

Newcastle cult hero also chats to Newstalk's Team 33 about his career, managers and adapting to Geordie life

BY Raf Diallo 15:14 Tuesday 23 August 2016, 15:14 23 Aug 2016

Newcastle United Manager Sir Bobby Robson offers words of advice to Nolberto Solano. Picture by: Neal Simpson / EMPICS Sport

Nolberto "Nobby" Solano found fame and cult hero status at Newcastle United in the Premier League.

But he could have become a musician instead if his father had bought him a trumpet rather than football boots as a child.

The first Peruvian to play in the English top flight, Solano also plays the trumpet as a hobby - something which one former Newcastle manager was well aware of.

The late, great Bobby Robson was Solano's boss during a successful time for the Magpies after the turn of the Millennium and at one point, the now retired player used his trusty trumpet to make a point to his manager who was leaving him out of the starting team - by using it instead of his voice when he left a message on the former England and Ipswich manager's answering machine.

Speaking to us in an interview with Newstalk's Team 33, Solano laughed before recalling: "I remember I left a message on his phone [with the trumpet]. It happened when he left me out of the team. So I just left the message and it was just a little bit of fun.

"I always used to bring the trumpet sometimes when I was injured and sometimes you have a small break like an hour and we used to have a nice acoustic room in the [Newcastle] training ground so I liked to bring my trumpet to play in there sometimes."

Reportedly, Robson wasn't fond of the trumpet.

When we caught up with Solano, who is currently coaching in the Peru national team setup, he was up in the Andes mountains as the team prepares for a high altitude World Cup qualifier against Bolivia next month - hence the slightly ropey phoneline as the mountains had a negative effect on coverage.

You can listen to the full interview right here or stream for free on iTunes:

Solano also recalled the time Sting from The Police popped into the Newcastle dressing room before a Champions League match against Juventus in Turin and made a point of saying hello to him.

"I remember we went to the pitch. Before the match in a Champions League game, we always looked at the pitch to see how it looked like and what boots you want to wear. He came through the tunnel to say hello to the lads. I was very impressed. I was a big fan of his. I remember when I was young, my brother used to like the band The Police. He's a great musician. I love him, I still listen to his music and I didn't realise he was from Newcastle."

Solano, of course, chatted to us about football from adapting to England having arrived only being able to say "water" and "thank you" and how he became a key player.

Plus he also discussed the managers he worked under at Newcastle, including why Ruud Gullit was a great coach but didn't enjoy success, what Bobby Robson changed and why things didn't work out with Sam Allardyce amid his more "English, old-fashioned style".

Solano also spoke about how influential Alan Shearer was as captain and in bringing back to St James Park after a year away at David O'Leary's Aston Villa, and also paid tribute to other team-mates like Shay Given and the late Gary Speed.

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