Paul Dummett survived death threats, soccer's scrapheap and well paid competition to succeed

Paul Dummett started playing for Newcastle United at the tender age of just eight years old.

You'd think a player who'd served so long for the black-and-whites would be institutionalised after such a stint but perhaps the reason that Dummett played for Newcastle so long, outliving managers and team-mates along the way, was because he stayed in his lane and never got ahead of himself.

He stayed down to earth. He coached local kids, went to the NUFC food bank and regularly attended the Chronicle's Sunshine Fund dinners. Players move through the system quickly at Newcastle but Dummett never went "big time" and would stop to talk to the local paper if asked win, lose or draw, rain, hail or sunshine before getting back on the team bus.

READ MORE: Newcastle in training ground sponsor mission as they look to close £450m gap

READ MORE: Bruno Guimaraes reassures Newcastle United fans on his future with new message

If the reserves or the youth team were playing at either St James' Park or Whitley Park, Dummett, usually with his youth team pal Greg McDermott, would not be out on the town, they'd be there to support the club's youngsters. Their passion and dedication for the cause knew no bounds.

Around 10,000 miles away from home last week Dummett and another big character from the Newcastle dressing room, made their way to the MCG to help the Aussie Mags lay out the flags for the clash against Tottenham. It would prove their last act on duty for United and it was a typical gesture of care from the duo.

On a different journey, back in 2012, Newcastle agreed to loan some young players to Gateshead to get some experience. When staff went around the dressing room, Dummett was one of the only ones to put his hand up and to his surprise some of his team-mates started scoffing at the idea.

But Dummett gladly took the opportunity to pull on a shirt for the Tynesiders before moving up to St Mirren where he won the Scottish League Cup. The adventure was only just beginning but Dummett feared it might be over before it even started after a talk with Alan Pardew.

Pardew then told Dummett he wouldn't be good enough. Dummett reflecting at one stage: "I got told I wouldn’t be good enough to play in the Premier League, or good enough to play in a certain manager’s [Pardew’s] team.

"You’ve got to overcome that, have self-belief and believe that you’re good enough."

Dummett probably didn't know it then, but Pardew's test of character seemed to bring the best out of him. The Kenton lad made his debut in the middle of a season on loan at St Mirren, debuting away to Brighton in the FA Cup.

He'd go on to score on his Premier League home debut in a 2-2 draw against Liverpool and Pardew would leave St James' Park long before him. He'd play under Pardew, John Carver, Steve McClaren, Rafa Benitez, Steve Bruce and Eddie Howe. All of them offered him a new contract at some stage. All of them ignored the noise and saw him for what he was, a model of consistency.

And now on to the often explosive subject of the Chronicle player ratings. Dummett's reliable performances often yielded him a 7/10 which sparked many a post-match debate, but you can only call it as you see it.

Incredibly, coach Ben Dawson said: "Ultimately we need to get these lads to 7 out of 10 every week.

"Paul Dummett is a great example of that from a professional coaching point of view. He gets a 7/10 and the jumps up to 8/10 or 9/10. He never falls below that consistent level of 7/10."

Dummett's performances for Newcastle resulted in a Wales call-up where he won four international caps after qualifying through his dad's side of the family. And any mild disagreements on player ratings were surely nothing for Dummett as he ended up making WORLD headlines ahead of the 2014 World Cup after a challenge on Luis Suarez when death threats came his way.

Back then Dummett was in disbelief at the amount of attention his challenge on the World Cup star received, but Suarez returned that summer and the Geordie's progress with Newcastle continued. Some players would have disappeared without a trace after that, but not Dummett, he came back for more.

He suffered the bitter pill of relegation in 2016 but was part of the squad that bounced back a year later under Rafa Benitez. Like most of his managers, Benitez loved Dummett's attitude and once said: "Paul is one of those players. He can play as a centre-back or a left-back. If you tell him to do this or that, he is capable of doing it, capable to understand."

Benitez left but Steve Bruce was keen to keep Dummett in his squad, and on a scorching day in Shanghai, the defender was chosen by the new Toon boss to accompany him on stage. Throughout his career Dummett watched on as Newcastle splashed out big fees for defenders but still ended up on the team sheet.

Dummett said: "I have been written off many times in my career. Being dropped is just a setback you will get at times, it is how you respond to it."

Dummett was still at St James' Park when the takeover went through and his time at Newcastle still had three years to run. Eddie Howe was another big fan of the versatile defender and said this season: "When you see him behind the scenes every day, his commitment to Newcastle, the professionalism that he shows, his standards have been exemplary since I’ve been here.

“That’s why I was so determined to keep him in the summer – and he can still play an important role on the pitch."

But they say all good things must come to an end, and reflecting on his time at Newcastle today, Dummett said: "Although I haven’t played as much as I would’ve liked, what an incredible journey it’s been. Eddie is an amazing leader.

"His work ethic, honesty and belief have been nothing short of inspiring. I am honoured to have had the opportunity to work under him. And most important of all, I’d like to thank the Newcastle fans for their support.

"I can say with pride that every time I stepped on the pitch in black and white I’ve given it my all. There is no feeling that will, or could ever compare to the roar and passion when walking out into St James’ Park.

"The best fans in the world. I’m looking forward to becoming a fan again and to the next chapter of my career. Newcastle United will always be my home. I’ll always be… one of your own."