'It gets to him' - Rob Elliot reveals shocking treatment of Newcastle star
By Russell Edge
Newcastle United goalkeeper Rob Elliot has paid credit to team mate Jonjo Shelvey’s mental strength after revealing the abuse the midfielder receives.
The 25-year-old is a notable figure in any midfield he plays in thanks to his bald head, which comes as a result of Shelvey’s alopecia, which he has had since he was a child.
Elliot has revealed that there has been abuse hurled at the midfielder from opposition fans on a weekly basis, and questions why there is not more done to help protect him and punish trolls on the basis of equality.
He also credited his team mate’s mental resilience against the shocking behaviour, noting how he has managed to handle the taunts and jeers, but did admit that it still gets to him, if not on a massive scale.
Speaking to the Chronicle the goalkeeper said: “Jonjo gets abuse from all the away fans every time because of a condition he’s got.
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“Everybody laughs about it because he’s Jonjo and he’s a white lad or bald skinhead.
“But he’s not, he’s got alopecia and it’s a condition. you talk about all of this equality and stuff like but it doesn’t seem to apply to this.
“He gets abuse everywhere he goes. It does get to him.
“I’m not saying it gets to him badly. But what you have to realise is that he’s still a young man and he handles the pressure really well.”
Shelvey arrived at St James’ Park in the winter transfer window of 2016, joining a Newcastle side struggling in the top flight and ultimately destined for relegation.
He played a crucial role in their sole season in the Championship, helping the Magpies earn promotion and the second tier title.
However his return to the Premier League began on a sour note, seeing himself sent off for a stamp on Dele Alli in the 2-0 defeat at home to Tottenham.
It was not the first time he has fallen foul of the officials, and saw himself banned last season for alleged racist comments during the club’s clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
He has made 67 appearances for the club across all competitions, five coming this season, scoring five goals and contributing 15 assists.
In other Newcastle United news, the club held talks with Liverpool over a swoop for this former star.