DWIGHT GAYLE saw Alan Shearer immortalised with a 16 foot bronze statue this week.
And Newcastle’s new No 9 is now dreaming of making his own permanent mark at St James’ Park.
Gayle, 25, is wearing the Toon shirt made famous by the likes of record goalscorer Shearer, Jackie Milburn and Malcolm Macdonald.
He is so far living up to the legends, scoring four goals in five league games to make him the Championship’s joint-second top scorer behind Bristol City’s Tammy Abraham.
Gayle admits he would love to claim the league’s Golden Boot — but his main motive is to fire Newcastle to promotion.
The £10million summer signing from Crystal Palace said: “I feel at home already. The fans and the team have made me really welcome.
“I’ve dropped down a division but it doesn’t feel like a step back.
“I knew this was a big club — but you don’t realise quite how big until you come up here.
“Walking around London, everyone is just in their work uniforms but up here people are going to work in their Newcastle strips!
“The club is up there with the best in England — and I’m sure in the next few seasons we will prove that. To wear the No 9 shirt is such a big opportunity for me because so many great players have worn it before, like Shearer.
“I’d like to be top scorer and I will try to get as many goals as I can.
“But the most important thing is to keep winning — and hopefully we will get back to the Premier League.”
But Gayle’s Golden Boot bid suffered a setback on Tuesday night, when he was forced to watch Toon smash six past QPR from the bench.
Gayle, who won Sky Bet’s Goal of the Month for August for his stunning free-kick against Reading, said: “You want to play in every game.
“And when the team scores six goals you are gutted not to be out there playing, because you think you could have got a couple yourself.
“But it’s good we’ve got great players in each position who can step in, as it means nobody gets too tired.”
Toon will top the table if they win against Wolves and leaders Huddersfield fail to beat QPR.
Victory would be Newcastle’s seventh in a row in all competitions, having lost their opening two matches.
Gayle added: “We are just starting to grow with confidence more and more. Hopefully it will continue.
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