In Newcastle United’s history, few players hold as much adoration as Faustino Asprilla, the charismatic Colombian striker who entertained Tyneside in the late 1990s. Though his stay at St James’ Park was relatively short, lasting only two years, “Tino” left a big mark on the hearts of the club’s devoted supporters, securing his place as a true cult hero. However, a former teammate has revealed a hilarious about what Asprilla once got up to on the team bus, to the shock of the players and the fans. But before that, how did the Colombian end up on Tyneside?
Parma parted ways with Asprilla in February 1996, sending him to the English Premier League side Newcastle United for a substantial £6.7 million. Tino’s arrival coincided with a thrilling moment for the Magpies, who were leading the Premier League, albeit with Manchester United closing in on their position at the top of the table. The moment he stepped foot at St James’ Park to finalise the deal during a snowstorm and donned a fur coat, the fans knew they were about to witness something extraordinary.
But not just his exploits on the pitch endeared him to the Geordie faithful. Asprilla’s larger-than-life personality and fearless attitude endeared him to the fans even further. His camaraderie with his teammates was evident on and off the pitch, making him an integral part of the tightly-knit squad.
The incident on the team bus, which has become the stuff of legend among Newcastle fans, took place following a rigorous training session at Durham’s Maiden Castle. The players patiently awaited the arrival of manager Kevin Keegan and his assistant Terry McDermott on the bus, surrounded by hordes of excited Magpies supporters. During this interlude, Asprilla, in his eccentric style, seized the moment to entertain his teammates in the most surprising manner.
The Colombian striker boldly produced an adult movie starring none other than his own girlfriend for the team to watch. With a playful grin on his face, he treated his wide-eyed teammates with the saucy footage, leaving them in shock and stitches. The audaciousness of his act, coupled with the nonchalant pride he displayed, epitomised the sheer flamboyance that Faustino Asprilla.
John Beresford told the Under The Cosh podcast:
“Tino just thought it was a good idea for the lads as entertainment to stick one of his videos on. The week before, he put some music on and it was this Latino Colombian stuff and Shearer went down the bus when we were travelling down the A19, ejected it and turned round and went, ‘Asprilla, s***!’ He opened up a latch and winged it down the A19. So Tino just thought, ‘I’ll spice it up a little bit’.
“So he brought this video and Ken the driver put it on. We were all set, we were waiting for Terry Mac and the gaffer. Can you remember the videos when they used to put them in, it would go fuzzy and then the picture would come up. Anyway, we were battering Tino – ‘What the hell his this? Get this s*** off!’ and it had even started. And he goes, ‘No, you must watch’.
“The camera just focused on these high heel shoes. It panned out and then you see these long legs, stockings and all this silk underwear, a silk dressing gown. We were looking at each other, thinking, ‘No, surely not’. We’ve identified it straight away.
“Of course there is this dodgy music getting played and it was in this magnificent villa, marbled floors and all this kind go thing, she’s looking out, and she’s comes out – an absolutely stunning woman. And you just hear a knock on the door. She walks across the marbled floor – high heels shoes on, stockings, all the gear, and opens the door.
“There’s a geezer standing there. He’s got this big bushy beard, white t-shirt on, jeans with big buckle belt with all these tools and stuff. We were thinking, ‘What’s going on here?’ And literally, before you know it, these two are getting right into it and she is screaming the place down.
“The bloke is absolutely battering her. You’ve also got to picture that fact that we have got hundreds and hundreds of people around the bus and they can see the TVs. So this woman is screaming the place down because this bloke is going for it hell for leather and you can see the husbands, the boyfriends, the wives, the girlfriends, the kids – the husbands are trying to move the wives and kids out of the way by trying to look, thinking, ‘What on Earth are Newcastle players looking at pre-match before they go down?’
“It was a full-on porn movie! So Kevin and Terry Mac come up and all they can hear is this woman screaming and he’s going, ‘What’s this? Get this off!’ It was on like four TVs! Everyone was thinking, ‘Bloody hell, what are they watching?’ This woman screaming.
“Anyway, Kevin is just about to eject this when Timo comes running down the bus saying, ‘No, no, no. You must keep this on – this is my new missus!’ It was his new girlfriend and that was his way of introducing the lads to her!”
Such a display might have triggered disciplinary actions in other clubs, but Newcastle turned a blind eye to Asprilla’s unapologetic antics. Over the length of his spell at the club, the fans’ affection for the Colombian maestro grew even stronger, cementing his status as a beloved hero who lived life on his own terms.